[MUD-Dev] First use of "avatar"?

Mats Lidstrom mats at avatargate.com
Wed Dec 12 21:47:38 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Koster, Raph" <rkoster at soe.sony.com>

> The OED is doing a pilot project to incorporate a large number of
> words derived from SF. You can read about it here:
 
>   http://66.108.177.107/SF/sf_citations.shtml
 
> One in particular that caught my eye was this entry:
 
>   avatar (n.) antedating 1992 (in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash)
>   sense is a VR representation of a person


I got this piece on "avatar":

  av-a-tar (plural av-a-tars) noun 

    1. incarnation of Hindu deity: an incarnation of a Hindu deity
    in human or animal form, especially one of the incarnations of
    Vishnu such as Rama and Krishna.

    2. embodiment of something: somebody who embodies, personifies,
    or is the manifestation of an idea or concept.

    3. COMPUTING image of person in virtual reality: a movable image
    that can be used to represent somebody in cyberspace, for
    example, an Internet user.

Back in '95 it was called avatars in Habitat/WorldsAway and I can't
remember I've heard it called anything else. Never heard "toon"
being used, but I'd guess that's a remnant from MS ToonChat.

Just my 2 cents worth :)

/Mats
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