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

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 13 00:11:45 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

On Wednesday 12 December 2001 7:00, Christopher Kohnert wrote:
> Travis Casey wrote:

>> Well, it was used by the Hindus, wasn't it?  I'd even say that it
>> was used by them to mean a VR representation of a person -- that
>> "person" is a god, and the VR they're creating an extension into
>> is Maya, the world illusion.  It's not a *computer-generated* VR,
>> but it's also not considered to be "real" reality.

>> "avatar" is also the name of the "root" account on some Unix
>> systems.  I don't know how far back that practice goes.

> *cough softly* Isn't the point of a science fiction dictionary to
> define the term in relation to _science fiction_, not computer
> systems or games or hindu religion?

Raph asked if it had been used in a VR context before that -- the
first is definitely a VR context (as I said, not a
*computer-generated* VR, but a VR).  The second may or may not be
considered a VR context -- see, for example, the old paper "Is Unix
a MUD?"

And if we are talking about it in relation to SF, it needs to be
talked about beyond the VR context -- consider, for example, Poul
Anderson's book _The Avatar_.

       |\      _,,,---,,_     Travis S. Casey  <efindel at earthlink.net>
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