Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"...a lot of people find adventure on the Internet. That's their idea of being interactive. My idea of being interactive is going on out and doing it on the street."
- Harlan Ellison

Avatar  
  A computer-enhanced doppelganger; a computer-generated image that takes your place in a three-dimensional online encounter.  

Although the term 'avatar' was used in an earlier computer game, Neal Stephenson was the first person to spend a fair amount of time in the metaverse describing them. Certainly, the novel Snow Crash popularized and fixed the term in the computer science lexicon.

As Hiro approaches the street, he sees two couples probably using their parent's computer for a double date in the Metaverse. He's not seeing real people, of course. It's all part of a moving illustration created by his computer from specifications coming down the fiber optic cable. These people are pieces of software called avatars. They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other in the Metaverse.
From Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson.
Published by Bantam in 1992
Additional resources -

An avatar is an incarnation of a deity in human form; the literal meaning of the Sanskrit word is "he passes or crosses down." It is taken from Hindu philosophy. Just as the deity "passes down" from the higher realms of being to the simpler realm of the material Earth, so a person becomes an avatar in a simpler computer-generated reality.

The first use of graphic or text virtual identities was in multi-user domains (MUDs); although MUDs were first created in the late nineteen-seventies, "avatar" is a more recent term for a virtual character.

In the 1985 game Ultima IV, to become the Avatar was essentially the goal of the game. This became your screen name; customization of your Avatar character was allowed.

For a "real-world" example, see the SF in the News story Church of Fools: The Coming of the Avatar?.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Snow Crash
  More Ideas and Technology by Neal Stephenson
  Tech news articles related to Snow Crash
  Tech news articles related to works by Neal Stephenson

Avatar-related news articles:
  - Church of Fools: The Coming Of The Avatar?
  - The Rapture Of The Avatar
  - Alter Ego Exhibit - Avatars Revealed
  - Games Of Tomorrow Built By Players Wiki-Style
  - The Church of Elvis
  - Real-Time Avatars Mirror Your Expression
  - High Fidelity Produces More Expressive Avatars!

Articles related to Communication
Audiobooks - Fastest Growing Format In Publishing
Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
Cortana Clip - The New In-Ear Wearables
FlexEnable OLED Bracelet SmartPhone Concept

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Snap Specs - Snapchat Spectacles - Are Video Glasses
'The old woman laid her wire-knitting aside and fixed them with the bug-eyed, opaque gape...'

Reading A Scroll Burned To Charcoal
'The scope was adjusted to generate... an image of the lower section of the book.'

Robot Arrested In Moscow
They should have thrown a net over him.

Oh Great, Fence-Climbing Robots
How long till they add the acid-tipped stingers?

Software Agents Fight Unseen On The Web
'...Worms and counter-worms loose on the data-net.'

Sandisk 1 Terabyte SD Memory Card Surfaces
'They should be Welton Fine-Grains, or they would be too bulky to ship...'

Carbyne, The Ultimate Form Of Carbon
'A continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal...'

Bradbury's Method Used In Search For Bombing Suspect
'He imagined thousands on thousands of faces peering into yards, into alleys...'

New Laser Space Debris Clearing More Subtle Than Clarke's
Rather than nudge them up, nudge them down.

Robots Learn To Swarm Safely
'They were bronzy gleams of smooth motion...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.