Chapter . What It Is, Part One: Mario, The Sims and World of Warcraft

The avatar landscape is rocky and full of strange flowers. Here’s a page now. I am looking at a small image of a man punching himself in the head. Next to him is Che Guevera. The other images are of lightning striking; a woman with large breasts; a 1950s cartoon of a dancing pig; bouncing breasts (no woman is attached to them this time); a sombrero; Adolph Hitler eating a watermelon; a Pokemon rabbit playing Dance Dance Revolution; someone’s butt.

These are all avatars.

But what are they?

An avatar is an interactive, social representation of a user.

Avatars are interactive, come in different dimensions, and—like people—they view the world from different perspectives. Sometimes an ...

Get I, Avatar: The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.