Skip to content


2009 April 4
by Anne Dalke

Still struggling w/ this avatar-thing-y….

have belatedly realized that, when I went abroad during my leave a few years ago,
and created a blog to chronicle my thoughts while I traveled, I used this image

to figure who I was and what I was up to.*
I like it far better than any of those “anthropomorphic”
figures that Nowak and Rauh study at such length….

*“Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because we are from Earth) as color means to a blind man.”–Robert A. Heinlein

2 Responses
  1. Hannah Mueller permalink
    April 6, 2009

    When Ruth and I were explaining our avatar choices to each other, I realized that I identify more with the backgrounds than with the avatars themselves–or, at least I liked them more and was drawn to them more strongly. It makes a lot of sense, since a cyber-face can never be exactly like mine, so it seems like it’s trying too hard, or it’s obviously missing the mark. If you choose something more abstract to represent yourself then you can read what you want into it and let other people do the same. It’s the opposite of what we have to do in real life when we present a concrete face to be judged (however accurately, generously, unconsciously…). Strange how (judging from people’s avatars, my own included) we have the instinct to re-create our physical selves online when really this is an opportunity to escape them.

  2. Baibh Cathba permalink
    April 7, 2009

    In class today we discussed avatars, and the discussion revolved around involvement and honesty in my group. We discussed how true to character one has to be or disconnected (as mentioned in the reading by Turkle). I dissociate from my avatar, which I think Turkle says is incredibly against sanity and indicative of MPD.

    I response to Rebecca’s comment about avatars… When I play HALO, I totally choose a flaming skull to represent my gaming. Is that gendered? (Well… maybe if it were a skeletal pelvis…)

Comments are closed.