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Orgins of Avatars

2009 April 5
by Aline

I was curious about the orgins of Avatars. Apparently it comes from Sanskrit meaning “incarnation.” Online Avatars were popularized by a man named Neal Stephenson in his novel “Snow Crash.” He writes about a virtual world and the people who in habit it are “avatars.” Here is a link if anyone would like to read more about the novel:

2 Responses
  1. April 5, 2009

    Thanks for doing that research. I’ve read some of Neal Stephenson’s work. Snow Crash, from what I’ve heard, might have been a good choice for us to read. May have to put that on my summer reading list.

  2. Hannah Mueller permalink
    April 5, 2009

    Speaking of origins, I wikipedia’d MUD (the cyber meaning does come up first on google before the dirt+water meaning) and found this website, Online World Timeline. It cites the first usage of the word MUD in 1978! Apparently, ‘online worlds’ have been around just about as long as computers have, and defintely predate the internet. I’m honestly very surprised, and interested to know more about the pyschological impulses that led people to create alternate universes just as soon as they had the technology to do so (and not a moment later!). It’s almost like we created computers in order to have this kind of imaginative communication, not email.

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