Avatar

DEFINITION

In Hinduism, an incarnation of a god."Avatar" can also refer to an archetype ? to an embodiment, as of a quality or a concept.In cyberspace ? online, in virtual reality, chat rooms, or in video or computer games ? an avatar is an image, often movable, used to represent or substitute for a user. It is a stand-in character or persona for the person (player) who controls it. It is both the graphical representation and the identity of such a role-playing figure. Examples: a pirate, a unicorn, a bluebird, or any other creature or object.(pr. AH-və-TAHR)Example: Kristin Lucas (American, contemporary), 5 Minute Break, 2001, two-channel video installation, 4:35 minutes, Museum of Modern Art, NY. "In Kristin Lucas?s video installation 5 Minute Break, a female avatar roams the World Trade Center?s sub-basement. A benign version of the popular video game and film character Lara Croft, the animated figure negotiates an underground maze of empty stairwells, faded graffiti, hulking machinery, and discarded trash. She is in a passive, idle mode, as if a video game player has momentarily left the control console."Also see exemplar, exemplum, game theory, ideal, idealization, interdisciplinary, mask, truth, and visual culture.

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