The root of this word “AVATAR” can be traced to the Sanskrit language – in which it means – “a physical manifestation of Divinity”.
The word with the same meaning is also found in many of the other Indian languages in various forms: as ‘AVTAR’ in Hindi and other north Indian languages; as ‘AVADHARAM’ in the south Indian languages of Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu.
Hindu mythology states that there are ten ‘AVATARS’ of lord Vishnu – who takes on the forms of various personalities from time to time in order to destroy the wicked on the earth.
JESUS Christ of Christianity is the New Testament ‘AVATAR’ of Jehovah God of Judaism.
This word - in its anglicized [English] form - has taken on the meaning of "an embodiment" - an out of the body experience.
However in the computer world an avatar is a representation of the user's ‘other self’ or ‘other personality’ - more or less like the on-screen image of a movie star.
Beginning at the ‘user ID’ of an email user, going on to the two-dimensional icons used in internet forums, and the three–dimensional characters in computer games, all are ‘Avatars’ or incarnations – a graphical, pictorial representation of the user.
The use of this word in computer jargon dates back to the year 1985: in the series of computer games called Ultima, Avatar was the name of the Players’ Character.
Later, in the year 1989 Avatar was used in the role–playing game called ‘Shadowrun’ as also in the on-line role-playing game called ‘Habitat’.
In the year 1992 Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash used Avatar to mean online virtual bodies - in Metaverse, which is a virtual reality version of the internet.
On internet forums, Avatars are used for the purpose of representing users and their activities, personality, contributions to the forum, and may also represent various facets of their personality, beliefs, interests or social status in the forum.
As early as 1994 programs...