Where are Avatars Often Used?
         
 

 

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Where are Avatars Often Used?

 

An avatar is defined as a graphical representation of something. It is commonly referred to as an alter ego, but just like a logo it may stand for a company, and idea or even a brand. Such alter egos will often take some form of human shape and may be as simple as an image. The reasons for using an avatar need not be nefarious. It is true that some online sexual predators use avatars as a way of pretending to be someone they are not. For example, an older person may pretend to be younger and use an avatar that makes it appear that he or she is younger. These are (hopefully) rare misuses of avatars. They are in-fact used for many other purposes such as gaming, communicating, forums, information points, etc. There are quite a few online worlds where an avatar is preferable to a true human image/representation. Avatars are very common in online forums. It is quite common for a person to pick an avatar that then represents their forum account. This allows the person to post on the forum with a relative amount of anonymity. It allows them to be more expressive and give opinions more freely. It also acts as a guard for some people who want to upset others on forums. It may also help to deflect personal attacks on forums. For example, if a person is insulted then they are less likely to take is personally, plus jibes about things such as being too fat or having a big nose are not a problem. Internet chat rooms are not as common these days thanks to the IM function on Facebook, but they are still kicking around the Internet. It is commonplace to see and use avatars with IM chats. The primary use of avatars in this circumstance are not for any practical reason as people do not often talk to too many strangers, but it may act as a guard for if they do. It does help to maintain a certain psychological distance between people on chat rooms in the same way that masquerade ball masks do upon such occasions. Video gaming of all platforms will often use an avatar. It allows a person that little bit more escapism and allows the user to relate a little more to the action. Avatars offer the same giddy thrills in gaming as following a main protagonist within a movie. Help desks and other AI related software will often use an avatar. The fact is that they do not need one, but many designers feel that a graphical representation will add to the UE (user experience). Such things are not uncommon on websites including ones for banks, essay writing services, etc. They are becoming increasingly common within help desks too. Brands tend to use an avatar. Breakfast cereals are known for using them the most often, with fan favourites such as Tony the Tiger, the Honey monster and the Coco Pops monkey. They often appear graphically on the box and in cartoon form on the TV and Internet.

 

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