The term avatar refers to the visual representation of a user or player to others in an interactive virtual environment. Avatars are a primary means of identity representation and performance in many video games and virtual worlds. An avatar can take numerous forms from a username to a simple picture to a complex three-dimensional humanoid or animal. This entry discusses how avatars are used in virtual environments, their form and perspective, customization options, and the social function of avatars.

Users control or direct their avatars and use them to interact with other users and the world’s environment and narrative. Generally, an avatar is a requirement to enter the virtual world, and it is visible to all others in the world. The term avatar is derived ...

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