1. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    My Views on Avatars

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Leaka, Sep 4, 2008.

    You know the images we place as avatars.
    I have views on them.
    I think that avatars hide who the person really is. Like an avatar is a mask that someone wears on the internet.
    The avatar is what we wear when we go to those mask parties.
    What are your views on avatars?
    Do you even have any views?
     
  2. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    To a certain extent. Certainly, avatars are the closest thing to a "face" that someone has online; it's the first, most obvious thing a reader sees, and easily the most recognizable. I know that at several communities I participate in, I glance first at the avatars and, when they are not present, I have a hard time remember who said what. Only the strongest and most outstanding voices give a shape to the person in my head, either as a well-spoken and thoughtful writer or (more often) as an obvious troll.

    I have a rather overbearing sense of honesty and forthrightness, which occasionally gets me into trouble, because what I see as "being honest" is sometimes interpreted as "being rude." I have a hard time even wearing fancy dress clothes, because I wouldn't wear them myself if given the choice, so it feels "dishonest" to present myself to the world in that way.

    Because of that, I have maintained the username Scattercat and this same avatar picture on nearly every forum or group I've joined. (The only exception is when someone has gotten the name before me. I will not be Scattercat2.)
     
  3. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Well the internet has a natural state of anonymity. Even if I were to put my real face as my avatar, you have no idea if that is really me. I can say it is but you can't know. Therefore the idea of putting your real face there is a little pointless.

    Besides that is a little boring. Putting something funny or cool or a symbol you enjoy is far more meaningful in a world on anonymity.
     
  4. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    Indeed, the avatars are a mask, in some sense, but they are covering up empty space. Without the avatar, there is nothing but an anonymous void.

    An avatar can be a concealing mask, or it can be a mask in the line of the Greek theater, or a festival, where the purpose is to magnify and make clear the identity of the wearer.
     
  5. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Also with avatars depending on what the picture is I usually have voices for the person.
    Depending on their avatar. If they are this cool picture of anime guy with a gun I usually read what they write with a deep manly voice and like Scattercat when I see the cat I think of a scratchy or squeaky voice.
    Does anyone do this?
     
  6. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I think thats a little to generalizing (But yes I do it too at times XD). Some people just pick a avatar because its silly or funny (nothing wrong with that. At least we can expect some good jokes :D!).

    I like mine for example because of the Character of the Laughing Man in the GitS series. I connect with that character so anyone who's sent he series (or read catcher in the rye) can figure out what the symbol may mean. Its just a symbol that is your virtual face. It can be anything you want. it can have meaning or it can be meaningless. Everyone is unique on and offline.
     
  7. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I also kinda judge their voices by the avatar.

    Another thing is that it can give a small insight into their personality. If they have a silly avatar, then they are likely a silly person. Also (as pointed out by Lordofhats), if they use the image of a fictional character, it is often one that they respect, and I will usually assume that person is somewhat similar to that character.
     
  8. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    So an avatar is a symbol, a mask to give a faceless creature a face, and it gives insight to someone else in real life.
     
  9. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    I also keep my username constant through the web but I never payed much attention to the avatars I used. The one I use now is particular to this site, I don't use it anywhere else.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    An avatar choice is a creative decision, just like writings, or profile customizations, or photo galleries. By itself, an avatar is just a single impression.

    An anime avatar usually gives me a first impression of someone young and dedicated to anime or manga. It may also have been a quick choice to give a vague physical description. So I take those first impressions with a large grain of salt. However, an avatar of someone flipping the bird, or a similarly antagonistic image, is a strong enough statement to give a nearly indelible impression.

    But overall, an avatar is only a first impression for me most of the time. I get a much more dimensional view by what the person writes, how they behave toward others.
     
  11. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    That is interesting.
    For me an avatar is who the person is.
    That is what I view as a person.
    That is their voice and that is what they look behind the close door of the internet.
     
  12. Solaris
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    Solaris Active Member

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    I agree with Cogito on this one.

    I've never really thought of an avatar as a mask... though that is an interesting perspective on it.
    For me an avatar is another way to express yourself - what your interests are or your style.
    Or simply what you're currently infatuated with. -cough-

    I'll usually identify people with their avatars -- not because I identify it as who they are per say, but just because I've gotten used to it... kind of like a name.


    Also... so seeing as my avatar is of Elijah Wood, do you picture me with his voice? :p
    That would be amusing!
     
  13. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like pictures. They give a "voice" to the words I read. Some sort of context to tell me if I should be taking this person seriously or silly. Does it have lot's of blues or greens? If so then I think of a person who keeps their cool and is diplomatic and smooth. Brown makes me think intellectual, yellow or orange is playful. (I do this with school subjects too. Biology is green, math is yellow, history is brown.) It's a window into their personality. That's why I change mine so often. My avatar reflects my moods and thoughts, so as I change they do too. And of course I always use something I find cool or funny. :D
     
  14. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well in my case I have to say you are wrong about my avatar disguisting me, I change my avatar to suit my mood, and I think that gives people an impression of the sort of person I am. I don't really hold too much indication to avatars though, they do not nesesarily mean anything, may simply be something the owner like the look of.

    I really hope people don't judge me by my avatar, like it creates a first impression, as they are going to think I am either an idiot or depressed. Lmao
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My avatars change on a regular basis. I use them to express my mood, something I am thinking about at the time, a particular aspect of myself, pretty much anything that comes to mind.

    I don't think I really hide behind my avatar. I don't feel the need for anonymity in the web-i-verse.

    I do notice alot of AnEMO androgynous avatars as of late which do seem very much like masks displaying a very emotive quality.

    Yeah, that belongs to a different generation than mine, I think.
     
  16. Solaris
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    Solaris Active Member

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    Does mine seem emo?
    I hope not. I'm just a huge Elijah Wood fan haha.
     
  17. Last1Left
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    Last1Left Active Member

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    Avatars are just the face to attach the name to, in my opinion. I really hope everyone isn't so secretly judgmental towards avatars.
     
  18. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    In fact yes.
    If its somebody I know like if you had a picture of the actor who plays Remus Lupin, I would hear his voice reading the person post.
    So yes Elijah Wood is talking to me.


    Also to the person who was talking about emo avatars. I like emo avatars and I like rocker avatars. I like anything that jumps out at me and invokes an emotion.
    For me I want to be like that.
    That is why an avatar is a mask.
    It mask who I am really because I wanna be something else.
    I wanna be shocking, I wanna express my emotions (not for attention like emos), etc.
    For me an avatar is a mask to mask who I really am or really want to be.
     
  19. Solaris
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    Solaris Active Member

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    Well that is just great.
    I'm never changing my avatar now lol.
     
  20. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    It just kinda strange to here Elijah Woods say, lol!
     
  21. Silver Random
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    Silver Random Senior Member

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    I dont think an avatar is something to hide behind... as someone said, an avatar only fills what is otherwise a blank space, so choosing to display an avatar is choosing to display some part of your identity. Obviously there are varying degrees of how revealing an avatar is, and even thinking about how much someone chooses to reveal with an avatar can give you further insight into someone. Even putting up a fake real life picture, as someone mentioned, isnt too much of a mask, as looking at a real life picture you can either deduce that that is who someone really is, or that is who they want to appear to be.

    So in my view an avatar is less of a mask and more of a window. You might be able to see nothing, you might be able to see a great deal, or you may be looking too hard to find something and seeing a reflection of yourself.

    I do see avatars as a picture for the words next to it, and it can be easier to associate a picture with posts if you havent known the poster for a while. I find it rather jarring when people change their avatars too often, especially if i am not very familiar with the poster. And i do judge people based on their avatars, both for first impressions and for building a more detailed idea of the person. e.g. if someone is posting with something related to Alter Bridge (which is what my avatar is :p) or the Audioslave flame next to their name, then i will already hold them in higher regard than someone with Sephiroth from Final Fantasy as their avatar. Not to say that is definitive or anything (my best "online friend" likes to put his picture to Final Fantasy because he knows my opinion on it :rolleyes:), but avatars will affect my opinions on people.

    Mind you, out of the 2 main forums i have been active in in my years online, 1 of them had no avatars (they were a bit backwards that way), and 1 of them i knew the people much better from another method of communication, so the avatars were of little significance, so they cant be that important :D
     
  22. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Each and everything a person does reflects their personality. An avatar does not necessarily hide a person, but reveals who they are in a different way. For example, a person who uses an anime character as their avatar might be an anime fan.

    Tee hee, I wonder what others think of my avatar in relation to the real me....
     
  23. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Well I think people misunderstand me when I say mask.

    You know how Romeo and Juliet had a masked ball and they didn't know who anybody was.
    Well that is what an avatar is to me.
    We are going to mask a ball.
     
  24. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wait, I thought that was a photo...
     
  25. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Actually, I understood, but an avatar is a representation while a mask is simply to hide/mislead so its a bit hard to compare the two.
    There, that's my view on your view while giving my view.
     

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