What is avatar?

Avatar Meaning

Avatar is a word that today is part of the semantic field of information technology . Avatar is the bodily manifestation of someone in cyberspace.


Over the last three decades, humanity has been watching, in awe, the development of technologies at an overwhelming rate. The world has expanded absurdly; it has multiplied many, many times throughout the space that now exists within this virtual universe that is the internet .

There is nothing more natural than imagining that people would also become part of this new world. This is done through an avatar . The complexity of avatars is quite varied, they can exist in two or three dimensions and each person can have more than one avatar. There are many actions an avatar can do, such as communicating with other avatars, transporting to other places, speaking, gesturing, etc.


The meaning of the avatar comes from the Sanskrit avatãra , which is a principle of Hinduism and symbolizes the arrival of Vishnu on Earth, from paradise. In this descent, this super powerful being, the godhead, needs an earthly appearance and creates a body for that. Vishnu is the god responsible for the upkeep of the universe and has ten avatars:

  • Buddha the brilliant (Siddhartha Gautama)
  • Crixena (Krishna)
  • Kalki, Sri Bhagavan (to come)
  • Kurma the tortoise
  • Matsya the fish
  • Narashima the lion man
  • Parashurama, the man with the ax
  • Rama the archer
  • vamana the dwarf
  • Varaha, the boar.

Avatar and its new meaning

In 1986, the avatar concept was used for the first time, in a video game called Habitat . In 1992, it was filmmaker Neal Stephenson’s turn to use the idea in his film Snow Crash . It was only after that that the use of the avatar in the representation of a cyberbody was consolidated.

Avatar in Philosophy

This rapid development of technology has been called the digital revolution and has sparked debates about the effect of virtual reality on people. It is questioned that the psychological , cognitive, perceptual and physical consequences of creating a body to exist in a virtual reality can bring the human being.

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