What's Your Avatar?

What's Your Avatar?

And now, for the latest in current pick-up lines: What's your Avatar? If you're on line, you don't even need to ask, because it should be right there.

Let's back up a second - if you, like me, are saying to yourself - Self! I know what an Avatar is, it's the bodily manifestation or incarnation of a higher being on to planet Earth. Used primarily in Hinduism, the word was most commonly used to refer to one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu, which include the fish, the tortoise and the man-lion. Uh, yeah, I looked that last part up. I did know the meaning, but I always associated it with the classic Rick Moranis speech in Ghostbusters, that went something like this:

"During the rectification of the Vuldronaii the Traveller came as a large, moving Tor. Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the Meketrex supplicants they chose a new form for him-that of a giant Sloar. Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day, I can tell you."

What golden moments in film, huh? But that's not the point. The point is that Avatar no longer means what it used to mean. It now refers to the little symbol one uses to identify oneself on line. Avatars can be simple, like a stick figure of a man or woman, or complex, involving animation, music and sound. So, for example, if you were choosing your Avatar, you'd want to choose something that represents who you are. Or perhaps who you would like to be. As they say, "No one is a dog on line."

For example, if you are a cat lover, you might have a cute little kitten that makes a nice purring sound. If you have a thing for the Dukes of Hazard, you might have a drawing of the General Lee, wheels spinning. An author might choose a picture of a book, or an old fashioned quill pen. A politician might choose a bag of small, unmarked bills left on a park bench. You get the drift. And don't start with the political bullshit, it was just illustrative.

Any place that requires log-ons usually provides the resources to place your Avatar. I am advised by those in-the-know about such things that people don't even need to check for your name - they just look for your Avatar.

Get it? If I were going to design my own Avatar, it would be the Queen of the Universe, or something like that. Not sure how I'd convey that - perhaps a queen sitting on a throne looking down over the Earth or something. Or perhaps Wonder Woman. I always liked her, what with that lasso of truth and so forth. But then again, Superwoman had the invisible plane, I think, so that's a tough call. Or Anita Blake, Vampire Executioner, but no one really knows what she looks like, so probably not.

So - what's your Avatar?

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