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(updated October 31, 2014)

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Ok, so what's an Avatar?

Let's see ... the online dictionary gives the definition of avatar as:

1) The incarnation of a Hindu deity in human or animal form.
2) An embodiment, as of a quality or concept; an archetype: the very avatar of cunning.
3) A temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity: occultism in its present avatar.

Goodness, that's not what I'm talking about at all! (Dictionaries just never seem to keep up with the times.)

In the movie "Avatar" the scientists created hybrid human-aliens called avatars as a way to interact with the indigenous Na'vis on the planet Pandora. The consciousness of Jake (the main character) was temporarily transferred into his alien avatar body, while his human body remained in a trance-like state, safely in the human compound. But I'm not talking about a biological type of avatar  here . . .

 . . . although that is actually much closer than any of the above definitions (but we're not quite there yet).


Oh well, I'll just have to explain this on my own then.  What the dictionary left out is the cyberspace definition of avatar.  On the Internet (and in games) avatars are icons or images that we use to represent ourselves.

Neal Stephenson popularized the term "Avatar" in his 1992 novel "Snow Crash"(an excellent read, by the way), He called the virtual characters in his Metaverse (a future virtual reality) avatars.  His book was very popular, so this avatar really stuck as anothr definition for avatar . . . as a computer related word. 2D Avatars are used on forums, in chats, and they can appear almost anywhere (even in websites).

Here are a few examples of these 2D avatars:

avatars.gif (77018 bytes)

As you can see, an avatar can be anything you want it to be, from a simple graphic element, to a photographic image.  And there are even 3D avatars (which I'll get to in just a bit).

But you should always remember that your avatar represents you, so you should choose carefully.  If you pick a unique one, people will begin to identify you with your avatar. [Note: Avatar can also refer to the 3D character that you control in a computer game . . . which I'll get back to in a bit.]


Page Menu: | What's an Avatar? | My Avatar | Fan Art | Morrowind MOD | My Oblivion Character | My Fallout 3 Character
My Avatar (and where she came from)

roselarge.jpg (100676 bytes)

I've had this little elf avatar for quite a while now. 

My best friend Kim found her in Cyberspace a long time ago, and gave her to me because she knew how much I loved elves. (Hey, with a name like Arwen, what did you expect?)

Kim also thought that the image looked just like me.  There may have been a slight resemblance back then, but I'm way older now, and my hair is a bit longer - with bangs, and it's always been strawberry blonde, and never way pink candy floss.

And my ears were never really pointy, but they are a bit large, and I do have the bright blue eyes. 

Ok, so I don't actually look much like her.  But she's still a lot like me in many ways.

And she always makes me happy for some reason.


Page Menu: | What's an Avatar? | My Avatar | Fan Art | Morrowind MOD | My Oblivion Character | My Fallout 3 Character
Fan Art

When I joined the Elder Scrolls Forums, my avatar soon became so popular
that I even received some fan art with her as the inspiration.

A-screenshot.jpg (24006 bytes)

Avatar Likeness Inserted into Early MW Screenshot
By "Juxtor" on ES Forums


Page Menu: | What's an Avatar? | My Avatar | Fan Art | Morrowind MOD | My Oblivion Character | My Fallout 3 Character
Arwen Morrowind MOD

I even received two Avatar MODs, so my Morrowind character can even resemble her.

The most recent Arwen MOD was made for me by "Paedric" (forum nick name).

Now I can play Morrowind with a character who looks just like a grown up version of my avatar.

This improvement is so totally amazing!

She almost looks real!  Talk about a really great makeover!

I mean, doesn't she look like she just came from the finest spa on Vvardenfell?

Arwen Wood Elf MOD - by "Paedric"

Hairdup9.jpg (19512 bytes)             

This MOD adds a new playable female wood elf (Bosmer) head and two new playable hairstyles.

The hair color, eye color, and lips came directly from my avatar.

Paedric has given me this wonderful MOD as a gift and has also given me permission to share it.

This MOD is just too good to keep all to myself, so here's the file:

Arwen_WoodElf.zip (File size ~223 KB)

*** NOTE: After you download this file, unzip it into your Morrowind directory and,
carefully follow all the instructions found in the Arwen's_New_Look_readme.txt file. ***

(For more on how to install MODs, see my Morrowind MOD page.)


MOD Credits

Original face and hair models by Rhedd.
Original face and hair textures by Allerleirauh.
"Original" MOD by Motoki (conversion from dark elf to wood elf )
"Original" MOD Retextured by Noviere...
Elements inspired by Sheizzika's Daedric Priestess MOD


Page Menu: | What's an Avatar? | My Avatar | Fan Art | Morrowind MOD | My Oblivion Character | My Fallout 3 Character
My Oblivion Character

Just like Morrowind, the very first thing you have to do in Oblivion is create your character,

starting with race, then gender, then appearance.

But in Oblivion, you can create your own custom without the help of any MOD.

It took me well over an hour to create a custom face that resembled my Morrowind character.

Customizing a face is very easy - getting her to look close to what I wanted was very difficult.

My Oblivion Wood Elf

But it was worth it, as I'm very happy with the way my character turned out.

For more on Oblivion,  see my Oblivion Journal


Page Menu: | What's an Avatar? | My Avatar | Fan Art | Morrowind MOD | My Oblivion Character | My Fallout 3 Character
My Fallout 3 Character

Just like with Morrowind and Oblivion, the very first thing you have to do in Fallout is create your character, starting with gender, then race, then appearance.  I always play as a female character, so the gender part was super easy.  Picking hair styles and eye color is also very easy - the bad news is that there are not nearly enough choices of either. (The first MOD that I installed was one that added more hair styles and eye colors).  Just like with Oblivion, you can use a custom hair color.  So guess what color I made? 

Then things get much more difficult.  Both Oblivion and Fallout use FaceGen to create the characters, so I tried using the FaceGen Exchanger to transfer my Oblivion character's face into my Fallout game - but I was never happy with the result.  So I made my character from scratch.  I've had plenty of experience at using FaceGen, but it still takes me a really long time to create a custom face.  But I finally was able to create a character that I was happy with . . . and she does somewhat resemble my Wood Elf avatar.


My Fallout Character

For more on Fallout 3, see My Fallout 3 Journal


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