The words avatar (in the sense used here) and Metaverse are my inventions, which I came up with when I decided that existing words (such as virtual reality) were simply too awkward to use...after the first publication of Snow Crash, I learned that the term avatar has actually been in use for a number of years as part of a virtual reality system called Habitat..addition to avatars, Habitat includes many of the basic features of the Metaverse as described in this book.
Despite the widespread use of avatars, it is unknown which Internet forums were the first to use them; the earliest forums did not include avatars as a default feature, and they were included in unofficial "hacks" before eventually being made standard.
Identicons are formed as visually distinct geometric images derived from a digest hash of the poster's IP address.
In this way, a particular anonymous user can be uniquely identified from session to session without the need for registration or authentication.
The traditional avatar system used on most Internet forums is a small (80x80 to 100x100 pixels, for example) square-shaped area close to the user's forum post, where the avatar is placed in order for other users to easily identify who has written the post without having to read their username.
Because of its ethically-nuanced, story-driven approach, he took the Hindu word associated with a deity's manifestation on earth in physical form, and applied it to a player manifesting in the game world.
In Norman Spinrad's novel Songs from the Stars (1980), the term avatar is used in a description of a computer generated virtual experience.
In Snow Crash, the term avatar was used to describe the virtual simulation of the human form in the Metaverse, a fictional virtual-reality application on the Internet.
Social status within the Metaverse was often based on the quality of a user's avatar, as a highly detailed avatar showed that the user was a skilled hacker and programmer while the less talented would buy off-the-shelf models in the same manner a beginner would today.