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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 the cases where registration has occurred, the identicon serves as a means to associate a particular user with a particular geometric representation.

If an account is compromised, a dissimilar identicon will be formed as the attacker is posting from an unfamiliar IP address.

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.

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.

GIF avatars were introduced as early as 1990 in the Imagi Nation Network (also known as Sierra On-Line) game and chat hybrid.

In 1994, Virtual Places offered VOIP capabilities which were later abandoned for lack of bandwidth.

Some forums allow the user to upload an avatar image that may have been designed by the user or acquired from elsewhere.

Other forums allow the user to select an avatar from a preset list or use an auto-discovery algorithm to extract one from the user's homepage.

Identicons are formed as visually distinct geometric images derived from a digest hash of the poster's IP address.

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