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Hello Avatar

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Hello Avatar! Or, {llSay(0, "Hello, Avatar!"); is a tiny piece of user-friendly code that allows us to program our virtual selves. In Hello Avatar, B. Coleman examines a crucial aspect of our cultural shift from analog to digital: the continuum between online and off-, what she calls the "x-reality" that crosses between the virtual and the real. She looks at the emergence ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published November 11th 2011 by Mit Press (first published September 2nd 2011)
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This book left me with something of a conundrum. Previously, I had read a description of Coleman's book, which was heavy on words such as "identity," "networked media," "avatar," and "virtual"--basic buzzwords that made me dismiss the book as not having anything worthwhile to say. Then I heard Coleman lecture in person, and decided to come back to the book. So, the question is, did the reading justify my impression that this was old words on new media? Or do I have to eat crow? Let me put it thi ...more
What one sees in and thus gains from Hello Avatar as with all books depends on one's background and purpose. I am very interested in HCI, UX, and emergent digital communities and subcultures: those with similar interests will find Hello Avatar similarly rewarding; those without may see little novelty in its content. The author Beth Coleman examines the substance and interrelation of virtual identities we necessarily manifest through our use of communication technologies and associated network me ...more
John Carter McKnight
An essential read for a network-theory interpretation of online identity. Best at demolishing notions of the separation of online and offline worlds. Its idealistic glibness may be a factor of its very short length (about 150pp, with lots of pictures), or a particular MIT worldview.
Did not like it, struggled with the last twenty pages or so just to not leave it unfinished. Struck me as almost completely content-free, peppered with passages that one would expect as an introduction to the field all the way through. Also, the interviews were just not interesting to me; I couldn't care less about what time of the day Cory Doctorow reads his e-mail.

It did have some interesting references, such as the Fox / Bailenson behavioral modeling experiment. But overall, I am baffled as t
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