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Putting A Face on Things, Digital Original Edition

A BIT of Hello Avatar


A crucial aspect of our cultural shift from analog to digital is the continuum between online and off-, the “x-reality” that crosses between the virtual and the real. Our avatars are not just the animated figures that populate our screens but the gestalt of images, text, and multimedia that make up our online identities. In this BIT, B. Coleman looks at the research history in HCI of putting a face on things, the consequences of virtual embodiment, and our perception of simulation.

About the Author

B. Coleman is Assistant Professor of Writing and New Media in MIT’s Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies and Comparative Media Studies. She is Faculty Director of the C3 Game Culture and Mobile Media initiative.