Avatars.

General Discussion about the PsyTrance scene, way of life, etc.
83 posts Page 1 of 4

Are Australiens caring too much about their avatars?

14%
Yes.
5
40%
Fucking obviously.
14
20%
No.
7
26%
Nahhhh, I don't think they care enough. I want a five minute mpeg of me dancing wearing a hat for mine.
9

Total votes: 35

SamuraiJack
Posts: 10043
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 11:56 am


I've noticed that people's avatars are getting truly out of control. Not that I mind so much, but they are much more colourful, animated, than ever before.

Has anyone else noticed?

 

FeralBrown
Posts: 5944
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 2:26 pm


I don't see a problem with it... sometimes its even more fun than saying stupid shit to annoy you... I only come on here to waste away my work hours... and funnily enough, this is the only forum I worry about an avatar on...
I voted FUCKING OBVIOUSLY, anyway.
:)
but Barbarian's are pretty fukn over-the-top! (in a subliminal mindfuck kinda way)

 

Kirsha
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2003 1:17 pm


I have also noticed that polls are getting out of control too :roll:

I think more and more people are learning how to create animated avatars and also how to host them etc. Quite often you associate the user with their picture, sort of placing a face to the name!

They do not really bother me, the funkier the better!
(However some of the flashing ones tend to be a little hard on the eyes :shock: )

 

telli
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 3:31 am


if your gonna put that much effort into your avatar then... yeah cool whatever? who cares... however there is a psychological link between your choice of avatar and your personality. i just dont remember the link :?

(if i remember correctly tho) i really liked that fire one of suspira's and dreamthief's slappy penguins and the A.D.D one. oh! and those bouncing possessed bunny rabbits of dissectional's?

 

phoney
Posts: 1279
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 4:46 pm


Warning:


Staring at my avatar for too long may cause epilepsi.


But I accept full responsibility. :)
SamuraiJack
Posts: 10043
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 11:56 am


SamuraiJack wrote :
I've noticed that people's avatars are getting truly out of control. Not that I mind so much, but they are much more colourful, animated, than ever before.

Has anyone else noticed?



It didn't seem like anyone actually read what I said. I didn't say it was a problem, or that I minded. Just that the avatars are getting out of control.

Remember. I like out of control.

 

Semuta
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2002 1:58 pm


Of course there isnt a link between ones psychology and the image they choose to represent themselves.

as if!


.... then again :roll:
hmm....

 

tripn
Posts: 6721
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2002 5:28 pm


ive never had an avatar. where can i get one?

 

telli
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 3:31 am


the morgue :P

 

Esoterica2000-III
Posts: 2992
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2002 1:42 am


I actually have a problem with SamuraiJack's fucking avatar, he hasen't changed it in over 3 years... :shock:

 

SamuraiJack
Posts: 10043
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 11:56 am


Don't fuck with what works I say. Also, I can't be fucked looking for a new one. Maybe I'll find one that's better, but I doubt it.

I actually have better things to do than look through a shitload of tiny .jpgs for a better one.

Besides which. I like it.

 

Esoterica2000-III
Posts: 2992
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2002 1:42 am


SamuraiJack wrote :

I actually have better things to do than look through a shitload of tiny .jpgs for a better one.



I'm sure it takes people hours and hours to find one, maybe days?

Anyway I guess I'm just jealous at you, you know, with you looking all and shit..

 

flashfire
Posts: 2241
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2002 10:28 am


Found this interesting piece on the psychology of avatars here: http://psydok.sulb.uni-saarland.de/voll ... psyav.html This study was based on a particular chat community called The Palace. It's long and interesting - I found myself pinpointing Australiens with their seemingly relevant psychological disorder and avatar type.

Jake - you may wanna check out narcissistic and 'evil avatars' ;)

We social scientists love to categorize the phenomena we study. So allow me to indulge my professional inclinations. One way to categorize avs would be to use well-known personality types as a guideline - for example, McWilliams (1994) system for psychoanalytic diagnosis. Although these types described by McWilliams are for clinical diagnosis, when translated to a non-pathological dimension, they also are very useful in categorizing "normal" personalities. The theme, characteristics, or interpersonal impact of an avatar may be closely associated with one of these specific types.


narcissistic - themes of power, status, perfection, grandiosity; draws for admiration and praise; feelings of being "special" and "privileged"

schizoid - themes of interpersonal detachment and indifference, perhaps combined with evidence of abstract or intellectual thinking; little evidence of warmth and tenderness; the "loner" themes

paranoid - distrust, isolation, hypervigilance, blaming or finding fault with others; cold, humorless, argumentative characteristics

depressive - gloom, darkness, loss, low self-esteeem

manic - energtic, grandiose, impulsive

masochistic - self-destructive, themes revolving around the "bad self" or "woe is me"

obsessive/compulsive - seriouis, formal; themes of control and perfection; shows evidence of a concern about details and rules

psychopathic - antisocial, violates rules; little evidence of shame or guilt; takes advantage of others; possible superficial friendliness or charm

histrionic - attention-seeking and seductive in flavor, dramatic, emotional, vain; themes involving dependency

schizotypal - themes of being aloof, indifferent; evidence of magical thinking or superstitious beliefs; peculiar characteristics

Another simpler approach to categorizing avatars would be to group them according to more general visual types. Here I'll outline several different categories of custom avatars. By no means is this list definitive or exhaustive. There are many ways to slice a pie. I've chosen these categories partly because some of them are fairly obvious, and partly because each one conveys interesting psychological and social themes - themes that, in some cases, overlap with the personality types described above.

(for each of these sections below, there is a link to a subpage that contains the same text, but with accompanying graphics)

Animal Avatars
Animal avatars are some of the most popular at the Palace. Some people come as their pets. Because animals symbolize certain traits or attributes in myth as well as popular culture (e.g., strength, loyalty, grace, independence, cunning, transcendence), the animal chosen for an avatar probably bears psychological significance to the person - perhaps representing some real aspect of his or her identity, or some characteristic admired by the person. Thinking in the tradition of the Native American, we might even regard an animal avatar as being an individuals "totem" - i.e., a symbol of one's essential nature or potential.

Cartoon Avatars
When Bumgardner designed the Palace, he specifically choose a "cartoony" atmosphere. For example, the balloons that pop out from one's head when speaking is a carry over from the world of comic strips. Bumgardner felt that people would readily identify with this atmosphere and find it intuitively easy to use. The cartoony ambience also fosters a playful regression among users. Bumgardner wanted people to feel like they were "getting away with something" - which surely is a familiar theme in comic strip plots. As a result, it's no surprise that cartoon props proliferate at the Palace. While younger users (adolescents) may be more inclined to don cartoon costumes, older members frequently use them as well. The psychological significance of the cartoon character probably affects the choice made by the user. People select characters with whom they identify or admire. Some cartoon characters have very specific cultural significance and may even represent archetypal personality types (e.g., Bugs Bunny as the confident trickster; Aladdin's genie as the powerful but benevolent friend). Rather than relying on childhood cartoon figures, some adults wear cartoon avs of a more sophisticated style - some of these classified as "anime." The psychological tone of these avs tend to be more seductive, whimsical, or mysterious.

Celebrity Avatars
Celebrity avatars tend to follow trends in popular culture. And like items in popular culture, they may quickly become epidemic and then disappear. There may be a variety of motives behind the use of these avs. People may use them to express personality traits or social issues that are associated with the celebrity's image (sensuality, intelligence, power, corruption, rebellion, etc.). The user may identify with, desire, or be poking fun at these attributes. They may hope to bolster their self-esteem and identity by establishing their connection to the celebrity. They may simply wish to display a knowledge of current events in pop culture. Celebrity avs also advertise one's specific interests in entertainment in order to find like-minded users: "Hey, I like Seinfeld! Anyone else out there like Seinfeld?"

Evil Avatars
Everyone has a dark or "evil" side to his or her personality. The definition of "evil" varies from person to person, although usually it has something to do with malicious, aggressive fantasies and/or feelings of guilt. Note how many Halloween costumes fit this category. As a form of sublimation, evil costumes allow people to safely - and even creatively - express their dark side. While some members may wear an evil av as their facade for the evening (which may reflect their mood at the time), others may "flash" it as a momentary cue to others. Mess with wizards, for example, and they may flash their evil av as a warning that they're getting annoyed and may pin, gag, or kill you. On one occasion, I witnessed a male come on to an attractive female member wearing a real face prop. When her attempts to brush him off failed, she flashed a nefarious looking skull at him. He quickly backed off. Some people may use evil or aggressive avatars as a way (consciously or unconsciously) to alienate or "put off" other people. This might indicate their anxiety about intimacy and being vulnerable.

Real Face Avatars
Most users do not use pictures of themselves as their primary avatars. People prefer the partial anonymity of expressing only limited aspects of their personality through imaginative props. Or they simply enjoy the creative fun of experimenting with new identities through their avs. In more rare cases, members find the use of real face avs to be an uncomfortable, dissociative experience. "I have a picture of myself in the prop file but I really don't like to use it any longer than it takes for me to show it to a new friend," said River, a wizard. "It is a little disturbing to sit here at home and see myself speaking in cartoon balloons in a non-reality. Whew!!!!"

When users do present pictures of their real faces, it may be a gesture of honesty and/or intimacy - a sign of friendship, or even romance. Showing one's real face av can be a very poignant experience. Several members have described to me encounters when an intimate conversation culminated in their companion showing a picture of themselves. "That moment will stay with me for a long time to come," one member stated, "The value I placed on that particular moment was, friendship, trust, a sense of oneness." This same member described how there seems to be a pattern when an entire group feels compelled to use their real faces - what he called "face nite." For that period of time, the intimacy and friendship level reaches a point where people wish to step out of their masks and out of their anonymity. They want be as "real" as possible.


Idiosyncratic Avatars
These avatars become strongly associated with a specific member - almost as if it is that person's trademark. In some cases the avatar may be highly unusual or creative. Sometimes it is quite simple. Yet its association to the particular user is so strong that others experience it uniquely as that person. While trading props is a common practice, the owner of an idiosyncratic av rarely gives it away. It would be like giving one's identity to someone else to use. Conscientious members also don't "steal" (i.e., screen capture) an idiosyncratic av and use it as their own. They respect its integrity. If someone does steal and attempts to wear an idio av, they must be willing to put up with criticism by the friends of the owner.



Power Avatars
Power avatars are symbols of... well... power. Many, if not all, people have conscious or unconscious fantasies of omnipotence. Who wouldn't want strength and invulnerability? These types of avs seem to be most common among male adolescent users. In some cases the power theme is benign. Sometimes not, which may be a variation of the "evil" avatar. Because competition invariably accompanies displays of power, members seem to vie with each other in creating the most "awesome" power av. This competition is probably more common among the adolescent users. Members who persistantly display power avs may be troubled by underlying feelings of helplessness and insecurity.

Seductive Avatars
Female seductive avatars tend to be more common than male - although these female avs sometimes are "manned" by male users (see "Male Gender-Switching in Cyberspace") . In fact, the general impression among members is that males are more likely to prop up as females, especially seductive females, than women dressing up as males.

Members usually wear seductive avs to draw attention to themselves. This works very well. Male users, especially guests, quickly flock to a sexy female form. The owner may be interested in harmless flirting, or (less frequently) be advertising his or her availability for cybersex. I heard one story about someone's office friend who, when frustrated on the job, says "I need a Palace break" He then signs onto the Palace dressed as a sexy female and lures guys into bedrooms. Being sexy not only gets you attention. It also gives you power and control over others.

Some people wearing seductive avs wish to be admired as an attractive, sexy individual, without necessarily being interested in flirting or cybersex. "I have some very sexy stuff given to me by friends (all men!)," said one female member. "What do they say about me? Not quite sure, except that I would love to be younger and more beautiful and some of my avatars are that indeed."

A seductive, sexy, or simply "attractive" avatar can have a powerful impact on other members. Other members may display seductive avs simply to be admired for their skill in knowing how to create a seductive av. Because the Palace often feels like an ongoing party where people are going to flirt, playfully compete, vie for attention, and strut their stuff, it is almost a prerequisite that every experienced member owns a seductive av of some type. "Getting away with something" is an intrinsic component of the Palace culture, as Bumgardner intended. Having at least one seductive av is a cultural must.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. As one member said, "I don't really think that sexy type props are for me, just wouldn't be a true representation of what I'm about."

Other Avatars

Whenever we social scientists go about categorizing things, we always end up with a miscellaneous or "other" category. There is such a wide variety of avatars that it's impossible to neatly classify them all. The same is true of personality styles (which is the origin of the prop). Here let me briefly mention just a few other types of avatars.


Odd/shocking avatars are unusual, strange, and sometimes downright bizarre pictures - perhaps revealing people who like to surprise, goof on, or even startle and outrage others. Truly bizarre pictures might make you wonder about the person's grasp of social appropriateness, or even their mental health. Such very unusual avs are most popular among adolescents - for whom extreme behavior is a way to express independence and individuality, and to test the limits.
Abstract avatars may be used by people who enjoy enjoy symmetry, are good (non-verbal) conceptual thinkers, and/or are inclined towards visual artistic endeavors.

Billboard avatars are announcements of some sort - political, philosophical, personal. They are used by those who have something to say and are not reluctant to display their thoughts in a commercialized type format.

Lifestyle avatars, which are quite common and varied, depict some significant aspect of a person's life - usually something to do with occupation, hobby, or personal habit. It may be a way to attract like-minded individuals.

Matching avatars are designed to accompany each other and indicate the connection or bonding between the pair of members. Considerable imaginative and technical skills may go into creating such avatars.

Clan avatars - are worn by members of the same social group, some might even say "gang." These avs tend to be similar in basic design with slight variations to differentiate each one from the others. As such, each user announces his/her allegiance to the clan by adopting its collective visual appearance, while also maintaining some measure of individuality. It reminds me of the songs in some bird species. The species identifies itself and its members by a basic template that serves as the collective song. Yet each individual bird adds a small unique variation to that template in order to signify its individuality. Clan avs are found almost exclusively among adolescents for whom belonging to a peer group - and conforming to its standards - is a developmental hallmark.

Animated avatars contain motion, such as an eye tearing, a bird flying, or a flag waving. By visually diplaying "behavior" they can express a wide and subtle range of psychological meaning. Tapping a finger, blinking one's eyes, banging one's head against the wall - there are infinite expressive possibilties. The motion usually is cyclical and repetitious, which - depending on the type of avatar - may convey a feeling of persistance, determination, mindlessness, or rhythmic peacefulness.

 

susan
Posts: 2124
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2002 5:29 pm


So according to that I enjoy symmetry and am inclined towards visual artistic endeavors - surprise surprise ;)

 

susan
Posts: 2124
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2002 5:29 pm


SamuraiJack wrote :
.................
I actually have better things to do than look through a shitload of tiny .jpgs for a better one..


No need, pick anything - Photoshop it to 150 x 150 pixels.

Ps: After more than two years your avatar finally made sense to me a few weeks ago - my kid was sitting in front of the television cheering loudly for a cartoon hero. I went to see, and there was your avatar animated in all it's glory! I'd never heard of that cartoon before.

 

Barbarian
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 5:00 am


I'm quite impressed by Flashfire's post, its a great study. I too wonder about these issues in regard to identity, and whether usernames/avatars influence the choices we make in life, since every part of someone helps make a whole person.
I liked the bit about seductive avatars, like how that retard Jaded was trying it on us, that's why i lifted his paris hilton picture and did an animated headfuck on it for a while - and like a celebrity avatar they went away.
The problem i have now is about being self conscious about the whole issue but that is always part of the deal with analysing people and ones self. I tend to forget after a while anyway and get back to it. The link here is a good resourse online for following this stuff. http://www.geocities.com/ptypes/correspondence.html
It really pays to do the Myers-briggs test properly, i was lucky last year and my tutor for communications is a qualified tester and councillor so we did it properly and i did a few free tests online and they all turned out the same answer

 

aNTAcid
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:02 am


Mine is simply a picture of myself with my ex, DJing to 1,000 people at an illegal festival I organised. Simply somes up a really happy time in my life, and is quite a cool picture too, with the UV and double exposure.
full version at http://www.planetzogg.co.uk/albums/Shef ... techno.jpg

 

flashfire
Posts: 2241
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2002 10:28 am


Barbarian wrote :
It really pays to do the Myers-briggs test properly, i was lucky last year and my tutor for communications is a qualified tester and councillor so we did it properly and i did a few free tests online and they all turned out the same answer


I have issues with the Myers Briggs.... I guess the main reason for that is that I scored the same points for both Judgement and Perception both times that I did the test, 12 months apart. Ultimately however, MBTI can be helpful if you're feeling a little lost and are trying to find a good fit in terms of career. http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp But, in terms of categorising personality types, I much prefer the Enneagram http://www.9types.com/

Anyway, it's time for this ENTP Type 4 to do some work.

 

FeralBrown
Posts: 5944
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 2:26 pm


hmmmm... I can't really see any of those reflecting mine... the closest is "schizoid" or "schizotypal", I guess....

Either that or I'm just a miscellaneous motherfucker... hmmm... :?

 

~Wicked Angel~
Posts: 3012
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 9:17 pm


I thought you would have liked mine SJ, shes blonde with big tits ;)

 

Cosmic Wizard
Posts: 690
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:32 pm


phoney wrote :
Warning:


Staring at my avatar for too long may cause epilepsi.


But I accept full responsibility. :)


Brillant phoney. But it's all to hard. What about the lazy sods who use Australiens? What, we have to get off our lazy fat asses and do something creative?. Never!!!. Cheers

 

ozbreaker
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:49 pm


On the forum i nnormally post on i have my hero iraq's former minister of information http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/ becuse i feel we both have alot in common. (ie we both talk alot of bollocks..)

I dont know i fir in with that profile....

 

Scat
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 1:48 pm


Ohhh who would have thought having a cartoon avatar could mean so much.
:roll:

And the MBTI test is good for career choice, I am currently in a sales role and really don't enjoy it...I have been offered a job with the RSPCA and the test says I would be much more suited to that then what I am in now...

 

-=trashy=-
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2002 9:19 am


SamuraiJack wrote :
Maybe I'll find one that's better, but I doubt it.


There is no way you will find anything that more represents you Alex :)

I am moody, so my avatars tend to reflect that ;p

 

Barbarian
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 5:00 am


flashfire wrote :
Barbarian wrote :
It really pays to do the Myers-briggs test properly, i was lucky last year and my tutor for communications is a qualified tester and councillor so we did it properly and i did a few free tests online and they all turned out the same answer


I have issues with the Myers Briggs.... I guess the main reason for that is that I scored the same points for both Judgement and Perception both times that I did the test, 12 months apart. Ultimately however, MBTI can be helpful if you're feeling a little lost and are trying to find a good fit in terms of career. http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp But, in terms of categorising personality types, I much prefer the Enneagram http://www.9types.com/

Anyway, it's time for this ENTP Type 4 to do some work.


woweey zoweey, im in a similar boat to you - I consisntently get ENTJ's, but occasionally have an ENTP - just a matter of rating fairly balanced/similar between judgement and perception- if i could i'd excell at both!
it is Just the difference of being "mr bossy boots, no humour gets shit done Barbarian", or "mr fucks about but does brilliant and amazing shit but is a sympathy whimp Barbarian". or i get too drunk and fuck it for everyone.

-oh and i'm an aries and a generalist, which is what spun me out about that site whose link i posted earlier.
- so really, what came first avatar, star sign, cosmic fucking woohoo or John Howard
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