Avatars and Identity

Avatars and Identity

Research Data Australia grant information


Justin Clemens, Thomas Apperley, John Frow.


The avatar, a virtual representation of its user, is the key element of interface technology for everyday computer use in the twenty-first century. While specialist aspects of the avatar have received intensive attention from the technology industries and scholars, the focus of the work to date has been on the technical efficiency of the interface, rather than understanding the full social implications of its use. Through a historical, ethnographic and critical analysis of the role of the avatar, in consultation with industry, this project offers a unique opportunity to develop a wider perspective that will contribute to an understanding of the uses and policies for the digital economy.