Monday, January 19, 2009

Avatars: What does your user image say about you?

Hello again, RAFians! I apologise for not getting last week's article up when I intended it, but life has been rather hectic on this side of things. Let's get down to business, neh?

Avatars. Most of us have them, some of us change them like we change clothes, some of us could not care less. Regardless of how you feel about those cute, funny, or quirky little icons beneath our usernames, you rather must admit that they say something rather distinct about the person that uses them. Sure, we can all use our signatures to SAY things, very deliberately those are designed for textual statements, and we are all free to psychoanalyze each others' siggies to our hearts' content. Avatars, though, are a direct representation of the person who is speaking in each post.

I, for instance, use Wakko Warner of the Animaniacs as my avatar. It has been this way since I joined RAF last February. Of course, I am not some strange-looking male dog-cat-skunk-creature wearing a red hat, blue turtleneck sweater, and no pants. I do not belch publicly nor speak with a Scouse accent. I don't sing about the state capitals to the tune of "Turkey in the Straw".
Why, then, should I choose Wakko to be my avvy?
To be honest, I just am terribly fond of the Animaniacs, and as a fan of Animorphs, you might consider me an Ani-maniac, after a fashion. When I first joined RAF, the image of Wakko was the first one to catch my attention, so I went with it, and I have never had any desire to change it.

Richard, on the other hand, simply uses an understated red letter "R" for his avatar. Short, sweet, simple, and very easy to understand, this avatar tells much less about Richard than Wakko tells about me. The most we can gather is that he holds an affinity for the colour red and that he doesn't feel the need to project his personality at all times.

Others, like Claire, show a fondness for an actor or a television programme. Phoenix uses an image of a supernova, and Anna changes her username and avatar with almost dizzying frequency. Touquie uses a scrolling image of the four elements and their Japanese names. Qwerty uses the avatars of various RAFians, scrolling according to the alphabetical order of the members' usernames.

Tell us, RAF: why did YOU choose YOUR avatar? What does it tell us about you, as a person?


WildWeathel said...

My plan is to change avatar once a month, just following the RAFparty. So far I've done:

Jo-Jo from Horton Hears a Who (Dec 08)
Very much a character I identify with.

Panel #3 from "The Thunder Spoke" by myself (Jan 09)
Mmm. Eliot for the win. I like thunderstorms, but Faerie had taken the pic I was going to use. So, I dug into the archives and came up with one of my own

What's next? Well, that's a surprise. I will say that it'll be another film screencap, just as soon as I can figure out how to break Disney's DRM. Or just break down and pirate the movie I already paid for (silly DRM).

For the parties themselves, I've used a South-Park style caricature of myself. But, that just felt a bit off. Now that goom has linked us to a morphing program, I'm considering doing one of a weasel morphing to one or more RAFians' avvies. Yeah, that sounds good.

It's similar to Qwerty's "I love RAF" thing, because I too love RAF. The 5-second review is her shtick, though, and I'm happy to do something a bit different.

My chat avvy is a picture of a weasel on an easel, since when registering, I dropped my second "w". Nothing real profound there, just punny.

goom said...

frankly, i'm obsessed with goombas.
i rarely change my avatar once i find one that suits me.

-many thanks, anidragon!-

Unknown said...

Mine is a little GIF of me glowsticking. I thought that a static image was boring, and you couldn't read my old one, anyway. At the time I was figuring out how my sticking looked on camera. It looked kind of cool, so *poof*.

Anonymous said...

Well I always wanted a pet, so I made an RAFpet by getting some animal pictures from the net and combining them with Photoshop. Really like how it came out...