"at the touch of Rick’s hand the pointed feminine face of the new avatar looks back at him from the screen"

An Xbox360 avatar, which represents a user on Xbox LIVE
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumAn Xbox360 avatar, which represents a user on Xbox LIVE - Credit: Xbox LIVE official avatar

An avatar is the graphical model of the character that a player controls in a game. These are often fixed, but can sometimes be customized to allow a more unique image. This is especially the case in role-play games. The image that represents a user in internet forums and chat rooms can also be referred to as their avatar.  The term was coined by the designers of an online role-playing game called Habitat in 1985.