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My Avatar is Better Than Your Avatar


by comet_blaze

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A lot of us spend a great amount of our Neo Time on the boards - whether it is to chat or lurk, we're there when we want to know what's new around Neopia, when we need help, when we want to advertise trades and adoptions and also - and maybe most importantly - to show off our avatars. Expensive and Elusive avatars make me drool and every time I see that beautifully elusive bilge dice - 10 wins in a row avatar my face goes as green as a kilo of asparagus. But - does it mean that that player is more accomplished than me? More experienced? Or just plain luckier? I'm one of those Neopians than completely defines a user by their Avatar and pet combo. For example - if I see someone with an expensive item avatar, I automatically assume that that person has about 1 gajillion NP in their bank. But of course - they could've just been lent by a friend, right? Or if I see someone with a gaming avatar, I automatically assume they work for a gaming company and they found it easy as pie to achieve. Although after conducting some research, I realised, that really, only I thought like this.

In order to find out what real Neopians felt about avatars I set up two boards - one on the avatar chat, and one on the help chat. It seems that there are many reasons to how people choose their active avatars. And it also seems there are also many different time scales between switching avatars.

TYPES OF AVATAR USERS (as defined by moi)

1. The Personality User

This user will select the avatar that best suits their personality or character. This avatar will tend to be semi-permanent in order to define a connection between user and avatar.

-REFERENCES FROM HELP AND AVATAR CHAT

"I choose mine by how I want people to think of me. I'm currently using FQD because I'm bubbly."

2. The Pet User

This user will usually select the avatar that best suits their pets. As in; matching themes, colours and personality. This avatar will tend to be permanent depending on the active pet in order to define a connection between pet and avatar.

-REFERENCES FROM HELP AND AVATAR CHAT

"I chose mine based on my favorite pet color and my love of all things Lost Desert. I haven't changed my avatar in two years, I'm devoted xD"

3. The Signature User

This user will define their avatar by their current NeoSignature. They will choose avatars based on Theme and Colour in order to make a suitable font out of it. Some Signature users want an image to represent their quote or persona defined in the signature. These tend to be commonly changed depending on the signature.

-REFERENCES FROM HELP AND AVATAR CHAT

"Depends on what the theme of my signature is. Like, right now I'm using the Heir of Breathe symbol as my signature, so I'm using the Angry Air Mote avatar. But I change my signature and avatar pretty often."

4. The Mood User

This user will choose their avatar based on the mood that they are in at that particular time. They will define mood by Theme and Colour and sometimes make a signature to go along with the mood. These avatars users tend to have Neoboard pens and change very frequently.

-REFERENCES FROM HELP AND AVATAR CHAT

"I use an avatar depending on the mood I'm in and the type of font I've created for it. Lately I've been on a huge Final Fantasy kick, so I chose this avatar because I made a Chocobo picture font for it, or I'll switch to my I Taunt the Pant Devil avatar because it has a quote from a character out of the series with it."

5. The Like User

This user tends to choose avatars depending on what one they like the look of. This is complete personal taste. It is not defined by value, number of hours worked for or commonness. This avatar tends to be semi-permanent until the user finds another one that they like the look of.

-REFERENCES FROM HELP AND AVATAR CHAT

"I just go for ones I like despite the value or how hard it is to get. I like this one and the gloomy one the best."

6. The Different User

This user tends to choose their avatar depending on the current avatar trends on the board. They tend to go for the avatars that are least common and do not define by value or work. This avatar tends to be semi-permanent until the user realises a lot of other people are using the same avatar and will change.

-REFERENCES FROM HELP AND AVATAR CHAT

"I choose ones that no one else uses; that way I don't look like I'm trying to fit into a crowd. I've never met anyone that uses this avatar so I think I'm doing good so far. (:"

7. The Default User

This user tends to use one of the default avatars that aren't classified as secret avatars. They choose this to be different from most users - as most don't use the defaults. This avatar tends to be commonly changed - but to other default avatars.

-REFERENCES FROM HELP AND AVATAR CHAT

"but in all seriousness a lot of my friends use default avs so an avatar doesn't make you cooler. "

8. The Newest User

This user tends to use their latest avatar as their active in order to show their achievement on set daily, game or item. This avatar tends to be changed every time the user obtains a new avatar.

-REFERENCES FROM HELP AND AVATAR CHAT

"I use mine because I just got it and I think it's spiffy."

9. The Worker User

This user tends to use their biggest achievement as their avatar, as in a game avatar that has taken them a lot of hard work or an item avatar that has taken them a while to save for. This avatar tends to be semi-permanent as the user really has a personal connection with the obtaining of the avatar.

-REFERENCES FROM HELP AND AVATAR CHAT

"I chose mine because I earned it."

10. The Envy User

This user usually chooses the avatar that they think most people would be jealous of. One that is usually rare or lucky. This avatar tends to be permanent because the user likes to feel slightly superior.

-REFERENCES FROM HELP AND AVATAR CHAT

"I like to choose avatars I think people would envy that aren't overused such as the high valued ones or just avatars you don't see much."

***

It seems that there are a lot of reasons behind your active avatar; what category do you most fit into? Obviously you can push together any of the categories I've stated into a cool combo, but the principle is still there, right?

Moreover, do we find that we judge other Neopians against their avatars? During my research, it seems that users who have either the Super Attack Pea or any Stamp avatars are automatically given respect or awe by fellow Neopians. However, other Neopians think that item avatars have lost their "value" because as one Neopian says: "I don't care about expensive avatars. They're insanely easy to get if you know the right people." If you've ever been brave enough to go onto the avatar chat, you'll see there is a lot of trading going about. And yet, I find myself - a proud, self sufficient Neopian - without these expensive avatars and I almost feel a little less glorious. I also find that people with Super Attack Pea or MSPP avatars appear very intimidating on the boards - as if they have achieved a lot more in a month than you will in your whole Neolife. As one Neopian confirms: "People have said they feel intimidated by my avatar. I wish they didn't and I have thought of changing it to stop that." However, mostly it seems that most people don't fully judge a Neopian on their avatar - but more at their account over all - and specifically to avatars, they look at avatar count more than the active. I find that the combination of avatar, avatar count, user event and game trophies, pets and the way they chat online is really the only -fair - way of completely judging a Neopian. And I have learned that maybe I should probably look at myself if I'm judging other people by a tiny 50 pixel by 50 pixel image. Right?

And furthermore, in a few cases I've found during my investigation that some users refuse to set their expensive avatars as their active because of the amount of Neomails they receive about lending said item. Do we have no shame!?

Collecting avatars is such a fun part of Neopets and it definitely keeps me interested and setting goals along side my others. Avatar users come in many different categories and sub categories and some cross over between categories. Well, you get the idea. In conclusion, avatars do give a picture of who you are and in some ways give you automatic respect depending on who's judging. As for me - I believe that any reason for showing your avatar is a good reason. If you want to show your expensive avatar, go. If you love the Pink! Avatar, then go! If you spent about 46 hours trying to get the Bilge Dice 10 in a row avatar, then well done, you. All in all, it should be shame on me for judging you for your fantabulous avatar. Sorry about that. ;)

 
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