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What Does Your Avatar Say About You?


by pianoru

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NEOBOARDS - If you've spent much time at all playing Neopets, you probably know what avatars are - little square pictures that show by a user's message board posts, Neomails, or by their username when you look them up. If you aren't caught up in the avatar craze, you may wonder what the big deal is. Well, there are lots of reasons to collect avatars, but one major reason is that they show up every time we communicate with other people on the site - they help show who we are. It's like a mini userlookup, personalizing everything you say! Avatars are part of the way you portray yourself on the site. So what does your avatar say about you, and which avatar should you choose to send the right message? Here are some things that avatars can communicate:

Your Interests - Demonstrating interests is a major reason why people choose the avatars that they display. I'm really into Wockies, so most of the time I use an avatar with a Wocky on it. I have several choices - the Scratchcard Kiosk Wocky, the Grey Wocky, even just the standard Wocky, but I usually use the Magax: Destroyer avatar. People who like battling can display the battle faerie, weapons, or Battledome challengers on their avatars, or even an avatar that asks, "Wanna Fight?" Are you into a certain petpet? Many petpets have their own avatars, too!

Your Personality - Show off your quirky side with the I'm Smelly, Cracked, or Random Contest avatars, or use the Illusen avatar that asks, "Aren't I a doll?" If you're friendly and chatty, you might use the Neomail Addict or Helpful Zafara avs, or if you don't like to be bothered, you can use an avatar that says, "Back Off!" Are you a bit on the evil side? Try the Devilpuss, Kass Minion, MSPP, or Evil Jhudora avatars to display your true nature.

Your Skills - Have you spent hours perfecting your abilities at a certain game? Show that you can get that high score by displaying that game's avatar! If you're a restocking champion, use one of the avatars that come from buying a rare item in the shops. One of my favorite skill avatars is the Kadoatery - Mew av - getting that one took TONS of work. And what if your main skill is avatar collecting? If you're one of the top avatar collectors on the site, you can show that with the Avatar Collector avatar!

Your Mood - Feeling excited? Use the Whee! avatar. Down in the dumps? The Grey Wocky - *sigh* av can show how you feel. If you're annoyed, try the Dr. Grumps or Bleh!! avatars. What if you're not sure how you feel? There's an avatar for you, too - try the Skarl - Moody av!

Your Luck - Want an avatar that even some of the top avatar collectors haven't managed to get? Try a luck avatar! Amazing skills or large quantities of NP won't help you get those. You just have to keep trying, and trying, and trying... these can be the most frustrating avatars for collectors to get, but some lucky newbies wind up getting them on the first attempt. Some examples: Tooth Faerie, Wheel of Excitement, Jester, and Turmaculus.

Bragging Rights - There are some avatars that are so difficult to get (usually because they're expensive) that using them is a way of showing off! Some examples are the avatars that require equipping a pet with an expensive item (Super Attack Pea, Grarrl Warrior), refreshing your inventory with an expensive item in it (I Taunt the Pant Devil, MSPP), or using an expensive item in a certain way (Stamp Collector, Mootix). These avatars are fun to use, especially if you like attention, but they can also attract beggars and scammers, so be careful!

Happy [fill-in-the-holiday] - Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a green avatar or Halloween with a spooky avatar. There are even some holidays with avatars specifically designed for them, like the Easter Cybunny and the Quiguki April Fools avatars. Show your holiday spirit!

Recent Accomplishments - Have you been doing Edna quests every day for months and you FINALLY got her avatar? Let everyone know about your triumph! Did you just get your 10th story in the Neopian Times? Show off your NT Star av! Some avatars take lots of work and effort, and you deserve to have that effort recognized. Let people see what you've been doing - revel in your success.

What You Think Looks Good - Even with all the things you can demonstrate with your choice of avatars, many people still choose their avatar just because they like the way it looks. And that's ok! Some avatars are worth using just because they're attractive. Some people like to show cute avatars, like Gnome! or Babaa - Maths Nightmare, others like fancy animated ones like Pwned by the Lab or Freaky Factory - Yoinked, and still others like dark or evil-looking avs like Darigan Peophin or Count Von Roo's Deadly Dice.

Rebellion - Do you hate avatars? Do you refuse to follow the mindless trends set by hapless avatar-seeking lemmings? You can't "turn off" your avatars altogether, but you can refuse to select an avatar and just stick with the default avatar. Show everyone that you won't do anything you don't want to do! The only trouble is that there are tons of newbies out there displaying the default avatar because they don’t know how to switch to another - so by leaving the avatar-seeking lemming crowd, you’ll be joining the avatarless newbie crowd. But hey, you’ve gotta stand up for what you believe in!

So what if you know what you want your avatar to communicate but you don't have the right avatar? What if you need to look at different avatars to get some ideas? Drop by the Avatars/Neosignatures Chat boards! You can look at a board with lots of posts to see a variety of avatars, or if you know what you want, try making a board to find out how to get it. Helpful people on the boards can give you tips for improving your games scores or tell you where to refresh for a particular av that you might be looking for. They can also direct you to avatar help pages, but be careful visiting any non-Neopets sites!

I hope this article has helped you develop some ideas about what avatar to use and how you'd like to portray yourself on the Neopets site. Feel free to Neomail any questions, comments, or constructive criticism to pianoru. (Just plain mean criticism should be kept to yourself! :P) Have fun showing off your avatars!

 
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