Avatars are the personifications of human users in digital virtual worlds (VR) and in digital overlays of the real world ((AR). They vary between worlds/platforms in their complexity, sophistication and realism, ranging from abstract human busts with floating hands, to cartoon like caricatures, to photorealistic clothed synthetic humans, to accurate full 3D body scans of individuals.
Avatar selection and customization is a key feature and differentiator for digital worlds. It’s an area that is greatly influenced by the social norms and standards within a particular digital world, and as such is highly contextual. Much thought, discussion and prayer needs to be applied to the question of avatars in various settings, especially those that mirror current Church structures/environments. What may be appropriate for a junior high youth group (like hybrid reptilians humans?) may not be appropriate for an adult Bible study group where personal authenticity and venerability could suggest nothing less than the most accurate avatars possible. Anyone who has struggled with “dress codes” can see some of the pitfalls and challenges in this area. Likewise anyone who has ever felt some discomfort when an “unusual” looking visitor joins you in a worship service.