When your friend sends you a little character waving, and that character looks like a mix between her and a Simpson? Honey, that’s an avatar, and it’s taking over. Avatars are graphical representations of a user, but as we move into the Metaverse, we may discover more and more options for avatar-ization. Pretty soon, these avatars will come with a subscription to Goop and go on vacations into outer meta-space (exactly like the regular Metaverse, just more pretentious). With so many out there, how do you pick one? And — more importantly — what should they wear? Read our guide for hints on how to accessorize every type of avatar.
The OG! A customizable, full-bodied avatar that looks like you. You can customize and use your Bitmoji across tons of different apps — Snapchat, iChat, GChat… all the chats. All the social media apps. Honestly, Bitmojis are pretty cute. They can wave and smile, and you can dress them up with something simple, like a baseball cap. Avatars should have stopped here.
The Memoji builds on the Bitmoji by using Apple’s Face ID system to match your avatar even more closely to your face, which means these avatars can be accessorized with very realistic pimples. You can get these in your Apple SMS app. Don’t get too hooked, though — today, it’s free, but tomorrow, it’s the only way to port your contact over from your old phone, and it’s $1,300.
This is a two-person Bitmoji! If your friend has a Bitmoji, then you can combine the two of them into a Friendmoji. Friendmojis are basically two people standing next to each other, which is what friends do, according to the programmers who built these. These avatars can be accessorized with friendship face tattoos, as only the face is visible.
Now we start to get into the super meta ones… the crypto avatars. CryptoPunks basically launched NFTs, and for that, they’re very sorry (well, they’re not, but if they had any manners, they would be). Unlike most avatars, CryptoPunks have a monetary value — no two are exactly alike, so if you have a good one, someone might pay you a pretty penny for it. And I say “penny,” because they will be paying in cryptocurrency, whose value we will likely soon be measuring in 1- and 5-cent denominations. In my opinion, they’re less aesthetically pleasing than the other avatars — they almost look like digital renderings of Legos. Any accessory you add will up your avatar’s uniqueness, but since we’re going punk here, can I suggest a pink mohawk?
Meebits are an Ethereum-based NFT avatar. Ethereum is basically the hipster Bitcoin, which is to say, your Meebit will likely be wearing a fedora. These are 3D avatars rendered in voxels (pixels with volume… duh) to make a more realistic rendering of the user. Except that everything about them is square, so unless you spend your life in a CrossFit gym and have ground your jaw into oblivion, they don’t look that much like you. Impressively versatile, Meebits can be used to play games in the Metaverse and the IRL-verse.
Another NFT-based avatar, and one you can generate before buying just to make sure you got the one you wanted. Yeah, because an ugly nose is the most convincing reason why not to invest your money in NFTs. These look more like creepy dolls than the Lego-like other NFT avatars — they fit the unicorn aesthetic so common in the Ethereum community. Accessorize it with some Botox, since you have the option.
Microsoft Metaverse Avatars
Remember Microsoft? Well, it’s stepped into the Metaverse race. Just last month, Microsoft announced users could use its 3D Metaverse avatars inside Teams, Microsoft’s meeting software — and your avatar really will look like you, except through the Uncanny Valley. These Avatars have the look of a Sims 3-5 if I’m remembering my Sims interactions correctly. I’ve only ever used Teams at work, but I do like the idea of not ever having to look at my co-workers’ faces, so I’d say I’m on board. Accessorize this avatar with black blue light sunglasses, to best hide that you’re sleeping through meetings.
Facebook Codec Avatars
These avatars are notoriously more lifelike than the avatars that went before them, which is ironic, since Facebook as a company is notorious for depleting so many of us of our vitality. But seriously — Facebook tried to brag that you could see the pores on its avatars, as if this were a good thing, so you’d better accessorize with some concealer.