Note — Oct 03, 2021

Avatars and Identity

If, like me, your attention with regards to NFTs is mostly peripheral and from a distance, this post by Sean Bonner should be a useful lens on the construction of identities in online communities, avatars, and the role provenly unique NFT avatars can play. I’m also noting his thoughts because, although he’s well versed in the technical side, it’s an opinion coming from decades of wading through many subcultures, not from technical dreams.

offline I can I look at you and know who you are, know if I know you or not. Online, I look at your avatar. And your avatar can be anything. And if your avatar can be anything then you can be anyone, right? Right. That’s equal parts liberating and terrifying. If you can be anyone, how do you know who anyone is? Or maybe more importantly, does that even matter? […]

His identity is connected to his Avatar. His Avatar shows his connection to this community, and unlocks special membership privileges. His Avatar is also a unique digital object that he owns, because it’s an NFT. […]

People already spend a lot of time, effort and money crafting and curating their online persona – the dismissal that they wouldn’t buy an Avatar to signify their connection to a community or social standing is silly. That’s so obviously where this is all heading. And the natural extension of this is if your identity is tied to an Avatar, and you have many different Avatars then you natively have the potential for many different identities.