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When Avatars were first announced I did think it was a slightly odd choice of name for Xbox’s Mii equivalent. You see, in the code that we use at work an “avatar” is simply an in-game object. Spades, fence pieces, tiles, houses, totem poles, garden furniture, eggs and most other simple items are all classed as avatars. Even the slightly more fanciful characters like Cooper and Leafos have avatars constructs hidden within them. I couldn’t help but think it was quite a cold name.

Obviously, the rest of the world doesn’t have this hang up. Since they’re release this week these caricatured playthings spread across the Xbox community and are now grinning back to me in abundance from my friends list.

Personally, and I’m not just saying this I promise, I like them. I have always felt, as amusing as they were initially, the Miis just were a little too bland. The concept was amazing but I didn’t quite feel as attached to my Mii as I probably should have been due to the abstraction.

On the opposite end of the scale, the characters I’ve seen from Sony’s Home are too trendy. Every video of them has almost intimidated me into not wanting one of their’s. From a glance at their shots it seems that you have to live in an ultra trendy part of a fashion conscious town to be accepted in their beautiful people community. I could be completely wrong but I do not like the vibe that’s coming forth.

And so we have Avatars. They’re not perfect but they’re a nice middle ground. Support for them is rising forth from several Arcade games but it will be the full retail games where they make their mark.