Center for Human Modeling and Simulation

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version

June 1998


Copyright 1998 IEEE. Reprinted from Proceedings of Computer Animation, 98, pages 19-24. Publisher URL:

This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Such permission of the IEEE does not in any way imply IEEE endorsement of any of the University of Pennsylvania's products or services. Internal, or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to By choosing to view this document, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting it.


We analyzed Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash for all references to avatars. This analysis is documented here, including a comparison of the Snow Crash avatars to the current state of real-time virtual human research. The avatar characteristics discussed include appearance, clothing and attachments, ethnicity, locomotion, body actions, forms of communication, and emotion and personality.



Date Posted: 13 July 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.