Jason Kottke highlights the moving story of a teenager whose fondest memory of his now-dead father is playing a racing game on the man's old Xbox. Ten years later, the teen drags the videogame console out of storage, and starts playing one of their favorites: The racing game RalliSport Challenge. And then realizes that the "ghost" of his father is contained within the save files of the game. In RalliSport, you see, a record of the player with the best score is displayed in the game as a "ghost" car for other players to beat. So in a sense, his father's old score became an avatar that the son could race with, years after the man was gone:
His ghost still rolls around the track today. And so I played and played, and played, until I was almost able to beat the ghost.... and stopped right in front of the finish line, just to insure I wouldn't delete it.
Since "avatar" literally means "godly incarnation on earth", I think it's accurate to call this car his father's avatar. And while it's a strange thing to read about now, but in future decades, experiences like this will be as commonplace as looking at old photos of our loved ones.
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