An Avatar (/ˈæv.ə.tɑːr/) in its raw form is simply a user digital representation, on the web or in a local game. In the 80s, the need to bring more lifelikeness into games arose. Players wanted characters they could relate to faster. An avatar, therefore, meets the need to make interactions between the user and the game interfaces more immersive so that the user feels more invested in the gaming experience. Having an avatar on social networks or in the metaverse means the same thing - making the perception of the living and the virtual become one, avatar and user ultimately being the same person but in parallel dimensions. But the avatar in this context is more imagined in 3D ultimately, as the metaverse would have it.
^ “Nft Avatars- Why The World is Going Crazy About Them?” Metav.rs, 2022