A toon is a synonym for a character in a video game that
is a role-playing
game, usually used only in the context of Massively Multiplayer
Online Role-playing Games
as World of Warcraft.
Character, avatar, or toon are synonyms in this context.
(Avatar is a misnomer, however.)
In role-playing games
, a great deal
of effort is spent in creating a unique persona or character before play begins. During character generation, the player
makes choices that
will affect the gameplay, such
as appearance, name, gender, race, and class. Once created, these characteristics are immutable, as they define the play experience. The selection
of class determines the strategies the character will use to succeed.
In short, Role-playing games
have great replay value because a player
can re-experience the game using a new character or toon.
Toon is presumably a contracted
form of cartoon; video game characters are animated, after all. The origin
of this term can be attributed to the standard root of all leetspeak (internet jargon): a need for efficiency for lazy typists.
Toon is probably used because it is shorter
to type than the word character. Anyone familiar with these games
can easily surmise the meaning
of the term from context. Furthermore, the term avatar is avoided as it can possibly create confusion. In roleplaying games
, avatar also refers to the incarnation of a deity.