Avatars for chat rooms

Rawr, a messaging app released Thursday in Apple's App Store, offers the twist of letting you create a 3D avatar.

You choose one of the app's generic avatars and then spice it up by customizing the body, face, mouth, ears, clothes and other features.

They can also choose personality characteristics such as “flirty” or “bashful.” District attorney’s investigator Mike Harris has received many calls about the website from concerned parents in the past several days, according to Pam Russell, a DA’s office spokesperson.

The characters look like animated boys and girls, and one parent thought her child was simply playing an interactive game with dolls.

Participants can create characters using hundreds of options for physical attributes including skin color, hair color and style, and clothing.

Every user starts with an avatar depicting Snoo — Reddit’s mascot — and currently, it doesn’t seem like those avatars can be changed.

This lends the chat a certain air of anonymity, a quality Reddit values deeply.

It all felt very wholesome, like the long-lost AOL days where people liked logging into random chat rooms to connect with strangers.

The flip side is that vintage chat rooms had their problems, too.

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