In an interview with OXM, Xbox boss Don Mattrick has claimed that he personally invented the concept of Avatars. In 1991.
The section from the chat in full:
DM: I’m claiming to have invented avatars! I did 4D Sports Boxing! Do you know what 4D Boxing was? Hey, you should be writing this! That was me.
We know what 4D Sports Boxing was. It was published by Infogrames, wasn’t it?
DM: Accolade was the first to publish it, and Infogrames published it in Europe. But write this down! “Don Mattrick invented avatars for the industry.”
Does creating 4D Sports Boxing really count as “inventing avatars”, Don?
DM: C’mon! It’s human, it’s in 3D, it has a face… it was genuinely the first time there was something human-shaped in 3D! Look it up!
Draw your own conclusions. There’s more through the link.