It's okay if you need to read that headline again. It's pretty confusing. Here's the gist of it: Microsoft filed a patent
in June of 2008 for the automatic generation of an Avatar
based on a user's physical health. The patent application, discovered by 1UP
, specifically details an "avatar generator" that "reflects a physical characteristic of the user." Physical data about the user would be used to "reflect a degree of health of the real person." In turn, this could be linked to "rewards of capabilities of a gaming avatar, an amount of time budgeted to play, or a visible indication." In other words, the patent is all about "injecting a degree of reality" into Avatar appearances, thus encouraging users to exercise and maintain a more active lifestyle.
Beyond this, the filing also explains that the generator could be used to reflect all kinds of data about a person, including religious beliefs, politics, hobbies, and even intelligence. Such information could help users connect with like-minded individuals. The patent application even notes that the generator could take "hidden physical characteristics such as allergies, chronic conditions, etc" into account, thus helping users find other players with similar conditions that might "understand someone with a like condition."