The Hot or Not web site was an early web sensation when it debuted in 2000, letting you rate how attractive women or men were with a simple voting system. Now Avatar Reality, the maker of the Blue Mars virtual world, let’s iPhone users vote on how hot, or not, your avatar is.

This is an attempt to snare an audience for a sophisticated simulation experience by creating a lighthearted and entertaining lightweight app. That’s a common strategy for a lot of brands trying to make a living in the digital online world.

Avatars are virtual characters. In Blue Mars, you can create these 3D animated avatars with a great deal of realism. The Honolulu company is using the mobile iPhone app as a way to market its larger virtual world, which resembles the Second Life virtual world but has much more high-end 3D graphics.

With Blue Mars Mobile, you can use the same avatar in the iPhone app as the one you can create in virtual world.

Blue Mars launched
its open beta in October, 2009 and began selling virtual land to third-party developers in January 2010. The company was founded in 2006 by Henk Rogers, who introduced Tetris to the world, and Kazuyuki Hashimoto, former chief technology officer of Squaresoft and former vice president at Electronic Arts.