Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's All In The Name

So names mean alot, usually. But they do not actually mean anything really. I mean honestly names are just tags we use to identify ourselves from the others who more or less look pretty much the same as us.

So obviously gaming frequently gives us the option to choose a name for ourselves. Most usually in the multi-player gaming scene. Single-player RPGs sometimes let you give yourself a name as well. But in that context it is utterly pointless as most games will simply take your name to be "x" variable at insert whenever "x" is called for in the game's script. 

But in the multiplayer games the choice of name is very important and I for one feel that people need to spend either a great deal of time thinking up their name, or none at all. Because either you want your name to be meaningful or you dont. 

If you dont want it to be meaningful then great. Just use your own name with some numbers after it. I would recommend "Bob11Forty". Or in my case: "Ryan17Forty". Just make sure to put Forty in it for me.

If you want it to be meaningful however then take a great deal of time to analyze what you want your name to reveal about yourself. Maybe you would like reveal your profound love of DBZ, and therefore call yourself -xXx-Goku-xXx-. I wouldnt recommend naming yourself after the main character of an incredibly popular show however. A lesser minor character might be acceptable, but the main character, it lacks originality. Unless it is the main character from a long defunct show that lends credit your "geek credentials" 

However this leads into another point. The use of prefixes and suffixes and what we assume they will apply to our "gaming cred", if you will allow. For example, someone might add a simple l33t in front of their name in imply that they are in fact "Elite". This should be avoided, at all costs. If you are in fact an elite player of the game, your opponents will find this out very soon. Your name need not tell this to them. Conversely you might think that putting noob in your name should be commended. This too should be avoided, for you never want to give people on the internet any advantage to lob insults at you. They will find something regardless and there is no point to give them easy shots. This point was proven when someone named themselves "gay boy" and proceeded to record the litany of insults that the Xbox Live community unleashed upon him. Being truthful is not to be pursued.

So what should you put in your name? I would personally recommend your nickname that friends call you. They typically are in short hand so people can quickly say it if they need you to turn around and kill the spy about backstab you. However you might want to add something that defines who you are. 
Myself for example have used RyePunk for over 6 years now.

Rye is shortened Ryan, and Punk is because I am something a fan of Punk ideals. However I like to point out that I am a punk against the punks because they are practically the norm nowadays. 

If i was to recreate a new name I would probably use something that reflected my love of history. So maybe something like "PyrrhicRye". Actually that's not half bad. Might use it in a future game.

So there you have it. Well almost. If you are choosing a name for an online RPG then basically you want to choose a name that fits the setting. So for World of Warcraft think Tolkien-esque names. For something set in Star Trek or Star Wars, I'd recommend a combination of name from various characters that you liked. But not Kirk Spock. Or Luke Skyclimber. I usually use Galcyon. Why? Because the random name generator in KotOR tossed it up and I liked how it sounded. 

So that is pretty much all I have to say about names at this point in time. just remember a few more bits and bobs. Names that are essentially bragging rights should be avoided at all costs. Randomness gets extra brownie points, having a name that says you are elite, pro, extreme or and such positive reinforcements to your already overinflated ego should be avoided.

Okay? Well do try to apply those. Thanks. And buh bye for now.

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