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Saturday, July 14, 2012

What's in a name?

I've been playing MMOs since 1997. Before then, I participated in MUDs and before THAT there was AD&D. I have seen a LOT of character names, from the pure role play to the, "I think I'm so bad ass I'm gonna pick a name that will leave no doubt of it - KillUAll."

That last sort of name is the type of name I hate most. It's presumptuous to the point of arrogance as well as stupid. If I was a Goon, I'd gank you just to prove you aren't all that. You'd cry juicy tears, threaten me with your invisible friend the null-sec main that fly's a titan and then rage log. I just hope the invisible friend has a better name.

So what is a good name you ask? Well, I'm going to tell you. But first, let's quickly cover what I believe does not make a good name. This is my own opinion. Yours no doubt varies - especially if you fit one of these categories below.
  • See above.
  • Any name based on a known celebrity. (Think Justin Bieber.)
  • Any name based on a body part. (Really, we all have one that's gender proper and yours isn't that special.)
  • Any name based on an established Sci-Fi character unless as a pun. (As if you were even close to that cool.)
  • Random letter and/or number combinations. (Do you have the imagination to really play this game?)
  • Any name that includes an unwarranted title. (Unless it is a pun!)
  • Any name based on a historical person, country or empire... (")_(")
I am certain that I left some out. Please feel free to make additions in the comments. I won't mind if you even include mine though you'd be wrong about that. Anyway, here is what I feel makes a good name (mostly in no particular order.)
  • Nicknames that you've always used. (It provides continuity if you run into someone you've gamed with before. Yeah, I had to list this one first because hey - it's me and it's been in near constant use for a decade and a half!)
  • Clever word plays that would not normally be associated together. (Like the last line of a really good haiku.)
  • Puns which do not violate any of the no-nos listed above. (Who doesn't like a good pun? Ever seen a name that just made you chuckle?)
  • Solid Role Play names. (This is just a gaming standard and it won't ever go away.)
  • Everyday people names. (We ARE the 99% after all.)
  • Declarative and/or self-descriptive names that do not go against the list above. (Unless you can prove it and are willing to post evidence publicly so there is absolutely no doubt.)
  • Just absurdly funny. (Especially if it can be interpreted NOT as intended.)
  • Any combination of the above.
Did I miss any? I'm sure I did. You can add those in the comments as well. I'm always on the lookout for a good naming convention. (Or just a small social gathering if the people are really smart.)

And just so you don't think there really is no point to all this, here are some good names I've collected over the last two weeks in New Eden in and why I think they are good names. Enjoy!

Ladyofsacrifice - I want to know what she's willing to sacrifice.
Bigsack0weed - Who stole all the weed?
Trance Cendant - I wish I was.
Obiwancannabis9 - I guess he really was a farmer after all.
flearider - No doubt.
Motivated threyshrod - Whatever the hell he is he certainly is motivated!
argvark - Clever.
Runny EITiberon - Need a tissue?
TroutSlayer - ROTFLMAO
Spoomer - I'm so sorry.
Forget Myface - Done!
Miserable Orlenard - At least he's honest.
General Fancypants - Aren't they all?
Pritimanic - What out for the down side!
Enslaved Mistress - I SO hope this is declarative.
Obscure Cronenwerth - This one tickled my ivories.
Cheri Marashino Asanari - This one just rolls off the tongue.
Sia Layda - Much better than CU L8R, which I have also seen.
Sissy Trissy - Nice rhyme but is it true?
Rockshok - Look out 'roids!
Diabolic Excavator - Be careful, he'll steal your backhoe!
SirWiggles PenyFarthing - SirWiggles, do I really need to say more?
Dav TheUnwashed - Thanks goodness pods are sealed.
Habberblaster Fasterdasher - Just say it three times fast.
Justaboot - I wonder if he's steel toed?
Feersum Endjinns - Where!?

If you've seen any names that made you look twice, chuckle or LOL, please throw them into the comments. I'd love to see them. Thanks!

Fly careful.

12 comments:

  1. Since you remember MUDs, you may remember the tintin triggers program (which was popular with Diku style Muds) - their most famous ones were to make you flee if you began to get low on HP (usually noted with the words PANIC or BLEEDING in the hit output).

    The one I frequented back in the day (Renegade Outpost) liked to run every now and then in a 'hell mode' for a few hours a week (PK), which would then be rolled back and continued as normal.

    Well, you can imagine the chaos that ensued when I created a character called PANICANDBLEEDING. He lasted about 30 seconds before one of the gods zapped me into their office - and then proceeded to level me and drop a ton of equipment in front of me. But did warn me not to bring him in the normal game. :) What a blast that evening was.

    As for normal characters - Sungak Alkandenes. He's been around in one form or another since 1991 (including the aforementioned MUD). The longest-running form of the character is a Rolemaster Lay Healer (though currently also a town mayor); That form has a 'true' first name of Sognec since he's supposed to be Nordic.

    Then there's Alan Kiesler (SL) and a reworked form of that name (Alain Kinsella) used in Eve. I will likely answer by both on the street, depending on context.

    Since 2004, however, I've identified myself on Uru, There.com, Steam and related forums under my RL name. Which is what I'm most comfortable with now. Should not take long to figure out what that is, since the above names are linked to it in a certain way (and I'm no longer playing Eve, so its not a big deal to me in revealing it).

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  2. I will have to tell Forget MyFace that he has been featured.

    My game names all rotated around my main MUD characters name, Ice for a long time. Eve was one of the first games where I broke out of that mold.

    The side effect was picking Kyle as a surname because everyone assumes its a descriptor and a first name instead of a first and sur. Something about men playing eve or something random...

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  3. Oh... we do have I DontLikeWhatYoureDoing in the alliance. His title is "Holder of the West Name in New Eden"

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    1. Worst name. Love the typos.

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    2. That last name you mentioned, Feersum Endjinns, is actually the name of one of Iain m. Banks Sci-fi novels.. Feersum Endjinn I recall. He's fairly popular in British science fiction with his Culture books.
      Cheers!

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  4. Can't say that it's as great as the above but I swear the other day I saw a Miss Deviant. Not a great name by the rules above but she was flying a Dominix at the time. Was it an advert of some kind? I'm new to EVE but I didn't realise all the service industries had reached here. I blame 50 Shades of Grey!

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  5. Favorite one I've seen in a while has been "Primary Secondary Secondary." I laugh every time I think of an FC trying to call him primary target.

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  6. Guild/clan/corp names bother me more than character names. The ones that really torque me hard are the sinister-sounding but meaningless (and often misspelled) two or three word combos like "Incipent Distruction" or "Furry of Angles" - that last one I saw for real, in wow. I thought maybe it was a great troll until I asked the guy if the angles were acute or obtuse, and he said "wat?"

    If you don't have time to spell-check your corp name, you don't have time to run a corp.

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  7. Names based on historical figures can be good. Indeed, everyday names often are that.... Often those names will satisfy the criterion of "good role-play names" (although, yes, I know that Earth's history isn't known in the world of New Eden). Likewise for names from literature. "Claudius Starfarer" would be a reasonable name, even though Claudius was a Roman emperor and a character from a very well known work of fantasy.

    (Hey, "Hamlet" is fantasy! It has a ghost in it!)

    (Re: my name: it's a name of a character from a sci fi novel. But it's not the name of any of my EVE online characters. Given the reality of the Goons, and the fact that I don't like that and say so sometimes in message board posts, I don't post under the name of my actual characters.)

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  8. I always thought my name was something akin to "any combination of the above" of "good things". ;-) It's always nice to hear the chuckles in the background when someone speaks to me in comms, or I call someone else "over the air". ;-)

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Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.