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Running in the Special Olympics

Discussion of the Evolving Nature of the MMO Industry from an Outsider's Perspective

Author: PhatWOP

Whats In A Name or A IPWNj00 is just as dumb by any name pt. 2

Posted by PhatWOP Wednesday January 30 2008 at 9:31AM
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Hello again all,

I would like to continue our little discussion about naming today with two more very popular archetypes. My hope is that with some furhter anthropological exploration, we can determine more about these strange and exotic species.

Let's start with a group I call the Same Namers. Same Namers use the same name for their character's in every game. It doesn't matter what game it is, they have a set name for a "character" and that is simply what they use. So if Ragabon is their Warrior in WoW, it is also their Bounty Hunter in SWG, their Black Orc in WAR and so on. This group is the most mystifying to me and also the most stealthy of the namers. YOu have to either a) know them over several games or b) know them personally to even be aware of their habits. That's right, you too could currently be good friends or even guildmates with Same Namers and not even know it. This group is also made up of two major psychogrpahic profiles. The first type of person who inhabits this group doesn't particularly care about names at all. They play the game for some other reason besides "inhabiting the digital world". They care very little about Role-Playing and simply want to get at the crunch of the game. As such, they long ago decided on a vanillia name that serves their purposes well enough and they see no need to change.

Ironically, the second major part of this group is the exact opposite. The second part of this grouping has developed a Character. They are strong role-players and no matter the game they are playing THAT character. They also like the ability this constant name gives them to be recognized by friends and guildmates across multiple platforms. Perhaps this character originated outside of MMO's at a table-top game, perhaps it represents a deep-seeded part of the players real psychology that goes underexpressed in daily life. It's hard to say for sure. Whatever the true reason for this manifestation, they are playing that character. It could be a bad-ass warrior woman who takes no guff from her male counter-parts and has had to strugle for respect her whole life, or a mischevous roguish type that is a perrenial con-man with a heart of gold. Whatever the character, it's malleable enough that it can fit into any genre with very little coaxing. This species is definetly a herbivore, with standard day/night cycle rotations and a strong pack mentality.

Let us now move onto the second Species we will discuss today. The Name Copiers. They are a completely different species from the Same Namers. These are people who are named Leggolass, legolass, yodahh, Vadar, etc. Their are countless examples and the most interesting thing about this phenomenon is that it is not restricted to the IP's they are copying. Certainly you will see close approximations of the famous characters in LoTRO, but I saw all of these same fellowship copying names in DAoC and UO as well.

But what can we know about this group? This groups closest analogue is actually the 1337 d00d. These tend to be the kinder gentler form of that species. I do believe that this group actually tends to be on the younger side as it is easier for children to try to replicate their heroes and idols in a digital form without remorse or concern over the lack of creativity. This group is the true enemy of the funny name species. The funny name species believes that it has to strive to be original in every game and it wants more than anything to draw attention to itself for it's originality and humor. This group is exactly the opposite in that they end up drawing attention to themselves for their complete lack of creativity. This group is currently on the endangered species list ans naming policies in many MMOs are attempting to eradicate this tenacious species. Despite the efforts, the species lives on, adding secondary and/or nonsensical consanents and vowels at every opportunity.

Next time, in the final Blog on naming, I discussnaming policies in games and whether or not they can ever be successful.

Until next time, may you never find yourself in a group of Leggolass, Aragern, Lucc Skyrunner, Gramm the Punchy and Connnan.

malachidark writes:

I like these blogs, they're very funny.


You need to discuss the possibility of HYBRIDS though!

I'm personally a Same Namer. I have a list of names saved on my computer that I look at when I make new characters, very rarely do I make a new name. But I like my names, each ones fits a certain role. There's "Rakseph" the destroyer, usually plays a dual-wielding class, and there's "Igor" the mercenary, usually is a ranged character.

But, some names I use (like Igor for example) are funny. I've also used "Wargazm", "Hasslehoof", "Frostitute", and "BruceChillis".

Also, when names I like are taken, and if the game allows, I will replace a letter with a number. For example: Igor is taken, therefore I create Ig0r! And if I can't use Ig0r, then I use Igor's second cousin twice removed....Aigor!!


See? I'm 3 out of the 4 species!! Fortunately I'm not a Name Copier, although I did have a character named "Veknilash" but I didn't know it was a boss in WoW, I swear! lol

Wed Jan 30 2008 3:57PM Report
Hexxeity writes:

One time, someone in CoH told me my costume was ugly, so I laid into her about her lame-ass copycat name (some stupid ripoff from a D&D novel).

She seemed genuinely upset, and I felt very satisfied.  My costume had won contests, dammit.

Wed Jan 30 2008 4:33PM Report
PhatWOP writes:

Well first off, my blog is already so long as to be bordering on unreadable, but I appreciate the feedback Mala. Indeed I think you have keyed onto a truth though that at times we can be Hybrids and our motivations may in fact be different in one game than another.

For example, if a game takes its lore or IP very seriously, I may be more serious, If I am plying WoW, I don't for minute worry that naming my female gnome warlock BigGreenPuffball is going to rub someone the wrong way.


Wed Jan 30 2008 4:40PM Report writes:
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