An avatar by any other name


The intellectuals over at Terra Nova are questioning where people come up with their online names. Actually, they're intellectuals, so they ask "how the name came from the person?" It's far more Earth Mother sounding that way.

With the proliferation of MMOGs, millions of people are trying to construct original names because "there can only be one" player with a certain name on most game servers. So what goes into developing your online identity? Are you a person that just goes for some variation on a Lord of Rings character? Do you go to BabyNames? What's your inspiration?

Interesting to note is the focus for academic query regarding MMOGs to tend toward cross-gender issues. Terra Nova asks, "How do you pick your cross-gender name? A feminized/masculinized version of your own? Something simple, so that you don't stand out? Or something outlandishly gendered, in hopes of making the most convincing performance?"

It's always fun asking questions about how people develop their personal identity in online games. However, to get to higher level content you'll have to develop friendships and probably join a guild (or whatever the respective term is for the MMOG). So, the real fun comes when you actually meet your guild members for the first time in real life; pairing the online identity with the person. Now that's a red pill trip!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.