Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Nomme de Guerre
On the off chance that this post makes it into a Google search in time, I want to direct all potential SL newcomers to this article by Tateru Nino before they log in for the first time. Have a care when choosing your SL nomme de guerre. This isn't like World of Warcraft, or Everquest, or some other online fantasy world. Ultimately, no matter what avatar you don, you're not playing a High Elf wizard or a Dwarven warrior. At the root of it, you're just yourself.
I'll give my name as an example. Way back on New Year's Day of 2005, I entered SL for the first time. Without thinking about it, or really knowing anything about the culture of the grid at the time, I just slapped my old Everquest pseudonym down in the box, and chose a surname that alliteratively suited it. Moriash Moreau. There. Now on with the important part of the game. Like bludgeoning the hair sliders into covering that bald spot on the back of my av's head.
And, for the last 22 months, I've regretted it. I'm dressed up as a random schmoe in t-shirt and leather jacket, and I've saddled myself with a moniker better suited to the hero of a fantasy novel. (Or, if I were to be brutally honest, the heroine of such a book.) I'm often a little embarrassed to even say my name aloud in RL conversation, and nobody else can pronounce it without coaching. (It's "more-EYE-esh," by the way. I invented it, so I get to decide how it's pronounced.) But, like a RL name, I'm kind of stuck with it.
Sure, I could trash this account and start over with a more reasonable user name. But that would mean throwing away what little fame I've managed to acquire in the last 23 months. Okay, I'm no celebrity, but I like to think I'm not a complete nobody, either. Come to that, losing the "1/1/2005" in my profile would be tough, too. In a few years, assuming the Grid survives, that'll be worth some serious early adopter street cred.
In any case, you newcomers should heed Ms. Nino's advice. Pick a name you wouldn't mind being called everyday in real life. Pick one you wouldn't mind explaining to your grandmother, or your employer. This could very well be an identity you're adopting for years to come.
Whether you like it or not.