What Is In a Name?
One of my first AHA! (and simply HA!) moments with Everquest was in their Guide program and how the EQ name filter worked.
The name filter was manual. Every guide on at the time would get a popup box asking if the proposed name was suitable – and guides simply clicked “yes” or “no”. This lead to some pretty hilarious interactions as you might guess, as people try to “beat” the name filter.
- “GiantShlong” [no]
- “BigSchlong” [no]
- “Big5chlong” [no]
- “BigSchlOng” [no]
- “LittleDong” [yes]
Kidding on the last one, although that would had been a frustrating outcome for a guy trying to explain his manhood size via a pixelated avatar. Eventually, the guy would choose “Mehlan” or something such as that and get the big “yes”.
This was a little bit like Whack-a-mole as you only had X number of seconds (10 I think?) to say yes or no. If you missed the 10 seconds it was an automatic yes, and if you said no, it went into an automatic deny filter for future dong-size-exlaimers (and such.) So in essence we were building a name filter one click at a time. This wander down memory lane leads me to contemplate further on names – my in game names in particular.
My very first EQ character was Fisdib – complements of the name generator. The memories I have with Fisdib defined to me, what an online world was. Mystery, intrigue, learning, exploration – oh, the exploration. Hell, I remember in EQ beta being the first gnome people in Qeynos ever saw. It wasn’t easy to cross continents back then. Fisdib died when the beta ended – I was accepted into the EQ Guide program and recreated a gnome, Stalbik, to be the avatar supporting EQ gamers and EQ brass. It was a lot of fun.
When I gave up guiding I couldn’t just be a regular player and was drawn to supporting EQ through the test server. Zraka was another name creator (so good back then!) and I settled in strong on Trolls but wanted to tank.
Braack was born. My EQ main. Last name was torn between BigMacAttack or Baacaarat. Wisers head prevailed and I went with the latter. I also went with Braack in WoW as my first character. Other names I have used often in my MMO career is Briike (an alt, just a play on Braack) Bleyzn (several games – DAOC and EQ to WoW – last name Saddle (I know, hipster creative!))
Most of my WoW raiding career was as Couchon (Pig en Francais) which fit a shapeshifting elf somehow. Of course, my American friends just called me Couch, and Ottoman, and other furniture items. I was a guildleader as Couchon and that is what I am best known as in good old WoW. After moving druid-dom to alt status, Isey was my Enhance/Healing Shaman and my class of choice. I also love tanking on my Pally – but only 5 mans. Sad – I don’t even remember my Paladin’s name! (and not resubbing to find out for you).
Poivre, (Pepper en francais) is my typical handle on FPS games. Seargeant Pepper. No one ever gets that. I am too old.
As the games change and the people I play with and around change I still tend to stick to the same names – and its often fun when you get a whisper “are you Braack from EQ?” -or- “Are you Couchon from WoW?” often followed by CHEERS and I am [insert name] from [insert game] – and its great, in this global community, to run into people that way. That is like saying “Oh, I have a cousin in China. Do you know them?”
I’m curious if other people stick to same naming conventions and/or have their favorites they stick with. How do you approach your handles in games?
[off to EQ testserver to recreate Fisdib..]