When I was a kid, my last name was so strange that it was borderline profanity. Whenever my homeroom teacher would read it out loud off of the attendance list, the entire class would erupt into hysterical laughter. It was a character building experience-- not in the conventional MMORPG terminology, but in building of me, and my personality. It was one of the foundations on which my creativity and imagination were built. Had I not been born with a ridiculous surname, I’d be… uh, someone else.
When we’re traveling along in our meta-verses of choice be it EverQuest
, or World of Acronym Wars Online
, we use names to express our creativity; to bring a little bit of life to our alter egos. Surnames add that extra uniqueness. After all, in an MMO where you have about six hairstyles to choose from, surnames separate us from the “sameness” that we get holed into. It removes us from the hundreds of copycat renditions of Legolas, and Eowyn to give us at least one more thing that we can personalize and make our own. That is, unless you play a game that doesn’t allow you to choose your surname. If it's your first time playing a game that has this wonderful freedom, it can be pretty confusing at first.
As for myself, I couldn't wait to try it.
So, it started out harmless enough. I decided to take on the cutesy last name of “Barefeets”. I went through the game UI options, and found out that I could remove my boot graphics. This was the result.
It was fun to walk around like that for a weekend, but then I decided that the name wasn’t a good fit. I realized that I was limiting myself. I could do so much better. Like many other gamers, I change my mind about my character names a lot. Thankfully, the folks at Turbine
, makers of Lord of the Rings Online
, had the foresight to know this. Players are allowed change their surnames by merely visiting a Notary again and paying another 10 silver. Let me tell you, it’s 10 silver well spent!
I mean, it's 10 silver well spent if you can get that far in the naming process. They're kinda' strict about their surnames, I guess. Body parts are not allowed.
Sheesh! How about pet names that are usually reserved for your boss?
Well, that one didn’t work so well either. Maybe it wasn't role-playish enough! I decided to get a last name that was more Tolkienesque.
I didn't really want that one, so that's okay. I was actually thinking this one would be way more RPG-ish.
I started to get frustrated with the strictness of the faming filter. It was time to boldly go where practically every naming filter has gone a hundred times before, and after a while, things began to go my way!
When it comes to naming, this is where people have to put on their thinking caps. As you can see, most of the good names are either taken, or are deemed inappropriate by the naming filter. One could say that the world doesn’t like bad or weird sounding names, but that’d be a lie. I mean, if that’s true, then how can we explain Engelbert Humperdinck?
I might not ever find the perfect MMORPG surname, but for as long as I play video games, I’m going to keep on trying.