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Sunday 5 May 2013

What's in a name?

Earlier this week I posted about going to meet one of my guildies who I'd never met and a comment left by Navimie got me thinking about names. I'm not talking names in general but what players like to be known as in-game, whether this in any way relates to their real names and what bloggers / twitter users use.
Navi said:
I love meeting people but sometimes the etiquette is funny - I actually PREFER being called by my game name than my real name by people in WoW! :)
My real name is Jo (well Joanne) and I suspect this is no surprise! I am known in game as Jo or Jojo, my battletag is Jojo #2423 (add me if you wish), and I blog and tweet under the name Jojo. Whilst the majority of my guild know my full name, I have been less open when it comes to blogging and twitter and simply use Jojo rather than my Google+ name. When I started this blog I honestly didn't know how long it would last or whether anyone would even read it. This combined with wanting to protect my personal thoughts, feelings and opinions is why I have been open yet remained equally hidden.
My guild
As I've no doubt said before my guild is very social and we (generally) refer to each other by our real names. In part this is because we are mostly alt-oholics and it makes things easier to have a single name used in the notes of a single persons numerous characters. Another reason that I think we use real names is that the majority of us are realID friends so your name is displayed in full (I'm not sure if there's a way to hide your surname or not). However, we now have Battletags!

I am in no doubt that other guilds operate in just as functional and social a way as my own guild without the need to disclose real names. I mentioned using your name to mark your various alts above but this would work equally as well if you noted the alts of a player with their mains (or even just a single consistent) name.
I'd like to talk a little about Battletags now as I really do think they're brilliant. I'm happy to display and hand out my battletag to people I meet randomly in-game or via blogging and twitter but I'd be less inclined to give out my realID - and I don't think I'm alone. Part of it is because I appreciate that small amount of anonymity. I have a fairly distinctive surname; one that would easily allow me to be tracked down and found! Whilst I happily share my entire name with my guild friends (a number of us are even friends via Facebook) I don't fancy the idea of being found by randoms. On the flip side if someone I communicate with regularly, say a fellow blogger/twitterer, said how about meeting up at BlizzCon for example (assuming we were both attending) I'd be like sure why not - but that's planned and not random!

The bad side of anonymity!
I'm not saying that all players that use their characters name in game, to blog and tweet under are idiots!!! But, I'm sure we're all aware that there are people who play WoW who use this anonymity as a shield which they hide behind following their (often offensive, childish etc.) actions. These people are a minority I believe and unfortunately something we have to expect to come across every now and then. Thankfully Blizzard understand this and there are ways to /ignore and report these people.
Recently Big Bear Butt had an issue with an idiot and you can read about it here.

Folowing Navi's comment I thought a lot about 'What's in a name?' and hence this blog post was born. I'm really intrigued what other people feel about names and gaming:
  • are you happy for your guild to refer to you by your real name? or do you have a nickname/pseudonym? or do you use your characters name?
  • do you blog/tweet using your real name (for example Google+) or do you use a nickname/psedonym? or your characters name?


  1. I don't even like it when people irl use my irl name, lol! I'm not fond of it. And I'm so bad I use a Facebook account and a gmail account in my dogs name. Only a very few people know the real one.

    1. Well that's certainly different! Having said that I know a couple of people who use a pseudonym instead of their real name for similar reasons - but none named after their dog... Sadly I don't personally know Indianna Jones :(

  2. Darnit... This would have been great to cover on GroupQuest this week. Now I'll have to wait for next week to cover it.

  3. I find I like being called Z in game, my first toon was called Zira and Z sort of stuck like a nickname. All my close wow friends use it regardless of what toon I'm on and I find I get lost if someone who only knows me by an alts name calls me that instead of Z. I've sort of got around that by renaming some of my alts to names beginning with Z :)
    Though I don't mind being referred to by my real name and its been said over vent by a number of people, I usually just go by Z. There are a group of my guildies that do a running email every day (need to fill in work hours somehow!) and I've noticed that we tend to use both real names and game names when we talk to each other in our emails.
    I also have a habit of using game/real names alternatively even when I'm on the phone to a wow friend.. so to me the two names tend to get jumbled up and used interchangably.
    I blog under Zeriah who is my main toon now, and fb under my real name but the fb account only has wow friends who are on my ri so it's all mixed up anyway :)

    1. I did think about talking about naming conventions but I wasn't sure how commonly people use them. I know two people that do - a guildie that names his characters after anime people (I think) and my boyfriend, believe it or not, also uses Z as his naming prefix!!
      I find it weird when I get referred to as Oogleme (my mains name) and if someone refers to me as an alt I'm not sure if I even notice they're talking to me.
      My guild also has cases where people mix & match real and in-game names. I think a lot of new guildies take a while to realise that so-and-so's real name is 'x' and that they aren't two different people.

  4. Nice post! I find it funny that our names in game are still given nicknames. When I created Arvash, I never thought that others would would be calling him Arv, but I went with it and it just stuck. Most everyone in my guild has each other on RealID, but we usually just refer to each other in chat and on vent by our toon names. At our most recent guild meet up, we started the week calling each other by our WoW names, but by the end of the week, we were using real names, lol. To me, I find it weird to call someone by their character name when speaking face to face; I find it more personable to call someone by their real name when you meet them IRL.

    1. Thanks :) Yeah I'm terribly for creating a character and within a few hours either shortening it's name or nicknaming it.
      I get what you mean about calling a person their real name in person - it's different when theyre really there in front of you and not a bunch of pixels on a screen. Plus, some people name their characters all sorts of weird and wonderful things - I know I'd struggle to not laugh at some :P