17 December 2012

What's in a Gamer Name? with Allison at Geek Banter

Xbox gamertag
Anyone who games or knows someone who does is familiar with the gamer name or tag. Sometimes they are a source of pride, other times a point of ridicule from your friends who aren't gamers when they are let slip in real life ("Ummm... WHY did you just call Allison 'silentshadowwhokillsyouall'?"). Side note: that is not my real gamer name. Don't worry.

Why do we use gamer names? In my opinion, for two reasons. 1) So the random people we are playing with do not know our real names. 2) Because they sound cool and immerse us in secret identities that we also use to hide behind when saving the world as superheroes.

Choosing your gamer name is a daunting task. Do you want to sound clever? Silly? Dangerous? Sneaky? The choices are endless. If you can't decide, there are lots of gamer name generators online that will match you with your perfect name. For example, I visited a few today, and here are some of the gems I was given: "Klunphthoo," "Freelance Frost," "Professor Mustard," "Psycho Eraser," and "Sewer Pancake." That last one's my favourite.

During my gaming escapades, I've noticed some trends in gamer names:

Pop Culture Reference Names - These are the names that reference music, books, movies, TV shows, or even other video games. I've lost track of how many gamers named "Legolas," "Darth Vader," and "Master Chief" I've noticed. I do appreciate it when someone references something more obscure that I love, though; I saw an EdwardElric once, which made me smile. Some of the cleverer ones I've seen include "Malice in Wonderland" and "My Little Pwny."

1337SP34K Names - What, you can't read that first part? If I see one more D34th Sp3ak3r or D3M0N SL4yer, so help me...

Weapon Names - Names with "Sniper" in them are the "in" thing. Other weaponry references are also acceptable. I don't expect this "SniperKiller" and "BlasterMaster" phase to die any time soon, unfortunately...

I'm Awesome and Will Pwn You Names - These types of names include death threats and general bravado, such as "CanofWhoopass," "DeathFollowsYou," "TakeYouToTheGrave," "AwesomeShot" and "ScrewUall." Modesty does not seem to be a common trait among gamers. Names with "ninja" in them are also insanely popular.

Dirty Names - I won't provide examples of these, but they are out there, and they are many.

Real Names - Well, that's just boring. Who wants to be John3954 when you could be "Professor Mustard," I ask you? I do think it is clever when people integrate their names into their gamertags. For example, a Tim with the name "opTIMized" or an Ali named "ALIas."

Silly Names - These names often include random objects and fluffy animals, such as "apaperclip" or "10 fluffy bunnies." It is amusing to see the message "You were killed by 10 fluffy bunnies" flash across the screen, I'll admit!

Thankfully, we gamers mostly keep our gamer tags in the gaming world and there aren't little Snipers and Klunphthoos running around the average household instead of Johns and Sarahs. Although who knows what the future will bring.

Thanks for having me, Jamie! Allison, AKA "Sewer Pancake," signing off.

[image source]

What's the craziest username/handle you've come across?

About the author
Allison is a sci-fi and fantasy writer, reader, gamer, and all around geek. You can find her writing, reviews, and meandering thoughts on geek culture at her blog, Geek Banter.
View all posts by Allison

21 comments:

  1. Well I have come across LOTS of gamer names. My name for Mech warrior includes Killswitch and my WoW name is Hordehater. Yeah I get banned a lot, lol! But mostly I am Cap' n Sorcha. I got to admit, I would love to see that ten fluffy bunnies thing. As far as gamer names go, I''ve seen quite a few. I will share some cool guild names such as "It Only Hurts When I PvP", "Naga Gave Me Harpies" and my all time favorite, "Simply Walks Into Mordor". (Sorcha simply walks into Mordor.)
    Great post! Sorcha out.

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    1. haha, I love "Simply Walks Into Mordor." That's great.

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  2. Hmmm... should have been I get picked on, not banned.;)

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  3. I've used a variety of names. Silliest one was HoHo the Magic Newt. Don't ask.

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    1. Ummmmm...? Fine, won't ask. But I AM wondering :)

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  4. Awesome post, I love that someone used EdwardElric as a gamer tag, I officially love that person!
    I don't have a gamer name (I'm terrible at console games, I gave up on them a long time ago) but I love seeing the names people come up with. I have to admit, "Sewer Pancake" is my favourite too.

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  5. Fun post! My hubby still uses comic book names as his gamer tags, passwords etc. like HK avalon.

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  6. Hahaha true. I have a few I use, depending on which ones people beat me to first.

    Still though, I have a fencing nickname not too many people use... (Yeah... real life nick names make for awesome tags. ;-P)

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    1. Some of my friends just pick the craziest thing they can think of because all the "regular" names are taken.

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  7. The only time I went out of my way to create a gamer tag was when I was doing my first online gaming, playing Half-Life with a clan. Instig8r was the tag, which fit my personality pretty well. :) I quickly lost interest in online gaming and much prefer to play single player games on PC or console. My gamer tag on XBox Live...I assume one would refer to it as a gamer tag...is Tarder68, chosen because my friend's daughter Jessica could not pronounce "Carl" clearly as a wee lass and instead called me "Tarder". It stuck. When I went to use it online someone already had it so I stuck the year of my birth on it. That family still calls me "Tarder" on a regular basis. :)

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  8. I've had a few gamer names in the past. My personal favourite is Foible. lol. Although I do like Doomcookie too.

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  9. Fun post, Sewer Pancake! I'm not a gamer, so never had to think about this before. I shall ask my other half!

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  10. No gamer here either and probably will never be, but this reminds me of the days when CB radios were all the rage and we'd take on "handles" or radio names. Mine was "Death Wizard". I disliked CB's, but we had to have them in my job at the time so I took a name that expressed my distaste. And I was in a bad mood when I took the name and thus it stuck.

    Lee

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  11. Most of the time in online games I go by Jazriyah or Yuuna (that last one's often taken, but nobody seems to ever take Jazriyah, which makes it fairly easy for me to grab). I like coming up with names that reflect a character rather than a mode of play or some flashy thing that makes me sound badass. Probably because I'm the furthest thing from badass, honestly!

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    1. Names that are easy to grab are nice! Mine is often taken. And flashy names are overrated :)

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  12. Gamer names can be really fun to create! I like the "10 Fluffy Bunnies" one. That's funny.

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  13. Great post! My hubster goes for some variation on his real name, and I usually pick a Shakespeare play themed name with some variations. We aren't particularly clever about it . . . and my kids make up names that they like and use for story writing.

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  14. I like CultofShezmu, Jamie, as it is probably never taken already! haha, that would have been a good category to add. My gamer tag is Spectral, and I sometimes have to put numbers after it if I want to use it, which is annoying. I think the silly, fluffy animal names are my favourite, to be honest :)

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  15. Hmm. Fascinating! I also hate the ones with all 1337SP34K (so hard to type out when you're responding to them!) I frequently go with some variant of my name: instead of Callie, it would be Cayley or Callisto, combined with a family name like Lee or May (common names in my family, or maiden names further up the line). I've been favoring Callisto May recently because it sounds like a real name and is also wonderfully androgynous. (I like to keep people guessing!)

    If I was playing an online game with other people, I'd love to pick something hilarious like 10 fluffy bunnies -- I like that!

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