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Monday, June 16, 2008


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Laetizia Coronet

This is turning things on their head. She should have the possibility to change her SL name to Heidi Hansen instead.
And yes I'd do that, and execute a sex change in SL to go with it. But my last name is a double one and SL doesn't know double last names.

Tateru Nino

I'm called Tateru or Tat by some people in RL. I've not considered changing my name, though.

Nexeus Fatale

No, in my case I've created a very large brand with my avatar's name, i would like to keep it. Now would I create an alt with my Real name? Yeah, definitely.

Eggy Lippmann

Eggy has been my RL nickname for aeons. Lippmann comes from my surname Lima.
Can't see why I would bother changing my name though.

Mystical Brotherhood

um, yeah, sure i'd change my name, maybe but i doubt it. i mean really, what court would let me become "Mystical Brotherhood"?

Erbo Evans

I'd been known as "Erbo" for many years before I tacked "Evans" onto the end when I joined SL. (It's derived from my RL name in a clever fashion.) Some of my friends, and at least one of my brothers, routinely call me that. So, no, I've no need to change my name in RL...although I'm honored to bear the "Evans" surname in SL, a name which is deeply rooted in Colorado history.

(Incidentally, while I don't particularly hide the connection between my RL and SL selves, neither do I particularly publicize it. Someone could figure it out, but I see no need to encourage them.)

Eladrienne Laval

Writers use pen names, so I don't see my avatar's name as being any different than that. Besides, I like my RL name and my avatar's first name is a combo of my RL first and middle names.

Simone Brunozzi

Hmm... That is not a problem for me, since my real name matches my avatar's name: Simone Brunozzi.


Veronique Lalonde beat her to the punch. Here's when she decided to legally change her name to her avatar name (first only, though), back in March: http://tgnotwhatyouthink.blogspot.com/2008/03/new-name-seriously.html

... and she just sent the paperwork off a couple days ago. Yay!

Crap Mariner

I don't think Mariner quite suits me in RL.

If I even LOOK at a boat, I get violently ill.

Hence, the name, I guess.

Lazarus Marat

This is an interesting question, one I've actually been thinking about, though only as a fantasy. I've gone by the name Lazarus for years in games and other online areas and when I joined Second Life I spent quite a while going through the available last names till I found something that sounded right with Lazarus.

It was only a year or so later that I came across mention of the famous painting "Death of Marat' and found out where my last name might have come from. It's amazing to me that I should have picked that name to go with Lazarus, if you know any of the history of my first name.

I've gotten very used to thinking of myself as Lazarus Marat and many people in Second Life and other virtual worlds know me by that name now. Some day who knows maybe I'll actually adopt it in RL. Though I'm not sure I want my RL identity known to all, who know's what they might do with it.

Currently I keep my online identity pretty much separated from my RL one, other than for payment purposes which (with any luck) are only known by the companies I pay for services. Only a few very good friends in SL know my real identity and it will probably stay that way.

Well at least until I start blogging about virtual worlds or engaging in some similar activity. I think it would be hard to keep the RL identity truly secret then.

But for those building a reputation for work/design in places like Second Life I do see the benefit to adobting your online identity for RL purposes.

Mitch Wagner

Interesting question.

You *can* get your real name as an avatar name in Second Life. You have to apply for it -- it's not automatic -- and it costs $50 upfront, plus $50 a year. I simply explained that I'm a real-life journalist who reports about and in Second Life, and the Lindens agreed to it.

But I keep my original avatar, Ziggy Figaro, and use that for most of my Second Life exploring and play, which is mostly what I do in SL. And, while the connection between me and Ziggy is apparent to anyone who takes a minute to Google, I don't have my RL identity connected anywhere to Ziggy Figaro's SL profile.

It's my way of addressing the whole immersion vs. augmentation split.

In America at least, a person can call themseves whatever they want so long as there's no intent to defraud, and I expect the same is true for the rest of the free world. Most people never really need to change their names.

My legal name is Mitchell, but everybody calls me Mitch, both professionally and personally, since I was 18 years old and went away to college and made a conscious decision to start introducing myself as Mitch. And my wife has a friend who was known by her first name (as most people are) until she was well past 40, but then she got a divorce and went through a lot of soul-examination, changed her career, moved across the country, and decided she wanted to be known by her middle name, and that's how it's been ever since.

Mitch Wagner

Crap, I should've let that one sit before I sent it:

Just to be clear, I did, in fact, get my own name as an avatar. I now have two primary, public avatars: "Mitch Wagner," which I use relatively infrequently for interviews and speaking appearances, and Ziggy Figaro, which I use most of the time.

And I meant to say that in America, most people don't ever have to get their name changed *legally.* If they decide they want to be known by another name, they just start to use it, and there's no problem.

Two Worlds

I think Heidi is the only person whose model-like blonde, perfectly tanned avatar actually looks like herself in real life. Booking my tickets to Denmark right now.

Mitch Wagner

Thought of a related question this evening: If you know somebody well in RL *and* SL, what name do you call them?

I tend to call them by their RL names in RL, or through flat Internet communications channels like IM and e-mail, and by their SL names in SL.

A couple of people who know me well in RL, but know me better in SL, sometimes call me Ziggy even in RL. I think at this point if someone shouted, "Hey, Ziggy!" in a crowded RL room, I'd look around to see who's calling me.

(I chose the name "Ziggy" before watching "The Wire," btw.)

Laetizia Coronet

Right, there may be legal issues. In Holland, one can only legally change their last name if there's a reason for it and you get special permission - the reason often being awkwardness like some sexual connotation. But... you can only choose a new last name that's not already in use by someone else in Holland.

Asp Grelling

A friend started creating art in Second Life, ran a gallery, discovered that she loved it and left her job. In RL she now runs an art gallery and does exhibitions under her SL name, Karen Schreiner.

Shava Suntzu/Shava Nerad in RL

In SL, I'm married to Tuna Oddfellow, who we sometimes coyly refer to as "the brand." In RL, I'm engaged to Fish Fishman, Tuna's typist.

As a performer, changing one's common use name (legally or not) to a stage name isn't all that uncommon. Fish is already known as "Fish" to nearly everyone but his own mom, and has been for years -- and performs in RL as "Fish the Magish." But he's thinking of changing his name legally to Tuna Oddfellow, and would love for me to be M(r)s. Oddfellow when we get married IRL.

We're currently shopping around a business plan, and I made a bet with the universe -- if we get fully funded before the wedding, I'll legally change my last name to Oddfellow.


Tuna Oddfellow

I am currently planning to change my name legally to Tuna Oddfellow. It has become a core part of my identity. I am a known all over the world in both RL and SL as Tuna. The name is far easier to to search for than my real life name or even my performance name. For that matter, Tuna Oddfellow gets far more hits than on Google.

I think it's interesting to see other people contemplate this. It's an odd move to make but as an entertainer, It makes a better stage name for me.


coming from the Entertainments Industry where if you join the trade union in the UK, Equity there can be only one person with a name. Many of my work colleagues use names that are not on their birth certificate. I am one. Very few people people in RL know my birth name. It is not radically different from name I use. Naming my SL avatar came from my subconscious. It just sounded right. Katie Reve is a law unto her self at times but is still 100% part of me there is no denying.

Arminasx Saiman

Definitely not. Why? Because my name sucks! Read why here: http://www.secondeffects.com/2008/06/why-radar-cant-pronounce-my-name.html

Eshi Otawara

I dig 'Eshi'...I think eventually I will change my name as well.

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