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Tuesday, October 13, 2009


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Arwyn Quandry

Weirdly, I don't think I fall under any of those categories. I had never used Arwyn before SL, and it isn't my RL name or nickname. Originally, if I had been able to register when I first wanted to, I would be Arwyn Lorefield, but since I had to get a verified PayPal to join the Teen Grid, Lorefield was gone as an option, and I became Arwyn Quandry.

Now that I've used Arwyn in one space, it's started to lapse into others, and has become a favored roleplaying name as well.

Toxic Menges

I thought it sounded like a disease.

Scarp Godenot

Funny thing about SL names: if you are a business owner/builder or artist, your SL name becomes very similar to a product brand name.

You tend to open other social networking sites such as Facebook, Flickr, your blog etc. with your SL name. Furthering a defacto 'marketing' of your 'brand'.

I never intended to do this coming in with my SL first name being one of my old RL nicknames, but here I am a couple of years later with an unintended 'brand name' respresenting my body or virtual artwork. Go figure.

Now I can't escape! ha ha

Nexus Burbclave

I would actually argue that a name used previously online does represent a "second life" or at the minimum, a desire to have compartmentalized digital and analog lives. I suppose we lack the key data of where these individuals fall on the immersionist / augmentationist spectrum to know for certain.

Archontophoenix Quar

"Archonotophoenix" was an account name I chose a long time ago, so that puts me in the majority category. Or does it? My SL initials, AQ, are suspiciously similar to my RL initials, AK. Was I subconsciously choosing a version of my RL name when I chose my online name? How many peoples' online names have some phonetic resemblance to their RL names? How separate are the RL name and online name categories, really?

Nexus Burbclave

I just realized, I failed to answer the question. :)
I didn't take on any of the names I'd used online prior, but this name has become my defacto identity for the virtual world space. I use it for blogs, and where possible as my name in other worlds.

Crap Mariner

People ask me all the time.

"Why the HELL did you choose that name?"

And I respond:

"Mariner was the best available at the time."


Erbo Evans

Well, I'd been "Erbo" on the Internet for a long time prior to tacking "Evans" onto it for Second Life, but it's an obvious derivative of my RL name, and has been used by certain people for me as an RL nickname (even one of my brothers calls me that). So I'd fall into multiple categories in this survey.

The last name of "Evans," of course, I picked for its Colorado reference. (Mount Evans is one of Colorado's "fourteeners," and the closest one to Denver. Evans Avenue, a major street near where I live, is named after that mountain. Both are named after John Evans, second territorial governor of Colorado.) This makes it similar to my Xbox Live Gamertag, "ErboColo."

I've since carried the full name of "Erbo Evans" forward to the worlds of EVE Online as well.


My avatar name is used in all my online gaming. It's quite unique, I'm very proud of it, plus I have never had to think of another at the naming character creation stage, which is quite handy. It also has 4,470 hits in Google.

Elsbeth Writer

Well. mine is absolutely a form of my RL first name. When I joined SL, I wanted the experience to be realistic in a fantasy kind of way. So I used my real name but not entirely.

As for Writer, I have delusions of talent.

CyFishy Traveler

"Cyanide Fish" was the handle I was using on Duran Duran message boards for quite a few years. (It's from a page in the Wedding Album tourbook.) Since I signed up during the Great Duranie Influx of August 2006, I squished the name into something workable but still recognizable to my fellow Duranies and picked "Traveler" as a surname since I figured I'd be spending my time wandering this strange new world without settling down anywhere.

Since the abbreviation has evolved as my SL identity, I'm pretty close to ditching all traces of the Cyanide Fish moniker for various reasons. It's funny that you should bring this up right around the time I started contemplating this.


I really don't fall into either category. As I have been LaPiscean about 15 yrs before SL was ever invented. The name comes from a Star in the Pisces Constellation. This star was given its name by the Universal Star Counsel, and is Registered. The Star is known as, USC5246-67. The Star's Astronomical location is, Right Ascension,0H00M40.63S, Declination,+4D29M59S, Magnitude,14.17 This Certification was a gift to me, and named after me. :)

Doreen Garrigus

My avatar name sounds very much like my birth name, rather than the name I ended up using as a (married female) adult.

Subghoul Epsilon

Subghoul is an old name from BBS days (1991). Sub from Subgenius which seemed very funny back then, and Ghoul from HP Lovecraft stories.

Epsilon was just a name that was available when I joined.

Martien Pontecorvo

My User informs me that at the time of my enrezment, he had abandoned the notion of acquiring "Cardboard Box" (that moniker already belonged to someone else), and he was feeling like something from Mars, found my Name in a French-English dictionary. The French have a word for "martian", it appears.

The surname Pontecorvo was most mellifluous in harness with forename.

This despite the fact my User uses said name in no other context... at least I hope not!

Urizenus Sklar

It makes sense that people keep their virtual world names when they migrate to new worlds. For one thing the phenomenology is that you are not naming a new avatar, but taking your avatar to a new place. If you are comfortable with your avi, why change it? Or to put it another way, why drastically change your mode of presentation if it is working for you?

The other issue is that avatars can get reputational cred, and there is no point in leaving that cred behind when you change worlds.

Scree Raymaker

MY Second Life name has no connection to any other virtual world, as the names I use in MMOs are based around the naming conventions of the characters and races of those worlds, whereas in SL you can be whoever and whatever you want to be. Because of this I decided to choose a first name that could be applied to any avatar I decided to use, male or female, human or non-human. The surname was the best available at the time.

Arcadia Codesmith

I'm embarassed to admit that Arcadia was an error on my part; I was thinking of Acadia, the historic French colonial region of the Americas with its strongest remnants in Quebec and Louisiana, not the lovely region of Greece. However, upon further research, I decided I liked Arcadia better anyway. It's a name I chose just for Second Life, not based on much of anything except perhaps a lifelong tendency to jumble historical references... and it scanned well with Codesmith, which is descriptive of me.

DagnyT Dagger

SL is my first online world, never did other MMO, or MUDs or chat rooms or AOL things, or IRC or any of that stuff. I chose my name from the main character in my fav. book. Surprisingly, in the nearly 3 years in-world, only maybe 7 or 8 people get it.

Extropia DaSilva

I am called Extropia after the Extropian movement. I chose the last name DaSilva because it rhymed with my first name. I like rhymes, me.

Shinigami Kayo

I thought my method was common. Guess Not. I choose my name out of desperation. I froze up at that portion of the signup so I picked up my son's Book "Deathnote" that was sitting beside computer and randomly pulled the name out.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Oh gosh, my name choice was a complex one... hehe

First and foremost, at that time, I was actually being stalked iRL through the Internet (seriously!) and was in the process of pretty much logging off from all sites/social networking tools/whatever required a login with my "usual" handle, which I had used since 1992, and was the character name for my Elf in my role-playing days (at a time that "role-playing" was done with real humans around a table, with pencil and paper and dice, and the notion of using computers for that was totally alien).

I wasn't going to risk getting stalked again when joining SL and I was actually not really into online games, so I was creating an avatar just for fun and to pass to my partner (who loves complex, intelligent games), who could always change it later... or so I thought! That was quite a big mistake, lol.

So, well, I always thought this would be just a "temporary name". But unlike many who just type "asdfg12675" in those cases, I tend to create real-sounding names with stupid puns in it :)

The process for picking my name was a bit random. I looked at the list of surnames, and wanted one that would sound the most alien possible, while still keeping the first letter of my RL name, which starts with an L. "Llewelyn" (apparently an older form of the transliterated Llywelyn; modern spelling usually doubles the second L, i.e. "Llewellyn") seemed to be tongue-breaking enough, and it's also used in Welsh, a language that I'm quite fond of seeing in writing but which I most definitely don't speak!... Also, I'm quite fond of the "Q" character in the old James Bond movies, who was played by the late Desmond Llewelyn.

Keeping in theme, of course I needed a first name, and since I didn't have a handy list of Welsh first names available, the first one that came to mind was "Gwyneth", most likely because of lovely Gwyneth Paltrow. Of course it also made sense in several different ways, and this is why my name is full of puns :)

I remembered that "Llewelyn" was the name of a king of Gwynedd (also written as "Gwyneth" of course), a region of Wales, so obviously "Gwyneth Llewelyn" would be an obvious choice (ie. inverting it) :) "Llewelyn" is also used to mean "leader" or "ruler" or even "prince" and apparently derives from "lion" or rather "like a lion". Good attributes to have in a character! Gwyneth derives from "gwyn" (the common abbreviated nickname :) ), and means "white" or "blessed" or even "pure, virginal". So mmh, yes, a role-playing character called White Leader or Virgin Lion would definitely sound cool enough, and, of course, with such an amount of inspiration for creating a character, I felt I was more than prepared to enter Second Life... and create a fair-skinned but freckled, green-eyed redhead ;)

Needless to say, all the above just crossed my mind for a couple of minutes before picking the name. :)

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