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How to choose a Second Life avatar name: 10 tips | VintFalken.com
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VintFalken.com

How to choose a Second Life avatar name: 10 tips

September 19, 2008 9:00 am

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It could be you don’t have a Second Life account yet - get your ‘citizenship’ here -, that you are in desperate need of an alt, or just got tired of your old ‘virtual you’. What makes a great Second Life name?

10 Tips for a Second Life name, that lasts

  1. No numbers! However convenient ‘John84′ might be to remember when ‘John’ is already taken, it’s not something you want to go by. People will have a hard time remembering your name and even more so, pronouncing it on voice. Maybe try ‘Jonathan’ instead?
  2. Gender: Before signing up, spend a minute or two thinking about which ’sex’ you want to play, a female avatar named ‘Alexander’ just makes no sense. If you’re undecided, something gender neutral like ‘Alex’ will do just fine.
  3. Internationalisation: Second Life has a broad audience. Names such as ‘Parthasarathy’, ‘Kanyakumari’ and ‘MaƂgorzata’ might be popular in your country, but hard to pronounce and spell - and thus remember - for foreigners. You could consider shorting them down: ‘Parthas’, ‘Kanya’ and ‘Malgo’.
  4. Originality: do something funny in combination with a Second Life surname, this is a great help for people remembering you. But beware, if you make it to funny, people might not take you serious anymore! ;) Good examples: Tender Littlething, Coke Supply, Lovely Person and Totally Unsustainable. Of course, remember you will go by your first name most of the time, thus ‘Tender’, ‘Coke’, ‘Lovely’ and ‘Totally’. Oh, and you do want to avoid the most used avatar first names!
  5. Capitalisation: Keep to the ‘real life’ way of doing this. Both first name and surname get a capital letter. So no CHRIS, cHRiS or chris as first name, please!
  6. Length: try to keep your the total length - first & last - of your avatar name under under 15 letters. It will most likely sound better - and thus remember & spell better - than ‘Francisaner Zebrastripe’.
  7. Match your first and last name. ‘Nevar Blackmountain’ and ‘Barry Guisse’ sound ridiculous, where as ‘Barry Blackmountain’ and ‘Nevar Guisse’ match nicely. Just say it out loud few times, and you are bound to distinguish a good from a bad name combination. Having matching letters for first and last name, seems to help. eg. Callie Cline
  8. Inspiration: all the good ones are already taken? Why not pick one from a strange country? Consult wikipedia for ideas, but do mind ’spellability’ and ‘internationalisation’.
  9. Association: beware the association that some first names evoke. ‘Pamela’ reminds us all of Pamela Anderson, thus choose that one only if you want to play a cheap bimbo. ;) Something like ‘Sissy’ sound playful, Joseph shouts ‘old & serious’ and ‘Margaret’ sounds ‘chilly’. What kind of person do you want to be?
  10. Real Life: if you plan on mixing both lives, it might be interesting to start with your real first name and choose a matching Second Life last name. That way, people you know in ‘both lives’ don’t face the dilemma how to say ‘Hi!’ in Second Life, on the web and in Real Life.

For another take on this and a little test to see how good your chosen name exactly is, I refer you to Mister ArminasX - pronounce ‘Ar-min-AXE’.

13 Responses to “How to choose a Second Life avatar name: 10 tips”

dandellion Kimban wrote a comment on September 19, 2008
MyAvatars 0.2

It might be my personal fetish, but Alexander for a female sounds so sexy. Combined with pale skin. black leather and a hat. OK, that’s just me *blushes and skips to the next paragraph*

And next paragraph is also personal, It’s about capitalization. I proudly wear my first name with lower ‘d’. Simply, I am used to type it that way, web names were always non-capitalized, so it was my little tribute to the prehistory of the metaverse.

There are other ways for not capitalising your name. Subs in the BDSM community goes for that too. Whatever the reason, community will usually spell the name with leading capitalized so you’ll have to get used to it. :)

Choosing A Name sent a pingback on September 19, 2008
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[…] warning there, on the registration page. It would be great to have some guidelines like Vint's 10 tips for choosing a good name. Many people would have easier lifes and we would not be littered with joHn84's or something […]

Alex Lapointe wrote a comment on September 19, 2008
MyAvatars 0.2

I originally signed up as Alexander because I couldn’t really see myself ever using a female avatar. After a hiatus from SL, I came back as a female. For a little bit, I considered opening an alt for “her,” but then I got to liking the juxtaposition. So far, I’ve only had one person comment on the oddity of a female named Alexander.

Nowadays, I switch between both genders and just go by Alex.

Uccello Poultry wrote a comment on September 20, 2008
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You write: “… Good examples: Tender Littlething, Coke Supply, Lovely Person and Totally Unsustainable. Of course, remember you will go by your first name most of the time …” Hmmm… all people I’ve met or know well. You peeked back to February 29, 2008 9:29 pm, didn’t you? My ‘Really Great Avie Names list is expanding and has been posted on my blog. Click on my name above to see it.

dandellion Kimban wrote a comment on September 20, 2008
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Since trackbacks are not working…..
I had my share on this and put up a JIRA for including this set of advices on the registration page….
http://metaverse.acidzen.org/2008/choosing-name

Kate Amdahl wrote a comment on September 20, 2008
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Great post, hon! This will be a good one for the new resi resources page I’m working on (and if anyone has any other suggestions for good new resi resources, I’m wingedkate at GMail!).

Personally I tend to prefer names that sound like people and not things…I always feel like there’s a little extra layer of distance with anyone whose name doesn’t sound like a person (like “Walk Gingerly” or “Mighty Piles” or something). But then, I’ve always liked very down-to-earth first names, too, so I’d be more interested in meeting someone named “Dave” than someone named “Galahad”, for instance. Creativity is fun, but for me it gets old quickly if it’s a name.

^^^\ Kate /^^^

beatrix wrote a comment on September 22, 2008
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I have to say that I disagree with some of what you’ve written especially your assumptions about names that evoke things - like I don’t think of Pamela Anderson when I hear Pamela or think of Margaret as being “chilly” . Actually when I see Pamela I think of a co worker and then Pam from the office.

Obviously those aren’t your associations. And I don’t see the problem with Nevar Blackmountain.

I do think the no numbers thing is a good idea.

Wordfromthe Wise wrote a comment on September 22, 2008
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amidoinitrite ?

Vint Falken wrote a comment on September 22, 2008
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Trackbacks are working perfectly, but Miss Kimbal’s got stuck in askimet. As askimet reads ‘Akismet has caught 73,239 spam for you since you first installed it’, I’ve given up on checking those for errors manually. ;)

But trackback approved, and blogpost asking for added votes ready. Although, already assigned to WorkingOnIt Linden, so yeeeey! great idea, Miss ‘Dandie’! ;)

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[…] « How to choose a Second Life avatar name: 10 tips […]

Seraphina Teardrop wrote a comment on October 28, 2008
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Maybe this should be titled “How to choose your SL name NEXT time.” Since I have never knowingly met anyone who does SL, I had no warning that it was the name I would be literally walking around with. *Fortunately* when I saw the last names, I decided not to use my usual screen name of ganmerlad, and use something that flowed instead. It was also lucky for me that I was not feeling particularly clever that day so just used the first interesting name that popped into my head. Otherwise it may have been MsTick. :-p

Buckdawg5809 Paine wrote a comment on June 6, 2009
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Another example of a very interesting/original name was Fantastic Calamity, It was my pleasure to be good friends with him during my time in SL.

Buckdawg5809 Paine wrote a comment on June 6, 2009
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Also, numbers after your name are out. I learned this after I chose my name of course, but don’t make my mistake.

Care to comment?