September 19, 2008 9:00 am
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
- 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?
- 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.
- Internationalisation: Second Life has a broad audience. Names such as ‘Parthasarathy’, ‘Kanyakumari’ and ‘Małgorzata’ 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’.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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’.
- 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
- 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’.
- 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?
- 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’.