Gorgeous ‘Gogo’ Yongho brought up an interesting topic on her blog Juicybomb: The (not yet existing) ability to change your avatar’s entire name.
She found a JIRA which was started by an avatar called Sexing Oh (how surprising, hehe) a while ago in 2008 where the person voices their desire to be able to change their complete name. Not just display names, but the actual name. Now Gogo supports the JIRA on her blog and basically supports the JIRA with quite a nice bit of people who read her blog every day.
Do I really want this?
At first, I was about to follow her call and do so, but then it got me thinking. Do I really want people to be able to change their names? With all its consequences?
My answer is no. I personally like my name, I chose it carefully enough when I started. I don’t have a reason to change it. I have very, very few people in SL whom I’d truly avoid at all costs, so I have no real enemies either. I don’t have a problem that would make me want to change names.
Harassment is a big let down
But then again, I have witnessed more often than not the harm that can be done with alts already. Ever since LindenLabs officially announced that each person can have as many alts as they wish to (before that, alts were sort of…not so legal), there has been an increasing amount of alts, which especially can be a problem in role-play sims, where I tend to hang out.
I personally do not care about alts, about the gender of the player etc….unless….people use them to harm someone else’s SL experience. And sadly, that does seem to be the case more and more frequently. Harassment can be a huge let down for many people who used to enjoy role-playing in SL.
Now, if we add the complete change of names to the current situation? I think it might even turn into a bigger playfield for those who have nothing better to do but to annoy others or try to get into contact with people who try to avoid them.
People with a bad reputation…
One of the many reasons amongst others to create an alt is the fresh start. I am already no big fan of that. I am Arica Storaro, I do have alts which I use for modeling, random NPCs etc. I only role-play on Arica, she has forever been my main and will stay my main. All the things I have done (or haven’t done) stick to her, I have built up a certain reputation with her. I don’t hide it.
While I think there are many justified reasons to enjoy a fresh start, I am no fan at all to help people with a shitty reputation to get a fresh start. You reap what you sow. Imho, in 90% of the cases those shitty reputations are well deserved. I am sure there are exceptions, but generally…yes. I think if you are known to be an asshole, you are likely an asshole.
Now, with the name change, all these fresh starts to avoid the consequences of your own shitty behaviour might even be easier.
But my name is ridiculous!
This is another argument that I hear very often. Your name, your choice. If your name is so ridiculous, why did you stay with it in the first place? Why didn’t you make an alt before your inventory got so huge that you had invested too much to consider making a new main? If you call yourself “IamAnIdiotic GossipGirl” I really don’t think you deserve much pity. I am sorry, but you really don’t. “SlaveSlut Oh” isn’t a good idea either, and anyone with more than two braincells should realize that. :/ Our name does, to a certain degree, define what we are, even in real life (or especially there?). If you choose a ridiculous one…well. Not a good idea.
I think, if there is ever gonna be a name change, it should be relatively expensive and not be allowed more than once/year maybe. Also, a reason must be provided.
How could it be done?
On the JIRA, some people cam eup with some decent ideas to avoid the abuse of sucha feature. Banned avatars should remain banned, property-related issues would have to be renamed and many other things. I personally fear, that if you truly wanted to implement this, with all its consequences to building, item-owners, property-issues, land- and group-owners etc…you better not ask LindenLabs, who do have a history of implementing half-assed features that cause more trouble than anything else. Also I think, one should be able to look up a person’s history of name changes.
What do you guys think?
PS: Forgive typos! Not wearing my contacts today.