The problems of naming

So I was mining in EVE one day, in a little dead-end 0.5 system. I happen to come across a secure container, with a racist name.  The shocking thing was the owner of the one-man corp.

Prokofy Neva.

Of course it probably wasn’t the Second Life blogger who posts and rants here. From the little I know of her, she seems the type to get enemies, and one of them probably decided to take her name for the lulz. But it highlights an interesting point. You don’t realy own any rights to your name in a game.

Nothing really stops a person from logging in, creating a name that someone else may use, and then doing whatever they like with it. The more unique the name, the more vulnerable it is, because the more people might initially associate it with the original person. Dblade is is a purposefully vague title, and I don’t really use it outside of comments and this blog. But someone using a more distinctive name like Spinksville, Tobold, Syncaine, or LumtheMad might very well succeed in confusing people, especially if they claim to be the actual person.

Champions Online is unique in that by linking a character name to a tag, Dblade@thistag for example-it allows multiple names with unique identifiers. You can just identify your tag as legit, and people can’t hijack your name as easily, or deny you the use of it. I wonder if some day we might see a global system letting people identify themselves via a tag, or other secure means. I don’t know if metaccounts like the Station account SOE uses might be an example or what.

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One Response to The problems of naming

  1. Tesh says:

    Aye, this has always been a problem with the anonymity and vetting processes of the internet. Metaccounts and the CO system are a good example of steps to more accountability.

    I do find it interesting that people might care in the first place, though. I certainly care that my character name in Puzzle Pirates belongs to me and nobody else, but that’s because I’ve built a reputation in the forums and in-game. I don’t care if my name gets used in games I don’t care for, though. Those who know my reputation know that I’d not play those in the first place.

    Perhaps I should care more… perhaps I should care less. What else is a man but his reputation and his word, in some circles? Do I care about those circles?

    …interesting stuff. Good article. 🙂

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