You’ve got a new character for a big massively multiplayer game, so you need a name. How do you come up with a good name? Good question! I might write about that another time.
This is a list of what people do wrong. It was written with both a genero-fantasy setting and a standard English keyboard in mind.
(Higher on list is less bad, lower on list is less good.)
- Generic names: Dragon. Angel. Valor.
- “Foreign” Language words: Grande. Ikimasho. (Foreign to you is not foreign to all–you’d laugh at a character whose name was “Big” or “Let’s go!”)
- Jammed words: Dragonangel. Burningcat.
- Meta: An undead named Rotting. A tauren named Beefcake.
- Out of game context (OOC): Chuck. Spaceship.
- Unoriginal: Legolas. Drizzt.
- Jammed and meta: Deathknight.
- Jammed and OOC: Chucknorris. Brucewillis. Captainplanet.
- Jammed and meta and OOC: Undeadfred.
- Jammed and talking to the reader: Ucantseeme. Pwnyou. Imdeath. (Personally, I always choose the most obtuse nickname possible for these kind of names: “See you later, Imd.” “My nickname is supposed to be Death <cry>”)
- Unoriginal and late: Llegolass. Driiiiiiizzt.
- Unoriginal and late and jammed: Elflegolas. Deathknightt.
- Prescription drug name: Propecia. Celexa. (Although given enough time, pharma could eliminate the genero-fantasy namespace)
- Swapped characters: Dragòn. (previously discussed: Text-based game, yet I cannot type your name.)
- Unoriginal and swapped: Lêgolâs.
- Unoriginal and swapped and late: Elflêgolâs.
- Political statements of any kind: Nobama. Mclame. (Your political views are uninteresting in a game context.)
- Jammed and talking to reader and swapped: Üçântsêêmê.
The order of these gets hairy in the middle and is to taste, although I feel pretty solid about the top and bottom.
Thanks to the readers who helped with ideas.
Did I forget anything? Is there a name worse than Üçântsêêmê?