what's in a name?
Today is the 4th day of the 16th week, the 15th day of the 4th month, the 106th day of 2020 [with only 253 shopping days left before Christmas], and:
Quote of the day:
- Anime Day
- ASL (American Sign Language) Day
- Income Tax Pay Day ((DATE EXTENDED TO JULY DUE TO CORVID-19.))
- Jackie Robinson Day – AKA 42 day as the color barrier was broken in major league baseball in 1947
- McDonald's Day
- Micovolunteering Day
- National Banana Day
- National Bookmobile Day
- National Glazed Spiral Ham Day
- National Griper's Day
- National Laundry Day
- National Rubber Eraser Day
- National That Sucks Day
- National Titanic Remembrance Day
- One Boston Day – a day encouraging random acts of kindness, commemorating the Marathon bombing in 2013
- School Librarians' Day
- Take a Wild Guess Day
- Titanic Remembrance Day
- Universal Day of Culture
- World Art Day (DaVinci's Birthday)
“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books
Back when I joined Second Life in 2005, one of the first rituals was choosing a name – you could pick any first name you wanted, but had to choose a last name from a list, and once that name was chosen, it was yours for the life of that avatar. That was when beladona Memorial was born. Some people were not careful when creating their first name and ended up with numbers [like beladona123] and were unhappy. The use of titles which showed above the system name became common as did the practice of creating an alt just to change the name.
For some unknown reason, back in 2011 Linden Labs discarded last names and everyone was who created an avatar after that could pick a first name and their last name was “Resident”. What we learned at that point was that many people were very invested in their name, and how it showed in world. Many felt that having a last name of “Resident” marked them as newcomers and they would be subtly discriminated against. In the fall of 2017, LL rolled out the ability to create “display names” which addressed some of these issues, but you still had your system name written in stone and it was easily discoverable. Folks were still discontented.
Now there is a new program that permits you to change your system name – both the first and the last names – if you sign up for a premium membership and pay an additional fee. You get to pick whatever you want for the first name, but you get to choose whether to keep your existing last name or to pick from names that are available:
And you can do this as often as you like, as long as you are a premium member and willing to pay for it. Some have pounced on the offer, some resent paying for it and call LL greedy for charging, others have shrugged and decided to keep the moniker they currently possess. It all boils down to your identity – how you define yourself in world and how invested you are in that identity.