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What’s in a Name?

One of my favorite in-game names ever is Punchinello Bumbletub.  It’s the name of a hobbit minstrel I met in Lord of the Rings Online.  What I love about it is that there is no way to tell who this person is (no, it’s not me).  I think it shows creativity, security and a lot of humor.

I see a lot of user names for people of all ages (mostly for kids lately though).  I am constantly surprised by how many names have personal information.  Whether names are pre-moderated or not on the site you are joining, follow these simple suggestions to come up with a safe and fun name for your character:
  • Do not use your real name – EVER.  Find something else to identify with – be it a hobby, animal, sport, whatever.  Would you be able to tell who a person is from the name BlueMorpho01?
  •  It’s best not to use too many numbers as well.  You don’t want to give away your age, date of birth or phone number.  Keep numbers to 2 or 3 if possible.  I stay away from numbers completely.
  • Do not give away your specific location.  State name is usually ok.  Try to stay away from divulging the name of the city in which you live though.  Also, it is also best to stay away from names for schools, clubs and things like that.
  • Any derogatory names are usually not well received.  Likewise names with profanity are usually rejected by moderators (we even catch the creatively spelled ones).
  • Be sure to read the rules for the site you are joining.  Often there will be guidelines or suggestions for naming on a site.  If not, use your common sense.
  • Sometimes it is fun to keep within the lore or story of the site you are joining, like with Punchinello above.  Use your creativity.  If you are joining a world of dinosaurs, be Screecher or Longtooth.  In games and on forums, you will get more attention for your creative name.

Parents, we urge you to help your children with creating online names.  If you find that your child has created a name that you think is unsafe or inappropriate, you can usually send in a request to have that name changed or deleted.  Be sure to find out and know the help features of your child’s sites and use those functions in managing their accounts with them.

Remember online games and forums are supposed to be fun.  A good place to start is with your name!

Elizabeth Weil
Senior Manager
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