Thursday, April 3, 2008

A gamer by any other name . . .

No, I'm not thinking of changing my gamer tag. I kind of like it. At least it's readable and shows some creativity. I can't stand those gamer tags with "xX(insert name here)Xx". Yes, we know you're playing on an Xbox machine. And guess what? We are too, so you can drop all those Xs from your name. It looks stupid.

What I don't like is how people shorten my name. You see I also go by Pengwenn on some writing forums because . . . well . . . I like to write (hence the spelling). A lot of people have figured out what my first name is so they start referring to me as that in the forums. Excuse me? What's the point of having a screen name if nobody's going to use it? Is it that hard to type 3 more characters when you use my name?

Sometimes in online matches someone will refer to me by my given name. It's not like I haven't heard it before, but it always sounds funny coming from guys I haven't met. It's almost as if I want to ask "do I know you?" because to them I'm Pengwenn not that other name. Having an online name is like having a secret identity. When I load up my profile it's like I'm spinning around really fast in my everyday attire and magically change into some spandex superhero gaming outfit complete with flowing cape and magical powers. You know, kind of like Wonder Woman but without the pouffe hair. I can be the me I want to be. But if you use my given name then I'm the person that has laundry piling up in the corner, dirty dishes in the sink and bills on the counter waiting to be paid.

Now I don't mind if someone shortens my name to Pen, Peng, or Pengy. Those names let me keep the spandex outfit on even if I have to turn the cape in. I can live with that. And I'm not immune to shortening someone name either. I often refer to Evil Ric as just Evil (sometimes that name just says it all). And cyberWRAT becomes cyber. Dain Bramage becomes just plain old dain (I know that name sounds like a real name but he's my brother so I know better). And MsvHdWndHrry (Massive Head Wound Harry) or however you spell it, just becomes "massive" to me. That's not because I don't like their names but have you ever tired to say "massive head wound harry to your left" in the heat of a battle? My friend would be dead before I'd even finished saying his name.

Now as much as I want to be recognized by my alter ego online I do have some friends that don't seem to mind using their given names. For Dennis72 I'm not going to call him anything besides Dennis (unless he kills me with the Boomshot while we're on the same team in Gears of War and then I have a few other names I'd like to call him). And then there is Patrick . . . who was called Harold . . . who changed his name to Patrick. I think there was a two week period when we didn't know what to call him expect "hey kid".

As much as I'd like to think of Pengwenn as a seperate identity I think it's becoming more of who I am everyday. So much so that at work yesterday I was sitting at someone's desk when they said my given name and I flinched. Literally. I almost corrected them and told them it was Pengwenn. But I stopped myself in time. I hope that doesn't mean I play games online too much. Or maybe it just means I like the spandex outfit more than I should. But why not? Spandex can be so slimming.


Asher said...

I know all too well how you feel. Asher might not be my actual name, but for the most part it is my identity. I do everything I can to try to be referred to by asher and will take offense unless I've actually given you permission to call me by my actual name. You're not alone.

pengwenn said...

So Asher, what color is your spandex alter ego outfit? just kidding. When you said "it is my identity" it was so perfectly stated. It's really confusing when I play with friends who know other friends and call them by their real name instead of their screen name. I don't know who their talking to.