Before I get onto my thoughts about names, I’d like to mention that having the hiccups is pretty embarrassing when you work in a quiet place. Everyone can hear you. Mostly I’ve been able to keep them quiet since they started, but every once in a while there’s a really LOUD one, alerting everyone of my affliction. I can only imagine people are thinking I’m sitting here drinking on the job. This thought makes me giggle, which makes the hiccups even louder, and now since they can hear me giggling and hiccuping, they probably really think I’ve got a bottle in my drawer. The worst, however, was just a few minutes ago when someone came by to ask me something. I’d just put a piece of gum in my mouth to try to distract my hopping guts, and as I was talking, there was a giant hiccup that sucked all the freshly chewed chunks of peppermint right into the back of my throat. I let out a choked cough, my eyes welling up with tears, and to conclude this display, I launched an extremely loud and strange-sounding hiccup/cough. Perhaps “hiccough” is the right word, but it actually sounded more like a “hiccurp.” They were holding something out for me to look at, and they physically jerked their hand back in surprise. The startled look on their face made me laugh even harder. And now that they are gone, I’m crying from the all laughter. *HIC!* Does anyone have any peanut butter?
*sniff* Ahh… ok.
Two nights ago, between questing with my friend and the guild Ramparts run, I was killing buzzards and collecting debris in Outland. As I was looting a corpse, a shaman approached me and said, “I need buzzards too. Wanna party?” These are the thoughts that followed in the next few seconds…
Not really, because this is a collection quest and will take twice as long with both of us, plus I’m not having trouble killing stuff. I’m getting very good experience going it alone, but I don’t want to look like a big jerk either and compete with this guy for mobs. Maybe it will be faster if we work together. I am also representing my guild here, and … oh, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to group with him … but it might be a really annoying experience because his name is … er…
I won’t say exactly what his name really was because it turns out that it’s unique across all the servers according to the armory. I’ll give a hint though… If I were to replace the adjective and noun that composed his name, it would be DirtySphincter.
Did I really want to party with someone called DirtySphincter? It’s not that it embarrassed me (I actually have quite an appreciation for crass humor), but it just screamed of 12-year-old boy, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with that for however long it took us to collect buzzard parts. The name gave a terrible first impression, hinting the potential of an unpleasant grouping experience.
I knew that the longer I stood there (being totally judgmental), the bigger jerk I’d seem to be for not grouping. So, what the heck… I grouped with him. (Can always blog about it if it’s bad, right?) And you know what? It was good. He was an excellent player, we chatted a bit about the shaman class, the difficulties of being a healer-specced shaman, and had a great time not only playing but chatting about the game. Despite the choice of name, there was a mature player on the other side of that toon who just wanted a little help completing his quests.
Do I judge too hastily when I see names like that? Maybe. I feel like I put so much work into my characters that I wouldn’t want to have a silly name that I wouldn’t think was so funny after 70 levels. Sure, there’s the paid name change, but is “Buttzlol” $10 worth of funny? I don’t think the game has to be all serious business, but I also want to give my characters names that sound at least someone credible in the world I’m questing in. I shudder when I see people using what look like auto-generated e-mail addresses as their character names. JCThomas? You can do better than that. Make that your account login, not your character name.
But, maybe others that level up a lot more characters than I do don’t have this attachment to or affection for names. They don’t tab out of the character creation screen to pore over Kate Monk’s Onomastikon in search of the perfect name. Leveling and the time spent in game isn’t serious business. Making your friends laugh is more important than immersion.
Or maybe that shaman was roleplaying? ;)