What’s in a name?

Approximately 8 billion bloggers have written on this subject, but now its my turn.

So I was playing Warhammer last night, running a baby dwarf through the first PQs. If you’ve done the dwarf PQs you’ll know that the boss of the first one is pretty tough. There was a White Lion running around doing the quest with us. His name was Jyrk.

Now to me, that’s an odd choice for a name. And the player was berating an Iron Breaker (who was I think level 4) for not tanking the boss. Now yeah, an IB lives to tank, but this little guy was getting slaughtered by the boss when he tried to tank him. He died over and over again, and Jyrk was calling him stupid, or an idiot, or something along those lines. Jyrk seemed to be paired with a Rune Priest named Jynx, but she had to drop heals on the IB so fast that invariably she’d get aggro and when the IB went down, and then she’d be next to die.

Basically it was a difficult situation because we just didn’t have the ranks to cleanly take down that boss. But we were also low enough level that we’d just respawn with no ill-effects and run back into the battle (the spawn point is seconds from the PQ). So there was really NO reason to get upset, and certainly no reason for Jyrk to be berating this dude who was still figuring out how to play his class.

So maybe the name fit. Maybe Jyrk’s player really is a jerk. My experience would suggest he is. But maybe he’d had a really crappy day at work, or he has a sick family member, or he was heavily invested in the stock market. Maybe he was acting abnormally for whatever reason. He might normally be a very nice guy.

But his character’s name was Jyrk, so I can only assume that, yeah, the dude that plays this character is an ass, and I’ll make a point of avoiding him if we ever cross paths again.

So I’m going to be the 8 billion and oneth blogger to urge you to think about your character’s name, and what the name says to other people. For most players you’ll encounter, your name is the first bit of data they’re going to use when they start to form an opinion of you. Neutral names are fine, but if you’re going to use a descriptive name, assume people are going to believe it.