A new identity

TL;DR version: I changed my identity to Nimgimli on a bunch of services so if we’re friends and you see that pop-up, it’s just me. Now here’s the LOOONG version:

Finding a ‘handle’ to use online can be tough. You wouldn’t think I’d be struggling with this given I’ve been online for something like 40 years at this point, but here I am.

Way way back on GEnie and Compuserve I had 2 handles: CaptCook and JadedGamer. The first was because at the time I was a cook and I admired the historical figure Capt. James Cook. The second was because I fancied myself a game critic and thought it made me sound edgy and authentic (hey, I was young).

Of the two, JadedGamer stuck. When the Internet started taking off as a mainstream thing I had a site called The Jaded Gamers Pub which I ran for years under the name Jaded and for a long while that was how I was known. When Xbox Live came online 16 or 17 years ago I grabbed that gamertag for continuity.

By the time the Playstation Network came online, this blog existed. I tried to get Jaded as my PSN name but it was taken, so I used Dragonchasers instead. The Dragonchasers name is intended to reflect both the literal in terms of the kinds of games I most played (fantasy RPGs where often a dragon was an ultimate baddie) and an homage to one of my favorite movies, Knightriders

Knightriders was about a group of people trying to re-live/re-invent Camelot in modern times. They were a traveling band that put on a jousting show, only instead of horses they rode motorcycles. It starred a young Ed Harris as Billy, their would-be Arthur and the person who most believed in the dream. In the movie at one point an exasperated Billy describes his quest as “chasing the dragon” which I adopted as an expression that meant searching for a nearly insurmountable challenge or dream and trying to attain it. [Of course these days Chasing the Dragon is a heroin term.]

Years went by and my “Jaded” tag on Xbox Live started to chafe. The gaming community changed and EVERYONE was jaded/cynical and I stopped seeing being jaded as a positive thing. At the same time I was constantly being hassled by people who wanted to buy the gamertag from me. One day I got a very polite request from someone and decided “Ah screw it, I’ll just give it up.” I switched it to “Traellan” which is the name of a character I had in Dark Age Of Camelot.

There’s no special meaning behind Traellan other than I liked the sound of it and it is easy to shorten to “Trae.” I got it wherever I could and tried to homogenize around it, with mixed results. Yesterday Sony finally started letting us change our PSN names so I charged off to get “Traellan” there too, but it was taken. Damn it!

So in a fit of pique I decided to change everything again. Now I’ve gone with Nimgimli which is, in my mind, based on a goblin character from an old fighting game. I had to turn to my old pal Irata to remember the name of it. The game was called Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft and the character I remember as Nimgimli was actually “Nym Pymplee the mad goblin” which is a less appealing name. But if you watch this clip, to me it still sounds like Nimgimli:

The good news was “Nimgimli” was available pretty much everywhere. I now have it on Steam, Xbox Live, Playstation Network, Twitter, Twitch, and Origin. So far. I like it because it’s a little silly, easy to shorten to Nim, and isn’t loaded with any kind of meaning. It’s just a name. So if you see a mad goblin show up in your game or timeline, it’s probably me.

So all this talking about me has me curious about you. Where’d your handle come from? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

2 thoughts on “A new identity

  1. I’ve been LazerFX for many years – I went to an arcade relatively often in the late ’90s, and played Sega Rally Championship there. I set a high score, randomly spun the steering wheel, and got LFX out… That got retrofitted to LazerFX…

    It’s been the name of my company when I ran a tiny web dev company back in the very early pre-9/11 web, and just hung around since then.

    In other realms, I’ve been Kalthris (random generator), Aesclepius (A healer in WoW, named after the healing staff of Aaron/Asclepius/Hermes) – the entwined snake or snakes on a rod symbol), Charybdis and Scylla (Healer / Tank characters, again in WoW – the rock and whirlpool from Mythology) and other names – I usually either pick random names or look to mythology.

  2. My first handle was seagoat20 (I’m a Capricorn and was 20 at the time). I was addicted to Yahoo chat rooms, to which I credit my excellent typing speed. I’ve gone through a number of aliases, but some variation of “seagoat” was what I came back to.

    When I started my blog (which is now in a sad state of disrepair), I started a Twitter account to go with it, g33kg0dd3ss. It was not the easiest for others (*cough*Peter*cough*) to type out, so I thought long and hard about a change. I settled on PartPurple because purple is my favorite color, and I feel like I surround myself with so much of it that I must have become part purple at some point.

    In-game, I love using the name Riannon when I can (Rhiannon is the traditional spelling; an ancient Welsh queen/goddess that I identify with). It can be shortened to Ria and just sits right with me.

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