I’ve been online for a LONG time. My first experiences were with Compuserve and GENie in the 1980s. On GENie I had 2 accounts and one of them was “JadedGamer.” I was pretty active in GENie’s gaming section and was an (unpaid) part of the staff of the video games roundtable.
At some point I went to work for a computer gaming magazine and this was when the Internet was just starting to become widely available to the public. The magazine I worked for (Strategy Plus) set up a forum and I was volunteered to help moderate it. I stuck with my JadedGamer moniker.
When that shut down, I started my own forum called The Jaded Gamer’s Pub, or Jaded’s Pub for short. I shortened my own handle to Jaded. By that time it was just a name…I wasn’t really feeling all that jaded any more.
When Xbox Live became a thing, I had to pick a gamertag so Jaded was the obvious choice. I’ve had it since basically Day 1 of public access to Xbox Live.
Lately though, I’ve had people contacting my bugging me to sell them my gamertag. I’ve also had (though this was some years back) creepy emails written to me because one of the female pro gaming teams had a member using the handle “Jaded” and creepy xbox live users thought my account was hers. For the most part I’ve just blocked anyone who asked me to sell my gamertag just because I didn’t want to be bothered.
Even more recently though, I’ve started to feel a little embarrassed about sharing my gamertag. My days of thinking it was cool to be jaded and cynical are far, FAR behind me.
For a while I made a half-hearted attempt to change my persona to PapaSnark, but that gamertag wasn’t available. Last night I was once again playing around with the ‘change your gamertag’ feature and realized PappaSnark WAS available.
But then I hesitated. I thought “PappaSnark” was kind of catchy, but it was another gamertag that colored a stranger’s perception of me. “Jaded” implies that I’m jaded, and PappaSnark implies that I’m snarky. While I definitely am both those things from time to time, I don’t want to be defined as either of them.
So in a kind-of snap judgement, I changed my gamertag to Traellan. That’s a tag that has no real meaning; it’s a random name I made up for a character way back in Dark Age of Camelot and it’s the name I generally give my characters in single-player games (when they let you create your own character). So to me (and a few close friends) it has some history at least, but to most people it’s devoid of meaning.
It’s also relatively short…one of the reasons I kept Jaded as long as I did was that it was only 5 characters. Adding 3 didn’t seem too bad. On PSN my “Dragonchasers” tag takes up half the screen when it is floating over my head in a game and I hate it.
So the weirdest part of this story is how happy I am now that I changed my gamertag. It’s like I am free from this baggage I’ve been carrying around. I can just be me and love the games I love and not have strangers referring to me as jaded whenever they address me by gamertag.
Now I need Sony to finally let us change our gamertags over there and maybe I can get the same name on both services.