Identity Crisis: How Did You Choose Your Online Handle?

Illustration for article titled Identity Crisis: How Did You Choose Your Online Handle?

In today's Speak Up on Kotaku, commenter Bob is searching for a name to call himself in gaming circles. How did you come up with your online identity?


Have you ever had an online/video game identity crisis?

So I finally got an invite to the Diablo IIII beta, but before I can play it, I have to choose a Battle Tag. I also have been delaying on picking a gamertag on Xbox live or the equivalent on PSN.

Growing up, I always used to use "Viper" as my name (original, huh?) in games, but it never really fit me. I've also held the nicknames "Beast", "Jellybean", and "King Snake" (due to my bike's design — snakes actually creep me out). However, I never really gave my identity a thought as a child, so I just went with the names my friends gave me.

When I was about 13, my family got our first computer. As I started venturing online I again faced the challenge of choosing names, only this time, I was a bit more conscious of names, and the first impression they made. I finally settled on a name, and it stuck with me for the next 12-13 years online in games, emails, and usernames, as well as in RL among certain crowds. It was not a silly name (as many I have had in the past), and it represented the type of attitude and outlook I strove to have in life.

However, in the past few years my thoughts and views have changed quite drastically from when I was in my teens/early 20s, and I have done what I can to distance myself from my old "Go to" username. For the past year or so, I have been floating by without a fitting name/identity for my various online accounts. I don't know why I even feel like I need a specific username to encompass all my online accounts, but I do.

I've been trying to think of things that have to do with me or my aspirations or preferences, but I have trouble settling on anything... for instance, I thought of "GhostOx".... because ghost fits my gameplay style (I'm stealthy) as well as my lifestyle (I'm a recluse), and I was born in the year of the Ox. But unfortunately, others have already claimed the name.


I've also considered going with "BoxFanMenace", because I always sleep with a box fan on, and it sometimes annoys my wife.... which when she expresses, puts a menacing smile on my face. But as usual, I over analyze everything, and so I struggle settling on anything.

So how do YOU pick a name?

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Image: Devon | Stockfresh


I was into Digimon when I first started using the internet enough to want to register to forums and various websites. I eventually condensed it to Bwgmon, and now I try to use just "Bwg" whenever possible, I don't know if it's to back away a bit from the Digimon origin or because I like the shorter name. I could just start using another name entirely, but it's kind of hard to flat out abandon my namesake of over 10 years.

That said, I still think Blackwargreymon is a pretty cool dude.