I’ve been thinking about character names. Normally I make up new names for all my characters, but I know a lot of people carry over their names from one game to another. You always see people trying “get their names” when a new game launches. One day on a whim I decided to re-use a couple of names from Rift characters for some EQ2 alts to see what it was like, and I found it very weird.
It felt like identify theft. I don’t invent back stories for my characters or get that attached to them, but still there’s something more in that name. It’s like it’s a shortcut label that describes not just a character’s physical appearance, but an entire time period full of game experiences. It’s like the name of a hurricane. It’s a cultural touchstone, and it feels weird to toss that away and replace it.