Dear Mr Humble
1.not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
1. a person who resides in a place.
Which has us at reside – a person who dwells permanently or for a considerable time: She resides at 15 Maple Street.
From my understanding, and how I have addressed myself and others I know, a resident is someone that has made Second Life something important to them, a Second Life from their first, somewhere they come to to enrich their other life. So how can you be a resident before even walking in the door? But that isn’t actually my concern, my concern is what you are taking away from possible new residents, as well as adding to what you were so concerned was too stressful.
A Resident will never age:
I have a friend, you all know of called Whimsy, when I refer to her in person, on voice or chat, I 87% of the time call her Whimsy Winx, why? because I love it. I love her name, it is so her. It is not only her personality, but there is something about how it sounds, or feels to say, that just makes me happy. Now Whimsy Winx has a very odd talent…and we used to just laugh at it, but recently it has really made me a bit sad, because of the way things are now.
Her skill is knowing how old someone is without looking. Now she isn’t always spot on, but more often than not she has them down to the two months that usually was the length of time a name had. Many of us are able to do that, but usually only based on who we know with the name. For instance if I ever met another Fairchild or Zebrastripe I would probably hyperventilate trying to catch up to them to find out who they are and what they do, because I would know that like Phaylen and Washu, they would be OLDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD. Whimsy Winx though has it about people and names she doesn’t even know, because she is a watcher of people, and with all the groups she is part of, and events she has taken part in, the names stick.
But what of the Residents ? I mentioned this post and this the other day to her, and her words made my heartbreak…’they will never age’ for her, it will mean that she will always assume a Resident is new, it wont matter if they join now or this time next year, it will always be something that we associate with newness, which of course will in some cases deem the person lacking in anything to bring to the table, so to speak. A resident applying for a job over a duo named avatar may cause them to be dismissed as even an option…because they are ‘new’ and that newness being stuck in the heads of many, will mean that those same many may forget entirely to look at profiles for proper age.
It will be like posting on a forum as a newbie indefinitely, even on those your status changes based on time spent contributing.
What will they gain from their name :
I am Sasy Scarborough, known as that by many, for different things I have done, or been part of over the years in world. I have a facebook account as Sasy Scarborough, and as funny as this seems to my partner, every single thing outside of Second Life that I join, I join as Sasy Scarborough and know many that do the exact same thing. Second Life gave me the ability to freely and without thought, join up to other worlds, other concepts and networks as an identity already made, something I am proud to be and stand by.
I also know hundreds of people that have done the same, if not thousands, and Whimsy and I and also many others go to other worlds we may not even participate in and make sure that we are the only ones with our names there too.
There are so many businesses in Second Life that are in one form or another an extension if not right out based on the owners name. Again Whimsy Winx has a store called W.Winx, I myself have had and still create under the name Flair, an adaptation of Scarborough Flair my original blog, which is of course a take on my name and the song. I cannot imagine Rebel Hope Designs as just Rebel, I would assume it was some punk store, not the higher end fashion house that it is. Nicky Ree would not resonate for me as much as it does, if it was just called Nicky.
Those people have been proud to not only name their stores their name, but proud to stand by them and behind them as a label. To give all of themselves as an avatar to their business, and that is something that I cannot imagine being so much the case with someone that just signs in the first time as John or Maria Resident. There are also many stores that use initials of their avatars to create a brand, example is ETD which was based on Elikapeka Tiramisu Designs, and now rebranded is half of the first and last of her names Elikatira.
Let us not forget Digit Darkes, her business started as X3D but for her it was so much about branding and designer recognition that in 2007 she changed it to Digit Darkes as a brand as well.
Which leads me to my next observation.
Names bring people together:
Starting with Digit Darkes the perfect example is that in may 06 three girls joined Second Life, Sasy Scarborough, Digit Darkes and Aleri Darkes. Ok my part in that is only coincidence, but it was funny that I did end up working for both of them the following year. But anyway, these two didn’t know eachother, but through a mutual friend were introduced because of the names and hit it off so well from the get go, that they joined forces, shared workspace and went on to call eachother sisters for the rest of their time in world. So many actually believed the sisters part, because they were so incredibly similar in personalities.
On my sim at The Deck, I have two Winx’s and two Noel’s but over the past year or so have had a third Noel also, which as silly as it seems
made me really happy. You will also notice that when you know one of a name, it is easy to introduce them to another of the same name, or be introduced to another, because you feel a connection to the name already. I know as a crazy Scarborough I could honestly IM every single Scarborough in search and have no issue saying Hi. I do know that I looked once and couldn’t find a single content creator amongst them all, I am convinced that Scarborough’s are in Second Life just to help others with their work lol.
Look at the same name people you know, are there similarities? is that something you point out on occasion, what similarities will be noticable with Residents? oh I know, they all have the same name :(.
When I joined Second Life I came from Yahoo – yeah yeah you all know this story 😛 – but anyway, in Yahoo I was a Sassy with an S last name too. So when I came to Second Life I went to do the same thing. The names feature was stricter back then and because it seemed I had ASS in my name, it wasn’t allowed – they have changed that since, but I love my name how it is now, so thank you for that – so it took me ages to work out that was why it kept saying unavailable, it wasn’t actually said why, I had to guess, and as soon as I dropped an S I was in. It was not that hard, because I WANTED TO GET IN. I had already seen Second Life on a friends webcam, I wanted in badly, so I didn’t care how long or how tedious the process was.
I have actually never met a person who has ever said that the name part was hard, if anything we have over the years encouraged many to go out and come back in again with a new name, because the ones they signed up with were dumb, and if they did have ambitions and wanted to be taken seriously, because Second Life isn’t a game, then they might want something other than the one they had…and most of those people did just that, coming back in a few minutes later with new names, so how hard can it be? I do know that at one point when making a business alt a large percentage of the names tended to be ethnic, and I found that strange, actually limiting the amount of names to about 4 that I would choose for myself, mainly because with a work alt you want something basic. So if that was a time people were joining and choosing full time names, well yeah, that would make it complicated, but I do understand the need for world appeal.
Someone once told me that it was the Lindens who found choosing names difficult, is that true? have they heard of a phonebook? don’t get me wrong I love all Lindens even if you were to take their names away and call them Residents, but seriously, hard? let’s take a page out of the sims for a moment and seek some help over there. Woah look at that a name generator for Sims.
Lets talk Sims for a moment, as so many of us were and are Sims addicts at one stage, imagine if the sims families had no names *gasps* Imagine if they were all just Sims. The names in the sims, the ones that we all started with had character, they meant something to the identity of the characters that held them, they were also distinguishable as the ‘games defaults’. By making all new Second Lifers Resident by default, you have actually brought them in as something that seems lacking in a recognisable trait or character off the mark.
There were also a lot of names there where from something or alluded to something in the older named days, for instance there is a whole history behind the Therian name that I myself only learned of recently. Therian was a name made available to those coming here from There, another virtual world that had seemed to be going under at the time, so many migrated to Second Life and were made to feel welcome with the name Therian as an option, when I read that I put it down as reason 416549841416 why I love Second Life.
I also know that when The Sims Online closed up the name Morgan was around, because I know that history, I know that Lexi came to Second Life from TOS with all her friends from there, so her name is another timeline for other things and meanings. I know that Tomsen and Nikolaidis are names from March 07 and that because of a documentary on TV in Australia two girls joined Second Life the same week and became great friends years later.
Mr Humble, please don’t take these things away from the future of Second Life. I know that you cannot go backwards now, I know that the system is already in place, but could you and your team consider setting up a new add on system that rewarded Residents that want to become one with the community that is Second Life. Maybe after they have been here a certain amount of time, say three months, they could choose a permanent name? maybe even make it part of being a premium or a one time fee that is not that ridiculous high priced fee you have for changing names, but a token payment one time only thing, and still from a list.
Once people are here for that long they are here for good is my opinion, so don’t make them residents forever, that is just too cruel, they will never feel the same passion we do, and they will feel resentful of being different from others, I mean in a way you are making them a closed community within a community and that is not fair to anyone. I know you think Display names will fix it, but no, the display names are not even now being used how they were intended, I don’t see anyone using a RL name above their SL one, all I see are silly characters and silly names that people use for laughs…it has made a mess of friendslists, thankfully it is a feature you can turn off, but then by doing so you have people referring to people by different names, and that in itself is even more confusing.
Mr Humble please give Residents a chance to be real Residents.
Yours Sincerely and Proud to be
Sasy Scarborough of the Second Life Scarboroughs