SLCS Avatar Name Stories

SLCS Avatar Name Stories

From “Srooc Skytower” to “Gailyana Cooljoke Bayn-Bennett ” we are a squad with some unique names. And even if your name isn’t “unusual,” it is still extraordinary for one simple, but huge, reason: unlike your name in the Physical World (PW), which someone else probably chose for you, here in SL, we choose our own names.

This month I asked SLCS Cheerleaders to share the stories of their avatar names. From frustration with Lucky Chairs to refugees from another world, we’ve taken some interesting journeys to find our names and to become a part of SLCS.

Frickin Aie

Welll I wish this were a more compelling story! But the truth is, I was waiting F O R E V E R for a lucky chair to flip to my old avatar’s name, (back in what.. 2009?).. but the stupid thing would not change! So in my frustration, I went to make a new avatar that started with ‘F’, and because I was mad, I was grumbling aloud to myself, and exclaimed “Freakin A!!!” as I pulled up the last names options list, that used to be on SL’s new avatar registration (Legacy names that is), and wouldn’t you know, “Aie” was an option! I was like “FRICKIN AIE!” and the rest is hilarious history.

Brontë Koskinen

The way I chose my name was quite dull really haha! When I knew there was the girl inside me in RL I needed to get a name for the friends I was making rather than using my birth name. On a spur of the moment kind of exercise, I decided to peruse my bookshelf. I could have been Hawking, or Cox or Moore or something but I chanced upon Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë so I chose her surname as my first name LOL! That was my only name until I fatefully joined SL in 2005 – after one abandoned avi, I went with Brontë and had a plethora of surnames to choose from. Being of partially Norwegian heritage, I wanted a Norse surname but they were all gone so I went with a Finnish one, Koskinen 🙂 It has served to make me plenty of Finnish friends on the grid LOL! Had the same name since 2007 and means the world to me, so much that in RL, amongst the right company, that is also the name I go by 🙂

Corrie Jean

My avatar’s name is Corrie Jean because that is my real life name! When I started I used a different name, Arrena Auer, but because everyone called me Corrie or Cor anyway I decided to make one with my rl name. It was a lot easier that way!

Brooklyn Morningstar

I stumbled upon Second life quite accidentally. I was watching a video on YouTube and ad caught my eye. It was an ad to create your own avatar. I was very intrigued. Since the movie “Avatar” had just come out on DVD. I was thinking to myself how cool it would be to create an avatar. Thinking I was going to look like the ones in the movie. I clicked on the ad, and it took me to the Second life website. I started to fill out all the information. Leaving the name part blank because at first, I couldn’t think of a name. Sitting for a minute or two going through names in my head. Brooklyn came to mind. At the time I was a Preschool Teacher and there was a little girl with the same name. And I had always thought it was a very pretty and unique name. So, I borrowed it. If you look up my name one meaning is pretty brook. To me however, it means unique, kind, caring, a little shy at times, sweet, funny, nice, wear my heart on my sleeve. My name fits to me to a T and in the 11 years on sl I have never had a desire to change the name I gave myself all those years ago.

Destiny Mae MoonDust

My original sl family before they fell apart just because.. 6 years on the grid is a long time and they were together a long time before that. I was their Rosie, but my grandmother always gave me panda stuffs. She passed away several years ago. I miss her a lot. So I changed my username to to honor her. Then chose a name that both inspired me and reminded me of her. When I got my current family their the first family I have had in 3 years. Since I lost my last one. I loved that family so much when they fell apart I didn’t want to move on. I am older now and I wanted people to love and be around so I felt like she was encouraging me to. So I found a family who has respected my grief, helped me move on and supported my growth.

Gailyana Cooljoke Bayn-Bennett

My RL older brother started with computers in the very very beginning days of the “home computer” back in the early 80s. He always let me hang around and see what he was doing and sometimes I would be given the honour of playing games with him like “Frantic Freddie” on the C64. Around 1994 he introduced me to MUDs – Multi-User Domains that you would use a program called Telnet to visit. Some were simply chat based but the most popular ones had various codebases that would allow you to essentially play D&D online, live, with other people. We spent our time on ShadowDale MUD and have even dabbled with coding and writing our own MUD, mostly for fun. I wanted a unique name and after playing around a baby name book I came up with Gailyana, who at that time was known as Gailyana Lorien (for LOTR). I had heard about Second Life but it wasn’t until April 2008 I decided to see what all the fuss was about. At that time you would pick your last name from a list provided to you when you were creating your account. I don’t remember why I picked Mehler, I probably just liked the sound of it better than any of my other options. Although I have been involved in the family roleplay community for a very long time on my little alt, Gail stayed on the fringes for many years before aging down and being more formally included in her families. My display name Gailyana Cooljoke Bayn-Bennett to fit in my dad, mom, and mama’s last names, although everyone reads “Cooljoke” as “Cookies”. Fun fact – I am the only Gailyana in all of SL and until a few years ago, if you did a google image search for Gailyana I took up quite a bit of the search results page with my now-defunct plurk and blog.

Christi Charron

Well, my name is Christi so I just used that. I was so naïve when I joined Second Life that I would’ve used my first and last name had it asked, lol. As for my last name, back then we had a list of random names to choose from, so I refreshed the list a few times, looking for a last name that also started with C, which I thought might be cute. Finally Charron came up in the list and it started with “Ch” which was even better. It is also similar phonetically to my Mom’s name so I felt it could be an homage to her. In French, it means “Wheelwright”, which is a person who makes or repairs wheels. In addition to cheerleading I learned I enjoy scripting vehicles, which ended up being a happy coincidence!

Alexa Bliss

Oh wow, what can I say about Lexi Bliss?? To me, it brings strength to those who I attempt to inspire with the things I have been able to bring not only to my Squad, but also to SL in general. When I decided to go with Alexa Bliss, I had done a lot of research on my character. I found her strength, drive and passion was similar to my own. I hope that I can inspire others to reach the same dreams that I have come to reach.

Wylla Hornwood

Wylla Hornwood was based on Game of Thrones, and I like medieval movies which is why I choose this name, she is a more historical lady.

Liora Lotte Antine Soul

Liora is a Hebrew name that means “light”, “light for me”, or “light the way”. I chose it because I wanted to give my SL avatar a different identity from my own. It sounded unique, original, and fresh, without defining who I wanted to be on SL. It’s not faddish or stuck in the past, and it’s not common. My surnames, Antine Soul, come from my dad’s family.

alinemeskens

Nothing special really! It was about at the moment that Lindens introduced that stupid “resident” last name thing. I tried my real first name, and came out of course that it had already been taken. So I added a rather arbitrary chosen popular last name here in RL where I live, because I didn’t want to give entirely my real identity away (you never know).

THEN: Swoozy & Nuk

Swoozy Stark

My avatar name began in another game, The Sims Online. When I created my sim I called her Stacey Slater after one of my favorite characters in a British soap opera called EastEnders. Shortly after joining The Sims, Stacey met a quirky, adorable man sim named Nukya Woozy. One thing led to another and eventually Stacey Slater became Stacey S. Woozy, which we all found kinda funny because we would say it like, “Stacey is woozy.” Then tragedy occurred! In 2008 EA Games bought The Sims Online and closed it forever, forcing all of us Sims to migrate to a new land. As commonly occurs when immigrants step foot in their new homeland, they are questioned by an immigration official as to their name, marital status, etc. Nervous and shaking with excitement, surrounded by the clammering din of travelers embarking upon their new lives, I approached the immigration official and stammered out my name. “Sss Sss Swoozy!” is what they thought they heard from this shivering woman in the noisy port of entry, and this forever more became my name.

NOW: Swoozy with Altos & daughter Tahlia

Lumyai

Lumyai is a Thai fruit!

Kimberly McBlaze Lemongrass

When I first logged into Second Life in 2013, I used a completely different name & I had a male avatar. The name I started with was “KC1990”. About a year later, in 2014, I joined a family inworld. Most of them had “McBlaze Darkangel” as part of their names, so I changed my display name to “KC McBlaze Darkangel”. Fast forward to 2017, I experienced a real-life crisis. For many years in real life, since I was a child, I held back who I was because I was terrified of what others would think of me & I still wasn’t quite sure of myself either. So I decided to reveal that aspect of myself to only a small number of people I trusted in real life at that time. On Second Life, however, I showed that aspect of myself to everyone I knew. I started changing my avatar to a female avatar and changing the display name from “KC” to “Kimberly” (more on that name choice in a bit). I kept the family name “McBlaze Darkangel” because I was still part of that family during that time. After spending quite some time using the female avatar together with the new name, it dawned on me that this was who I was supposed to be in real life the entire time. I made a similar change in real life and began my transition, changing my real life name to “Kimberly” as well, though obviously, I did not use the rest of my avatar’s name in real life; that would be way too weird if I did. Fast forward to 2020, when Linden Lab released the ability to change usernames, I went ahead and changed my username from “KC1990” to “Kimberly Lemongrass.”. By then, the family I was with completely fell apart and went their separate ways. I eventually joined SLCS around 2021 & at around that time, I dropped “Darkangel” from my name & kept “McBlaze” in the name because I liked how it sounded. It became part of my brand name all over the internet. So now, in Second Life, my display name is “Kimberly McBlaze Lemongrass,” and on the rest of the internet, I am known simply as “Kimberly McBlaze.” Why did I choose the name “Kimberly”? Because in real life, my childhood best friend I had at the time was called “Kimberly”. Due to some legal troubles my father was in at the time (he was constantly on the run from the law), we suddenly had to move away from where we lived back then. As a result, I permanently lost contact with that friend. I was never able to see her again. She was one of only a handful of kids at the time who was willing to be my friend. As I grew up, I kept thinking about her throughout the years, so to honor her, I chose to adopt the name “Kimberly” in both Second Life and real life. And that, folks, was why I picked my name.

Misibel Marenwolf

I chose my name back in the day SL had last names. My first name: The 1st half is part of my RL name while the 2nd half is part of my RL daughter’s name. Marenwolf was one of the names that generated through my endless search, and I thought it just sounded cool!

ღнéανéɲℓу αɲgéℓ stormღ ( you can call me angel)

My name a part of who I am and I try to stick to it everyday. My name means to show love, kindness, and caring in the highest degree. Being a part of something so special means the world to me. I have faith in others when they don’t in themselves. I love being the good people say is rare here.

Aero Bigboots

I didn’t know it at the time, but SL’s old name system was an invitation to RP.

Not a gamer, I wasn’t interested in “blowing shit up.” I’d listen to podcasts from The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. This law professor, Charlie Nesson, would often mention Second Life. They’d built several law school buildings and classrooms in SL and Nesson taught a law school course in SL.

One day I was reading a web design article and it mentioned that Second Life had redesigned its home page. I said, “Oh, that’s that thing Charlie Nesson’s always talking about.” I clicked the link and looked at the homepage. And then I signed up.

As many of you know, from 2003-2010 SL had Last Names. When you signed up you were given a choice from a list of a few dozen different last names and you picked any First Name you wanted. As a non-gamer, when I signed up for stuff I tended to use my “real name.” Facebook goes ballistic if you don’t use your “real name/taxpayer ID name”. Years later, Google+ would do the same. But here was a place where you weren’t even allowed to use your “real” name.

Since I had to choose a pseudonymous identity, the name I liked best on the list was “Bigboots”. It seemed playful. And I think I picked “Aero” because I’d been fangrrling on the career of architect & maker of icons Eero Saarinen. Yes, inspired by the genius architect, and definitely not the denim company!

It’s hard to know what the road not traveled might have been like. But I think if I’d used my Physical World (PW) name in the Virtual World (VW) that it would have just been regular-old-me pushing an avatar around. Not that different from PW peeps using FB. (Granted FB is in fact an MMORPG. But not the good kind)

As a new and distinct “person” with your own name, I was free to dive into the craziness of SL. Sure, your ideology & worldview might be isomorphic with PW you, but as you meet avatars and have experiences, you develop your own “Aerofulness” that is not congruent with the circumstances and experiences of PW living.

When Aero says “I”, it’s not my PW Typist saying “I”, it is independent, unique Aero.

Rōnin Avatar.

I don’t know if I’d have had that experience, that freedom, with a PW name. Thanks “old” SL Names policy! 😀

Aero Bigboots & Brontë Koskinen practicing backstage at SLEA (Second Life Endowment for the Arts) on Sunday 6 February 2022. Joint performance with SLCS & Woodcrest University Cheerleaders organized by Leninah Starlight.

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