Since this topic is floating around in different threads, I thought I would give it a home.
I never have been consistent about my handle, as often I want to play anonymously. Sure, I play as Supertanker or [CoFR]Supertanker occasionally, but mostly I just make something up and change it on a whim. These are often mildly scatological, like "Pant Filler."
There is a psychological warfare aspect, too. I often play as "Player" or whatever the default name is. That way, people assume I am a newbie, and underestimate me. I don't want to be feared, I want to be dismissed. It is the fastest way to get their guard down. I also get a certain satisfaction after killing someone a whole bunch of times in a row, and they say something like "Fucking newbie." That's right son, it was just luck ;)
By TomChick on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 04:01 am:
I can imagine it would be different for people who regularly play in a clan. Certainly if you were tracking your stats, you'd want the same handle. But for those of us who play a bunch of different games, I don't think it matters that much. Even when I'm playing a single player game that wants a name, I just type in whatever's at the tip of my tongue. I was playing the TRIBES 2 beta as "Big Earl" because I recently watched Magnolia. Go figure.
Wumpus has said some silly things before, but connecting credibility with whether you use a consistent handle is pretty far out there.
However, good call with the "Player" trick, Supertanker! I'll have to remember that one...
By wumpus on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 08:43 am:
SuperTanker-- the situation is a little different than what you outline. You already have a consistent handle, and you use it to post under here. Choosing to be anonymous despite your handle is a seperate topic.
In contrast, Tom doesn't even have a handle that he's settled on after all these years. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but the distinction illustrates the differences between the two groups.
p.s. I'm in Tupelo, MS! Birthplace of Elvis! Heck, even Elvis had a handle. "The King".
By Dean on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 10:12 am:
In contrast, Tom doesn't even have a handle that he's settled on after all these years.
Uhm, wouldn't Tom's handle be Tom Chick? I certainly recognize him by that one whether it's on an article in a print magazine, on a usenet post, or in here. I have no idea if that's the name his momma gave him, so it's about the same as Supertanker to me.
Personally, I usually go by Ronco, which is an old one from Space Wars days. Here I go by Dean, simply because I sometimes have moments of guilt about handles (it feels like I'm trying to conceal something when I'm not really). Recently I started playing Pharoah, and named my family "Deanubis" just because it sounded Egyptian and I was feeling silly.
I don't play online much-- once or twice a year I'll give something a go-- so I don't really have an online rep or stats to boast about.
So there you go.
By Rob_Merritt on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 11:10 am:
My handle/nick has always been Calamity. Added Baron to it as of late. Ofcourse then there is the one I use for tradind pr0n ;)
By Steve Bauman on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 11:19 am:
I never use any regular handle, so I guess my credibility is shot too. I'm occasionally doofus, or lord doofus, or hunkahunkaburninglove.
I really want to be one of those VE guys and be known as Steve "doofus" Bauman. I even saw on GameSpy that they wear handles like a badge of honor. "We have handles, so we're like you." Um, yeah, whatever.
By Dave Long on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 12:09 pm:
I've always used The Iron Fist, but I don't think it makes me any more legit a player than anyone else. It was the first ID I came up with when I started playing Quake 1 and it has just stuck with me.
Maybe Tom's schizo gameplaying habits have something to do with it? When you jump from game to game as much as he does (through reviewing, etc.)it doesn't seem like something you need to stick to. I actually found myself using some different names recently (Sacrifice for example) because "The Iron Fist" didn't really fit a wizardly character.
I think you're placing too much emphasis on this wumpus. Though the Gamespy guys are apparently "like you". :)
By mtKafka (Mtkafka) on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 12:21 pm:
Just to add to the handle names...
I used to play mainly as QuakerOats on T.E.N. with Quake and Duke Nukem. Was ranked in top 100 on T.E.N. deatmatch Quake! Though that was short lived. Yeah, big deal! Some of the best quake players i met on T.E.N. and they were on dial up too (this was 4 years ago about).
Recently, if i do play online i just play under classic writer names...mainly mtKafka, mtTolstoy, mtCervantes or Shakespearean names. . . mtLear or mtHamlet. . .anyway
By Bub (Bub) on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 01:08 pm:
Before I became a "gaming ninja" I used to use "Dante", due to a fascination I have with the Divine Comedy. I have a cat named Dante actually, so sometimes that was "Dante the Cat".
When playing Xwing vs. TIE Fighter I was Inferno, but that name was taken at The Zone. So, in haste, I named myself DInferno. "Dante's Inferno". Then everyone thought I was really into Disco.
I think it was then that I outgrew the whole handle thing and just started using variations of 'Bub' - but most people think that's a handle.
By Felderin (Felderin) on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 02:03 pm:
Dante is a good cat name--I'll have to remember that. My current cats are Ozymandias and Grendel (the latter is actually poorly named--he's about as fearsome as a baby rabbit).
By BobM on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 03:28 pm:
I've always thought handles were both silly and pretentious. Is your actual parent-given name that boring to you? Is WhamBam that much better?
And I hate it when people say things like "I'm known as Rook on the internet." Yeah, you and and ten thousand other people, buddy.
By Xaroc on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 04:06 pm:
Interesting takes one and all.
I use Xaroc to post most messages unless I am too lazy to register somewhere then I post anonymously. I own Xaroc.com and will probably get vanity tags that say Xaroc on them when I buy a new car. Because at least when I came up with it probably 20 years ago as a name for a AD&D character it was completely unique. I can only find one other reference to Xaroc on the net and it seems to have been picked up by some spanish speaking quake player. Anyway if you see Xaroc on the net chances are it is me. That is why I like my handle. :)
BTW, I tend to play CS under a plethora of names other than Xaroc. It gives me the ability to sink to the level of the competition if needed without sullying my normal alias. :)
By Jim Frazer on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 04:12 pm:
When I was a kid, the whole handle thing was because we were all on local BBSs and wanted to stay anonymous. We wanted to be known by a consistant name, but not the one we had in real life. Sure, eventually we all knew eachother, but by that time we were so in love with our handles (I was "Hurricane" locally from 13 - 19 years old, this was pretty well preinternet days) that we weren't about to give them up. Hell, I still have some friends from back then who call me Hurri instead of Jim.
Once I started getting into the whole internet thing, the name "Hurricane" was dang common. "This name is already taken, how about Hurricane218?". Then I tried "Jimmi" which is just something people called me. Finally it became Jimmicane, because it was the only unique name that popped into my head. I still use Jimmicane for my IRC and UT games most of the time, but for any other games I just pick a name off of the top of my head.
Nowadays I tend to use JEFrazer since it's easy to remember and I really don't care if you know my "real name". I'm not a hacker or a hermit, so if you manage to turn JEFrazer into a way to hunt me down, so be it. :)
By TomChick on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 06:12 pm:
"When I was a kid, the whole handle thing was because we were all on local BBSs and wanted to stay anonymous."
I used to post under the name Ichabod Kagass, which was a product of my friends and I in high school getting drunk and thinking up goofy names. So during my BBS days back in Boston circa 1988, I used this pseudonym (no one used real names on BBSs).
When I first started posting on Usenet, it seemd a natural progression to post under that name. My email address was even under the name "kagass". But as I started discussing reviews I'd written and giving out my email address for work as a writer, it was a little embarassing explaining to people what Ichabod Kagass meant. Not that "Chick" is much easier, but at least it's my real name. And almost as memorable as Kagass.
BTW, I've been fiddling with Kohan. My "handle" there is "Ronald Farber", a rather twisted reference to the movie Happiness. Hey, wumpus, try doing a search for my Quake stats under that name.
By wumpus on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 10:02 pm:
"Nowadays I tend to use JEFrazer since it's easy to remember and I really don't care if you know my "real name". I'm not a hacker or a hermit, so if you manage to turn JEFrazer into a way to hunt me down, so be it. :)"
The history was interesting. I used to call a bbs in Richmond, VA by the name of Skeleton Island. Those were the bad old days.
Interestingly, though, I play on a ton of public servers and virtually nobody plays using their given names. I mean you don't see a lot of "JoeSmith" or anything recognizable as such. It's very uncommon. Rare even. In fact I can't remember the last time I saw that :/
"I've always thought handles were both silly and pretentious. Is your actual parent-given name that boring to you? Is WhamBam that much better? "
What I find endlessly amusing is that we're all computer game dorks, yet stopping short of picking a game handle for yourself is .. somehow less dorky? Well, if that helps you sleep at night, then by all means!
Y'know what makes me wince, though? When one adult male addresses another adult male by their handle in a real world conversation. Within the context of gaming, I love handles. Outside that context.. all I can say is, ouch. Painful.
"I even saw on GameSpy that they wear handles like a badge of honor. "We have handles, so we're like you." Um, yeah, whatever."
We have simply penetrated deeper into the heart of dorkness than you. Don't be afraid.
This turned into a pretty good topic, btw.
By Dean on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 11:56 am:
Holy Shit Tom!
I remember Ichabod Kagass! YOU'RE Ichabod Kagass? Wow!
I used to be on Channel One out of Lexington, and this other small BBS in Brookline that had a great Neverending Story (each post added to the story, any post that was a discussion was deleted or moved to the discussion about the Neverending Story thread).
I was always Ronco back then, and just like now, I posted infrequently, so you wouldn't remember me.
You were a wiseass back then, too.
By Aszurom on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 03:34 pm:
I was the elusive yet everpresent NEEBO, short for Neebookaneezer. Now that has a history behind it as well. You might think "ah, just a bastardization of Nebuchadnezaar" but then you'd be wrong.
Neebookaneezer is actually the name of the flaming mouthed easter-island head from the old cartoon strip CROK. And there you have... the rest of the story.
Oh... by the way... my vanity plates ARE on order :-) And as far as being called by your handle in public, well, more of my friends call me Azzy than by my name.
Now, Aszurom means something completely different. It actually has a meaning, but I'll let someone try to guess what sort of bastardized word fuzion it is. It's easy, actually, once you know the trick.
By Westyx (Westyx) on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 04:05 pm:
My handle *is* me, or at least my online presence. It's my CS name, the name i register on sites as (such as here at quartertothree), the name i sign my emails with. To me, it is both an online extension of me, and yet all it is is a handle, a pointer, an alias to the real me.
Pretty simple how i picked it. When i first got online i signed my email with "westy", and used Ctrl^X (in pine) to send it. If you forget to hold down the ctrl key, you get westyx. simple as that.
By fdiskboy on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 04:35 pm:
Actually, I have fewer questions online about any handle I might use than my real name.
fdiskboy is a moniker I picked up at work doing helpdesk support.
lando is one people have used for me as a Star Wars reference. My real (nick)name Land, raises too many questions, most of which I've long since tired of answering.