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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Real Names on the Forge  (Read 20809 times)
Jake Norwood
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« on: December 18, 2002, 04:39:45 PM »

One of the things that really attracted me to the "adultness" of the forge was the use of "real names." Now, there was a firey thread on RPG.net a while back as to why not to use real names, and this isn't that thread.

What I guess I mean is that I really *like* talking to people and knowing their real names (or at least something that I think is their real name). It's only a little better when they sign with the real name and the handle, though, because then I have to memorize both...which is a hassle.

What it comes down to is that I'd like to see more folks use their real names around there, and I think that more would if they saw that (once) it was pretty well encouraged around here. I think that got lost wit the huge membership boost over the last 8 months.

Anyway, it's not a criticism at all, but rather something that I'd like to see, and I'd like to know if there are others who are with me and those that would consider re-tooling their handles for the "community."

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2002, 04:46:36 PM »

Hi Jake,

This is a big issue for me. I highly, highly encourage everyone to consider using their real names as usernames, for tons of reasons. Here are the main two.

1) It helps folks to present what they really think and feel rather than to pose as an on-line persona.

2) It helps them to feel "heard" when a person responds to them using their own name.

All of the above are tendencies, not guarantees. Several long-time Forge members have been exemplary while using a username (but they always sign-off with their real name). But every little bit helps.

Christopher had a neat tag-line for a while in his posts: "Adult, human names: they prove you're adult and human." I seem to recall a slightly higher proportion of people signing on or switching to their names as usernames while he had that going, although that might not reflect reality so much as my hopes.

A lot of people have switched to their real names over time, which I greatly, greatly appreciate. If anyone would like to, contact Clinton, and he can change it for you real quick.

Best,
Ron
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Jeffrey Miller
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2002, 04:50:03 PM »

What, naming myself "D@rk_L0rd_$7@y3r" isn't adult? ;)

Actually, FTR, "Eogan" is one of the three middle names my parents saddled me with.  It helped as a child to determine between when my mom was just being loud or I was REALLY in trouble..

-jeffrey "middle initial?  what's that?" miller-
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2002, 04:52:53 PM »

Quote
A lot of people have switched to their real names over time, which I greatly, greatly appreciate. If anyone would like to, contact Clinton, and he can change it for you real quick.


Ah. Thanks for posting that. I actually tried doing it myself once, but it didn't work.

-Matt (whose username is pretty close)
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Sidhain
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Posts: 160


« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2002, 04:58:53 PM »

Funny enough the only place I don't use this handle--which comes from one of my games, and has been part of my e-mail for many years now, is RPGNET (because I've written reviews, and don't want to be considered to be "hiding" when I write reviews--since when I started that was an issue ), on the other hand most I've spoken with online know me as Sidhain, and switching to my real name would leave some confused.

It's not more adult, nor more honest, because after all I /could/ make up a fake "real name"  and hide behind it, anyone could--now it makes it much harder to discuss games that way.


My opinions are mine, they would be the same whether I used my real name, or I used the handle I've had for years. I stand behind them as things I said/wrote, whether I still believe them or not may be an issue.


It's easy enough to find my real name, heck its easy if its important--just ask.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2002, 06:12:10 PM »

Hi there,

One thing I've tried to emphasize, over the months, is that anyone is free to employ whatever username they prefer. Sidhain's right - over time, it's the behavior that matters most.

However, structurally, looking over the diversity of persons rather than at any one person, the trend is clear to me: real names result in a higher degree of real interactions (as opposed to posturing). That's why I encourage using real names.

But! If anyone prefers not to, that is OK too. It's pretty hard to get people to understand that encouraging behavior X does not mean that, for anyone and everyone, behavior Y is "wrong." There is no need to defend one's choice.

Best,
Ron
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Seth L. Blumberg
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Posts: 303


« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2002, 06:57:53 PM »

Sidhain: observe my signature for one answer to your problem.
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the gamer formerly known as Metal Fatigue
Eric J.
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2002, 07:05:40 PM »

Hey Ron,

Your points are valid but I would dissagree with your last post on the matter that

Quote
However, structurally, looking over the diversity of persons rather than at any one person, the trend is clear to me: real names result in a higher degree of real interactions (as opposed to posturing).


I'm not one to dissagree with you, but I would rather have this stated as something along the lines of:  The use of real names often coincides with mature behavior.  

This is because I think that in all probability it's the people's behavior of using a real name indicates their maturity, rather than it's use affects how maturelley interact.  

While real names are probably better for a community such as this, overall; I would dare to say that it's not as big a problem as many would think.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2002, 07:15:50 PM »

Hi Eric,

Good point. Correlation ain't causation, that's for sure.

So my (and Jake's) preference might be sympathetic magic, or it might be a valid causal policy, or it might be hoo-wa. Who knows.

Best,
Ron
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xiombarg
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2002, 09:33:05 PM »

Well, frankly, I feel more comfortable not using my real name. I picked up the nickname Loki in college -- some of most mature moments of my life have been with people who called me that exclusively. Perhaps it's because I've always been closer to my friends than my family, which calls me by my birth name. (Plus, I get tired of the fact that no one remembers my birth name correctly -- it's Kirt, not Kirk, and there's no extra "E" in Dankmyer, thank you.)

And this username? I've been using it online for over a decade now. I respond to it as my own name.

But I do like the fact that we encourage people to reveal their real names. It adds a level  of accountability -- no one is hiding behind an anonymous handle. That's why my real name is in my signature.

But I'm afriad Jake is going to have to deal with the annoyance of memorizing my handle and my real name. Of course, to me, Xiombarg IS my real name, at least as much as my legal name.
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2002, 06:21:38 AM »

I don't use my real name as my handle because then people tend to think I'm using a pseudonym without cause in all cases.  I really do share Phyllis Diller's husband's name.

Fang Langford
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ethan_greer
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2002, 06:34:50 AM »

The only problem (and I use the word hesitantly, since it's a really minor complaint) I have with the "real name vs. handle" issue on these boards is this:

If a person prefers to use a handle, that decision should be abided by.  For example, Ron's addressing of Pyron as Eric in the above post is confusing, and mildly counter to a public discussion, since not everyone knows that Pyron's real name is Eric.  (Not that I'm singling Ron out - he's just a convenient example in the context of this thread.)

Again, it's not a big deal.  But I thought I should mention it as food for thought.
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xiombarg
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2002, 06:47:27 AM »

Quote from: silkworm
If a person prefers to use a handle, that decision should be abided by.  For example, Ron's addressing of Pyron as Eric in the above post is confusing, and mildly counter to a public discussion, since not everyone knows that Pyron's real name is Eric.  (Not that I'm singling Ron out - he's just a convenient example in the context of this thread.)
I dunno -- Ron always does that, and it's usually clear from context who he's referring to. I've never had a problem with it, tho obviously YMMV.
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love * Eris * RPGs  * Anime * Magick * Carroll * techno * hats * cats * Dada
Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- Dance, damn you, dance! -- UNSUNG IS OUT
contracycle
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2002, 07:12:02 AM »

I agree with silkworm.  If someone has selected a nom de net, as it were, I think it is only polite to respond to them by using their chosen identity.  I was actually rather irked by that signature line; I thought it was rather patronising to all the people who have used pseudonyms for a variety of reasons.
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wyrdlyng
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2002, 08:45:47 AM »

I think the preference of being refered to by your real name or pseudonym tends to be a fairly personal one. Many people use a "handle" but include their real names in their sigs (or vise-versa) so I don't think it's so much of an issue for them. (Myself included.)

Of course, if I'm putting words in anyone's mouth please correct me. I'm just operating under the presumption that if you included your real name somewhere you wouldn't mind being called it.
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Alex Hunter
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