[MUD-Dev] Names (was \\\"An essay on d00dism and the MMORPG\\\")

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 4 09:46:46 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Sunday, December 03, 2000, 3:15:08 PM, gmiller at classic-games.com <gmiller at classic-games.com> wrote:
> Travis Casey <efindel at earthlink.net> wrote:

>> The difference is whether the syllables in question fit the pattern
>> of the character's native language.  To use real-world examples,
>> any native English speaker will know that "Duening" is not an
>> English name, and that you therefore have some non-English
>> ancestry.  Other examples of names that would be immediately
>> recognized as non-English, even by those who haven't encountered
>> them before, are "Joachim", "Srinivas", "Ishida", "Guccione", and
>> "Pablo" (using a mix of first and last names, there).

> Of course, there's no hard-and-fast rule that character names have
> to be in the character's language, either. I've never seen a mud
> that required all spoken text to be in in-game languages--the fact
> that names usually are in those languages is just a convention.

I'm not talking about meanings here, though -- just about sound
patterns.  "Thomas", "Robert", "Jane", and "Melissa" all fit the sound
pattern of English, but none of them have an evident meaning to a
fluent English speaker who hasn't delved into the meanings of names.

> Consequently, you could say that dwarves in a given game world have
> mining, metal, or gemstone names. So Bubba could name his dwarf
> Quartz. If someone who doesn't speak his language sees him, you
> could run it through a mangler of the sort many muds use for
> speech. Elves might see Kothak while Dwarves see Quartz.  If an elf
> learns dwarf, he too would then see Quartz.

That depends, though, on whether names actually have an apparent
meaning in the language in question.  If they do, then I'd
wholeheartedly support doing something like that.  However, in most
real-world cultures, names meant something long ago, but the roots
they're composed from have shifted over time, so the meaning is no
longer evident.

Of course, that's truer in some cases than others; names like
"Gloria", "Angela", and "Victor" have meanings that are still very
evident.  Even more evident are the more recently invented names, like
"Faith" and "Hope".

       |\      _,,,---,,_    Travis S. Casey  <efindel at earthlink.net>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
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