Briefly before this post: I AM still planning to finish that srs biznss post. It’s just awkwardly worded still, and I’d like to make sure it’s polished before I put it up, and as this blog is a hobby, when I get worn down from work, this is one of the first things to get ignored. /sheepish
I put in a name change for Lizzy today! :D She is now Lisan, which fits her so much better. I rolled her on a whim after being on a Pirates of the Caribbean kick, and named her after the lovely Elizabeth Swann – but once I ended up speccing her into holy, she didn’t really seem like a Lizzy anymore. I couldn’t tell what name did fit her, though.
And then a friend of mine started off a DnD campaign that he dragged me into (I say, as if I didn’t jump at the chance), and I developed a combat-healer cleric (who is also a werewolf, incidentally – if only Worgen were getting paladins in Cata!) based on my feel for Lizzy… but I named her Lisan instead.
And that clicked. As I’ve been playing the campaign, I’ve been grasping Lisan more and more, and as I do that, I’ve found it harder to play Lizzy with the same enthusiasm. Names have a lot of power, in my opinion, and the wrong name can make a character impossible to play or write correctly. Part of this is from personal experience – I have never felt so comfortable with and sure of myself as I did the day I decided on the name I would use to replace the one on my birth certificate – that name was wrong, it wasn’t who I was. My new name is, and I’ve been able to be myself with so much more confidence since I owned it and declared that that was who I am.
“But Apple,” sayeth you, “it’s just a WoW character, and you’re not even RPing with her! Why is her name so important? Can’t you just name her
‘sparklemotion’ or something and play her just as well?” No, I can’t. The thing is that I don’t just play games, or read books, or watch TV shows. I immerse myself in them. Media that keeps throwing me out of the story and the world, for whatever reason, is the stuff I can least enjoy, even if the premise is amazing and the characters intriguing. And in a medium like WoW, where I literally create my avatar, my conduit to immersing myself in the world, I have to have some idea of who they are. They aren’t just a costume that I put on – they are their own people, in a way. They have stories, personalities, hopes, and dreams. Does that mean I’m constantly playing as if I WAS them? No. But the fact is that if I roll a character and never give them any personality, any sense of existence, I won’t be able to play them for more than a few hours. Trust me, there are plenty of deleted and abandoned characters on my account who have been proof of that.
So now Lizzy has become Lisan (I’ve changed her tag to match), and I feel like everything is right in healerland. And as I close this blog, I’ve a question for you – readers, fellow bloggers, whoever cares to answer, wherever they care to answer it:
What do character names mean to you? Are they important, or do you just name them whatever you think of off the top of your head?