Unthinkability

Scott Fletcher – Saying unthinkable and sundry things.

Oct
01
2007

My XBOX Gamercard identity dilemma

Posted under A Geek Dad's Life, Blog Posts

image I bought the XBOX 360 and played Halo 3 all week, but I have a problem; I need a Gamertag (or as the kids say now, a “Gamercard”).

My old online name has been “AVnerd” since my dial-up bulletin board system (BBS) days in 1985.  It’s hard to believe that I have used that name online for over 20 years, and now think that I have outgrown it. Its even harder to believe that I’m using the term “outgrown it” while considering replacing it.  If I had truly outgrown it, I would just quit playing these stupid online games and start acting like an adult.

Alas, I am a child of the 80′s.  Video games are a rewarding escape for me, and I enjoy the artfulness and creativity of the authors.  I’m not a hardcore gamer, and honestly don’t have much time to play, but I sure enjoy it when I can.  Now that I have Halo 3, I want to go online and play some XBOX Live matches with folks that I have met over the past few years.  The problem is that now I need to pick a name for my XBOX Live account, and that name will be permanent.

I have spent the last several years building a name for myself both on-and-off line.  I have built a small “Scott Fletcher” brand as a friendly and down-to-earth commentator and expert on software programming and citizen media trends, and as a voiceover artist that serves small and independent media producers.  If you Google “Scott Fletcher,” I am #3 in the results.  I doubt that I’ll ever overtake the #1 position held by the baseball player, but you never know!

I need to find a Gamercard name that somehow identifies myself as that “Scott Fletcher” guy, that still sounds cool when you see the following phrases on-screen:

  • “You killed ________ with a headshot.”
  • “__________ just shot you with a battle rifle.”
  • “_________ is on a killing spree.”
  • “________ wins the game.” 

(My favorite thing to do in LAN games is to use the name “YourGrandma”)

The name also needs to be easy to pronounce when people see it on the screen.  The problem with “AVNerd” was that no one pronounced it correctly.  No one said “A-V-Nerd” like it was meant to be pronounced (as in Audio/Visual Nerd); Everyone said “AVE-Nerd” (as in Avenue Nerd) and I got tired of correcting them.

When I finally choose my XBOX Live Gamercard name, I could choose something completely unrelated to “Scott Fletcher,” but why would I create a new name solely for use online?  The only reason that I can think of for creating a completely new persona would be to conceal my actual identity. 

The only two reasons that I can think of to conceal my identity would be 1) because I am tired of being me, or 2) because I want to do something online for which I would be ashamed in real life.  For instance, if I created a new separate online identity, I could feel free to be a total ass-munch jerk to other people without worrying about sullying my actual name!  I could play Halo3 online and taunt other players with lewd and inappropriate remarks.  Woot. No thanks.

Since I plan on being a normal human online being instead of a total ass clown, I might as well be “me” online.  I value my time too much to squander that time spent building an online persona with a name like “MadNoobzSkillz” or “PhatWormBottom” or “HaxorPizzaBreath.”  So what if “PhatWormBottom” has mad street cred?  It’s much better for “Scott Fletcher” to be associated with a good reputation that just some fictitious online persona.  Besides, I just don’t have enough time in my life to manage multiple identities.  Every activity in which I participate should be used as a branding opportunity, and I should continue to focus on tying my online and offline identities together.

You might be wondering “Geez, did he really say that playing Halo 3 online is a ‘branding opportunity’ for himself?”  Yes.  I did.  Welcome to my own personal hell.  I’m a adult that plays kids games because a part of me is still a kid.  I’m also an adult that values his reputation and makes continual efforts to improve it.  You never know when the next Halo Spartan that you melee in the back of the head will be the person sitting across a desk from you in an interview. 

I’m 38, a gamer, and a senior software architect at a healthcare software company.  My advice to you when you’re playing Halo 3 online: Keep your smack talk playful and civilized, and keep your lewd comments in check.  Don’t say anything online that you would be ashamed of in real life, and always feel free to apologize if you realize that you got carried away in the heat of the battle.  It can happen to anyone.

So about that Gamercard: How about “ScottyPoopyPants”?

(UPDATE: You can call me MrScottFletcher)

  1. RaXha Said,

    ScottyPoopyPants sounds.. good! ;)

  2. B33b3s Said,

    Perhaps “TheFletcher” would be a good gamertag. It doesn’t instantly identify you as you, but it’s not too far off. Plus it has the added, yet completely necessary, bonus of not being taken yet!

  3. AL7AIR Said,

    ^ That’s ALTAIR btw not ALZAIR as people tend to pronounce it, and my nick is over 15 years old, and no the 7 wasn’t a 1337-speak replacement for the T in the first place because that kind of “language” wasn’t really part of the internet/bbs/LANs back then. It originated from a stylization of the name consisting of a bunch of lines, similar to the current EA logo (I should have patented it back in the days :) )

    So yes I get your point and your concerns, and was looking for a similar more fitting gamertag when creating my live account back on the Xbox 180 :) , sadly “Nobody” and a couple of variations of it were already taken and I chose my old one once again. So maybe some people changed their gamertag in the meantime and you can call dibs on them now, and go with “Nobody”, “Somebody” or “No one” to complete your sentences. Other than that “ScottyPoopyPants” is too long … char limit is 15 ;)

  4. Kree Said,

    “Fletcher” sounds like a perfectly good name if no one’s taken it yet. Either that or variations like “TheFletcher” or “ScottFletcher” would also work.

  5. PilgriM Said,

    Variations on Fletcher could be good, maybe Fletch, Fletcha, ThaFletcha etc etc

    Using ScottyPoopypants, pretty much everyone will shorten it, some will cal you Scotty, others Poopy, & maybe even Pants, which ain’t original anyway cos i know a guy who plays under the name pants, he started off as Pantsfulloffear as I recall….

  6. Konraden Said,

    So, Fletch, what’s the plan?

    I chose my name (Konraden) because it mixes a German name I chose for myself back when I had a German class in 6th Grade (like, 8 years ago…). I liked the name Konrad, and I just added “en” to the end because it looked good. Now, today, I “wear” my tag with pride when I play games, whether it be at a LAN party or Xbox-Live.

    A friend of mine, Dispraiser, of Halogen fame, chose his name by opening a dictionary, and sticking his finger on a word at random.

    If there is something I will agree to, it is that simple, one or two word names work best, especially if it is easy to pronounce.

    Either way, Fletcher, when you get around to getting that Xbox-Live account, be sure to add me; you won’t regret it.

  7. Navillus Ein Said,

    It’s only a matter of time before someone calls you MrsCottFletcher :)

  8. Chris Price Said,

    How about Fletchy its not that original just added a Y but it cant be mistaken and sounds quite good

  9. Sebastiaan Said,

    I think you should still go with “FloppySponge”
    can’t beat the classics ;)
    great read

  10. Silverback Said,

    See, the only problem with going with ‘TheFletcher’ is that it sounds a little too close to, ‘TheFelcher’, which has an entirely different and filthy meaning! Anywho, feel free to add me on LIVE, my gamertag is SCOTT1E DOG.

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