Posted by: AceRailgun | December 29, 2011

Usernames and online identities

I’m always curious as to why people pick usernames. Mine took a long time to come up with but when I decided on AceRailgun I knew I’d picked a winner. I didn’t use the internet much when I was a teenager and never joined any communities and most certainly never posted comments, My outlook on the internet was that nobody wanted to hear my opinion so I never bothered, truth be told during my teen years I didn’t care about the opinions of anonymous people online either. When I did have to sign up to things, mostly to access music and anime databases I would use a dumb username that contained the word ninja.

 

I was given a copy of Battlefield 2 Bad Company in the middle of 2010 and tried to play it but couldn’t until I came up with a username, since someone was watching me crate my profile I couldn’t use my stupid ninja username so on the spot I came up with Snowstorm. It worked fine as a username but it is very common and a steam search will reveal many other Snowstorms. I had trouble signing up to websites with it as someone had always beaten me to the punch. The final straw came when someone called me snowman in a battlefield match. Sure that’s funny but it just proves how forgetable my username was.

 

When I got steam at the end of 2010 I signed up with snowstorm again but soon changed it to Ace Defective as a reference to a Persona 3 quote. Later in the week It became Ace Detective as an extension of that joke. A friend of mine had been using the name Loli on steam but he would put a different name before it once a month with the picture of a loli anime character. An example of this is Professor Loli with a picture of Hakase from Nichijou. This idea sparked something inside of me and I was soon using Ace in the same manner he was using Loli.

 

I went through dozens of Ace names some of which were

Ace Angel (Angel Beats reference)

Ace Pirate (One Piece reference)

Ace Strategist (Katanagatari reference)

Ace Invader (Squid Girl reference)

 

About the time I wanted to start a blog I realised if I wanted to be easily recognised by the people I communicate with online I should try and remain consistent. I need a name that isn’t commonly used but is easy to say and remember. That’s when Ace Railgun came back to me, I’d used it for about a week on steam and then swapped it out for the next best thing.

 

Railgun is a reference to Mikoto Misaka from Toaru Majutsu no Index. It’s a happy coincidence that she was also refereed to Ace on occasion. I picked the name and the Tiger image and signed up for everything online I used again with Ace Railgun, now it’s everywhere and consistent so a neat freak like me only has to remember one username and a dozen passwords.

 

My online identity is an extension of my real self so we naturally share the same personality, However I talk a lot online which is probably a good thing  but in real life I am a listener which seems like a good thing but it also means I have trouble approaching someone and starting conversation, most people I am friends with approached me first and I listened a lot.

 

I’m most curious as to how other people came up with their username and if they still like it. Were you smart the first time and picked a good username or is this your 5th one?

The other thing I interested in is if you act the same online as you do offline?

Tough questions I know.


Responses

  1. First username here from like 1999-2000 and well I’m generally cheerful in real life as well.
    Obviously I don’t go shouting to everyone “you’re my wife!” or “Sign a contract with me!!!”, but well. You understand my point right?! :D

    • It would be weird if you ran around shouting those things but at the same time it would be weird if you didn’t online, funny how that works.

      So you still have the same username you came up with when you were about 14. Good job sticking with it all these years.

  2. I have a weird habit of coming up with interesting usernames that have very simple or silly origins. I came up with Yerocha back in 2003, and it’s really just my last name spelled backwards with an -ha put in for flavour.

    I act different in real life in that I’m usually a very quiet person. The simple fact that I make regular posts and comments is different enough. Also, like feal87, I’m not nearly as perverse in real life.

    • I doubt anyone is as perverse online as they are in real life.

      Backwards spelling, clever. Your username works well and I bet you never have problems with it already been taken. I’m quiet in real life too so I guess that’s something we have in common.

  3. I actually kept my real name as my handle whenever I leave comments. So there wasn’t much thinking involved and it’d feel really awkward if I changed it. Naming my blog and coming up with a twitter username was a bit more tricky. Honey and Clover is one of my all time favorites, so I named my blog after it and used ‘hachikurooo’ with two additional o’s for my username on twitter.

    Now real life and my online persona are a tad different. I guess whenever I’m online I tend to be more…of an exaggerated version of myself? I’m still the same but it’s easier for me to express my opinions bluntly on the internet than it is in real life.

    • It’s nice to keep it simple. Your blog has a cool and unique name, I like it.

      It’s easy to be blunt on the Internet because there is so many place to voice an opinion. I’ve discovered things I didn’t know about myself online simply because there is so many places to leave an opinion. It’s easier to be blunt online then it is to be in real life and that can give life to the exaggerated persona.

  4. I’ve gone through three usernames since I got my first computer with Internet in 2001. First I was PkmnAll, a reference to my obsession with Pokemon at the time and the initials in my name. Next, when I started my old anime fan site, I became AnimeDreamer36. That name stuck for a few years until I started my blog and wanted to create a new name that was shorter. I then became Yumeka around 2006 and will probably keep that name =)

    I would say I’m basically the same online as in real life except I’m much more articulate and expressive online, but that’s because I’m better at writing than speaking. Like you, I find myself listening more often than speaking in real life, but online when I don’t have to talk over anyone and I can take my time with writing what I want, I can talk on and on XD

    • It’s funny how we go through usernames like that. I’ve never been a fan of putting numbers on the end of my username as it raises the question in my mind anyway of “why AnimeDreamer36 and not just AnimeDreamer.”

      If I may ask what does the name Yumeka mean to you, is it just a random name or was it inspired by something.

      I know I’ll be keeping the name Ace Railgun for many years, blogging comes so naturally to me that I don’t ever see myself stopping.

      • I had to use “AnimeDreamer36″ because there was already an “AnimeDreamer” on AIM (I used AIM a lot back then). “Yumeka” comes from “yume,” which means “dream” in Japanese, and the kanji I use for “ka” means “someone who does…” So the name would mean “dreamer” basically.

      • Oh right, that’s the same problem I had with Snowstorm.

        Yume = dream. That’s clever, I like the user names with a meaning.

  5. When I first started going online, I was fairly young, so I’d use variations of my first name, since I figured it was Chinese and no one would figure it out. When I finally grew a brain, I started trying to come up with something new. My brother and I played a bunch of Smash Bros. (if it wasn’t obvious) and so I wanted to use something with Marth in it. Then I came across the game Guild Wars, which requires a sort of first name-last name setup for your name. I thought to myself “What could I use as a last name for Marth?” and I came up with Aurion, which is the last name of Kratos from Tales of Symphonia. When I started playing Starcraft 2, I wanted to come up with a different name altogether, so I took Varis from Code Geass (Lancelot’s gun). Other than that, I use marthaurion practically everywhere. As for personality, I’d say I’m probably pretty close online to how I am in real life. I’d say I’m less serious online, but I goof around a lot in real life too. I don’t know if I’d gush over anime girls in real life though since I don’t usually talk about anime with other people. That’s why I ended up turning to online for that sort of discussion.

    • Thanks for the story I love hearing about the origin of usernames and the though process that goes into creating them.

      The name Aurion alone is neat, I would almost consider ‘borrowing’ it for a characters name in a novel. :P

      Smash bros rocked I used to play that all the time. I’d buy a new one if it came out too.
      Coming online for anime discussion seems the obvious choice for anime enthusiasts. Are downfall is that because we never talk about anime in real life we can’t find people in real life who also like anime.

  6. Interesting post AceRailGun.My Username and animeblog site is a tribute to the chinese resturant that Minmay runs in the classic Macross series, and shop that Ranka Lee works at. The Macross series holds a special place in my heart, so that’s why I use it. Keep up the good work Ace RailGun!

    • I love it how peoples usernames reflect the anime they like, Funny thing is I don’t really like Toaru Majutsu no Index. The only part of the anime I liked was Misaka so that’s why I chose railgun. Plus railgun is a cool word and refers to a strange type of weapon that uses lightning. My knowledge of the weapon is limited.

      NyanNyan instantly brings a picture of two cats to my mind for some reason, they sit beside each other going nyan. Hence NyanNyan. :P

  7. Not sure why I picked the name I did, but it was for something interesting/unpredictable. Just wanted a name I sure that no one would think of using right off hand and wanted to contain japanese, so thinking about weapons and elements I came up with:

    Tsurugi = common Japanese word sword
    Arashi = Japanese word for Storm (was thinking about thunder and lighting)
    x = arbitrary, no real meaning.

    And, that was it. Sound cool wouldn’t hurt, but whatever, lol.

  8. SwordStormX, it sounds better the way you wrote it. :P

    X’s make everything better.

  9. I changed my username a lot until at some point the name Rei becomes well known in a game forum website. I’ve been using Rei ever since. I was still thinking of changing my username again back then, even though I was well known at the forum, but a lot of my friends don’t agree on that, so I didn’t >_<

    I stuck with this name for like more than 5 years now :P

    • Your Username is pretty common so it’s probably important to keep the picture consistent too. I’m sure there is a few other Rei’s floating around the anime community. If there wasn’t it would be very strange indeed.

  10. I got my username out of the blue ….

    one time (when i tried making a blog) and decided with scrambling the letters from negima (<3 the manga series) and slapped in with some other words since one of my first manga that i had read was negima…and ended up hunting down the last of the issues here in the Philippines.

    Sadly, I managed to snag only a few of the volumes (when I took a pencil to knee XD)

    since i live in the coastal region and away from the big city i dont get around with buying mangas anymore but I do try to manage to catch a few at times….

    (eato-shito ^__^;)….but I do hope my username sticks for awhile…though

    • That explains a lot. The fist time I saw your username I noticed it was similar to Negima.

      It’s such a pain when you can’t get the things you are after. Lets just take a moment to thank the internet and home delivery . :)

  11. Mine is a rather obvious reference to the Working!! character Junichi (Jun) Sato. I came up with it a while ago under the delusional dream that I might one day enter the manga/anime market myself. Since I figured a western name would turn off the people in Japan (i.e. the industry’s primary consumers), I wanted something that sounded a little more…asian, but at the same time left a hint of westernism in it. I chose “John” just ’cause it’s the stereotypical western name (think John Doe), and tacked on “Sato” at the end. It wasn’t until later that I realized that the reason I thought of it was because “John” sounded so much like “Jun.” I’ve since given up such dreams, but I liked the name, so it stuck.

    Hmmm…well, I *think* the same. :) No, I’m just your typical “reserved offline, more vocal online type.” Not too interesting, I know.

    Oh, by the way, if you like Steam, you should check out GOG.com. It’s like Steam, but cheaper, totally copy-protection free (legally), and focuses more on older games. It may not float your boat as well as Steam does, but you should still check it out, especially if you’re at all interested in games from the 1995-2005 or so era.

    Nice post.

    • That sure is an interesting way to pick a username.
      Considering you used a very common name as a username it still feels unique enough to remember.

      I think nearly everyone is more reserved offline but I have noticed my personality online reflects my actions in real life. If only slightly.


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