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I abhor drama. I avoid getting involved in it unless it’s absolutely necessary, especially Internet drama. However, I also think names are extremely important. So when there’s four blog posts in me RSS this afternoon about the term Gamer, I can’t help but weigh in.

I don’t see every changing my Twitter bio. Well maybe I could remove the “lazy” part from writer/blogger if I keep up my Blaugust pace in September. But the “avid gamer” part I don’t see ever changing.

Calling myself a gamer refers to what I like to do with my free time. For a long time that that just meant video games. Initially it was only console games, then for a long time it was only PC games, and then it became both. In recent years that’s expanded to include tabletop games as well: card games, board games, miniatures, and role-playing games with actual pencils and papers and polyhedral plastic dice. Those are all just different types of games even if some are made of bits, some cardboard, and some plastic. So as long as I enjoy spending a good portion of my free time playing games, that label fits. If it picks up negative connotations because of stupid people doing stupid things, well that’s not a new thing. Being a gamer wasn’t considered a good thing when I was a kid either.

Times change and connotations fade. We’re living in a world where a movie made by a comic book publisher about a team of misfit criminals including a walking tree who (usually) only utters three words and a talking racoon has made about $277 million and is still going. Anything is possible.

Day 29 of Blaugust

Naming, Roses and Earthsea

It doesn’t look like I’ll ever get around to writing up all of the notes I took on Star Wars: The Old Republic, even though it’s way late for a review anyway. I’ve cancelled my subscription and even though it doesn’t expire until August, I doubt I’ll bother logging in because my character died.

So he’s not technically dead, as in deleted or lost, but I lost both my character’s name and legacy name in the recent server merges (because let’s be honest, that’s what they are). Now, I’m sure at least half if not more of you are thinking so what, and that’s probably because you agree with Shakespeare. I don’t, at least not for proper names. I’ve always thought Ursula Le Guin and Pat Rothfuss had it right. Names matter. I realize a large number of people couldn’t care less, log into just about any MMO and spend half an hour in a major social area if you don’t believe me. But I get highly invested in a characters name in both stories and games.

Honestly, I really shouldn’t have bothered with the character transfer from Sanctum to Ebon Hawk. I should have stayed on the dwindling server and finished my class quests (which I’d left sitting for a month or two) and not worried about it. I assumed though that I would eventually want to join up with friends a be a bit more social eventually, so I might as well get it over with. Had I known that BioWare was condensing six PvE-RP servers into one I would’ve realized the chances of keeping the name Kae or legacy Bluestar were infinitesimal. Hindsight, blah blah.

The end result though is that after doing the super quick transfer, I logged in and had to change my character’s name. After seventeen attempts I found a variation on Kae that wasn’t taken, although by that point I didn’t really care. When I tried to set my legacy name back and got the message that it was taken, I decided I was done. Melodramatic? Probably, but it was a completely honest reaction and has stuck with me days later.

It’s ironic that the very process which will hopefully revitalize the game, has completely killed my interest in it. Even more so since BioWare seemed to have some really interesting stuff planned for the next release.

So rather than returning to my Jedi Guardian, Kaevn Blank, I’ve headed back to Star Trek Online for my science fiction fix. Cryptic get’s a lot of heat, sometimes deserved and sometimes not, over their business practices, but I really like the way they’ve done their server architecture. Like with CCP’s EVE, there’s only one server/world/shard for STO. Even better names only have to be unique for my account handle and account handles can hidden in chat (I don’t think they ever display on-screen).