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Subject: On the Perils of Naming Yourself rss

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Robert Hatch
Canada
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Am I the only one who agonized the least bit about choosing an online name? Or who comes to regret it? Sure, on RTS or FPS sites, where bravado is the norm, just punch in something pretentious, but what about a community such as this, where people are shockingly civil, and a cocksure monicker might inspire more mockery than awe? I suppose most of us seek to project our personality, maybe even a bit about whatever, other than boardgames, sops up our time and money (my kids come to mind, suddenly). Or maybe just some playful wit, perhaps even mocking ourselves. When I joined the online game Star Chamber a while back, I picked Thotfox, which signals my interest in literature (a Ted Hughes poem), but after I'd lost more games than I'd won, I began to think that suggesting I was clever (like a fox), or had the strategic brilliance of the Desert Fox - well, let's say the appeal of a self-deprecating name more in keeping with my newbie's skill level began to dawn on me. And now look what I've done - gone and picked TygersHart, which seems to be making the same mistake all over again (Fox's thoughts vs Tiger's heart - yikes, I'm my own cliche!). I wanted UpstartCrow - which seemed much less vainglorious (but then again, there I go with the animal motif - what a sad little loop of non-creativity! Think outside the box, Rob, or at least the menagerie). But UpstartCrow was taken. Ah, but it comes from a little bit Robert Greene wrote about Shakespeare, and Greene also calls him a "tygers hart wrapt in a players hyde" (in other words a mere actor with the gall to pick up the quill and compete with the playwrights who've blessed him with their roles). And I thought, how perfect, "players" hyde - for a game-playing site! So, bam, I typed it in. But the more time I spend loping about boardgamegeek, spotting many amusing or charming names, it seems to me that my (authentic?) spelling is cheesily archaic, and my reference a little obscure, and the more straighforward meaning, well, alas, erring somewhat on the side of pretense and bravado (I shudder to think I might seem to be declaring myself the Tiger Woods of board games). Sigh... So am I the only one to have second thoughts about a name? Anyone get any flak about theirs, or at least give off altogether the wrong impression? Perhaps these are silly questions - but like I said, this site is more like a community, and surely it is possible to feel like a guy who has dashed out before his coffee to buy the weekend newspaper, only to realize he's tossed on in his hurry some odd, even offensive, and entirely-unlike-him t-shirt (perhaps a moth-riddled remnant from his teenage years). Yes, think of me as that sheepish thirty-something dad, running into far too many people he knows at the store, with Motley Crue emblazoned on his chest, each leering bandmember lifting his middle finger into the face of whoever looks their way...Good morning!Heh... heh...
 
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Hans Persson
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Tyger, tyger ...
An opportunity for quoting Blank is never wrong.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize thy fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And why thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors grasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

-- William Blake, The Tyger

I don't normally give the subject of what user name to choose much thought, since I try to have the same one everywhere (or just "unicorn" as in my email address). The problem comes when that is already taken...

Welcome to the geek!
 
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Hans Persson
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Argh!
Argh! "quoting Blank" Duh! At least I got it right the second time.
 
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Magnar Sveen
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Naming problems? No no, I just chose my christian name. Superdeathflame. Thanks mom!
 
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Boo
Canada
Kanata
ON
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For those who are curious. The history of my and many other usernames on BGG are listed here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
 
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S W E E T !
United States
West Lafayette
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Welcome welcome TygersHart.

Based upon a thorough reading of your post (using a dictionary, of course) allow me to offer you, a newbie, some friendly advice.

You're going to want to stay away from folks like Alexfrog, especially when he gets to discussing things like math and probability in games like Modern Art or Goa. Come to think of it, you might want to stay away from games like Modern Art, or Goa, or PowerGrid, or, um, anything listed in this geeklist:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...

There are, however, many games that can be appreciated by gentlemen like yourself. I would search geeklists using terms such as "light," "filler," "games my wife will play," and "shiny bits."

Finally, you might occasionally notice BGGers discussing how to tweak the ratings system to, um, make it better? You'd be better off to ignore their discussion and just use the ratings guidelines provided.

It's good to have you.

Clayton
 
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Doug Richardson
United States
Gresham
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No Problem
I am sure you are not the only one who has agonized over a name.

"What's in a name? A rose by any other
name would still smell as sweet."

But many here would have no problem recognizing your name as a tribute to the Bard. As a former member of the now defunct Tygres Heart Shakespeare Company of Portland, Oregon, the reference brings back mostly warm memories.

Name? Don't let regrets trouble you. Try to remember the advice of the boardgamegeek/actor who said:

"The play is the thing..."
 
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Damian Evans
United States
Spokane
Washington
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Memory Lane
Thanx for the trip down memory lane Clayton and Jen. I was tempted to bring back both of those old lists.
 
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Robert Hatch
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Hans: I was not thinking of Blake's poem, but his tiger lurks well behind my username (although the bit about twisting the sinews of its heart is alarming). I like how your typo made its own sense: for a moment I thought you were about to quote some "blank" verse (seriously).

Doug: great name for a company (alas defunct). In truth, I suspected some or many bard buffs might be hereabouts - I almost asked Oxfordians and Baconians to humour me when I quoted Greene on the actor who became playwright!

Cold (best not to play tag with you, eh?), Magnar, and Jennifer: thanks for sharing your naming stories/link. Superdeathflame is exactly what I mean by a charming, playful, humble name (meant to lull your opponents with meek expectations?), and walk_softly, well, with your big stick looming consipicuously behind your back, and the implication that you are akin to the martial might America itself - now that's bravado! And, with that name, you still have players underestimate you? As for Cold Foot, was it a shotgun wedding, then? I thought of using whatever my wife whispers in my ears at night, but I have trouble recalling... I'm always concentrating so hard on feigning exhausted sleep.

Clayton, your link and suggestions are most elucidating, er, helpful. I thought the "shiny bits" reference back to Upstart Crow was a tasty bit of wit - or am I attributing too much verbal cleverness to the mathematically proficient (assuming that is your bias)? But, no, I would never assume the mathematically gifted are subliterate and witless. And I would not think to talk down to those who do not happen to be liberal arts majors, nor assume that BA's necessarily trip over even squat columns of numbers as they rush to accountants at tax time. Besides, Einstein was no hack with the numbers, and he had some interest in the arts, didn't he? And as for those most foppish of the artsy - poets - why, some of them work in insurance, of all things. Is it possible to have both sides of the brain lit up and humming, or does a prize pumpkin on one side truly require pruning on the other? (liberal arts majors: forgive the mixed metaphor). Let us all give each other the benefit of the doubt. If someone spurts a word that wrinkles your brow, think of it not as showing off and pushing you away, but rather as a love for language and the choicest word, not unlike someone else's love for formulaic elegance. When either love is shared, think of it not as showy or demeening, but rather embracing, even complimentary. Sort of like Donne's love poetry, where the speaker's gnarly brilliance is a compliment to the beloved's intelligence - he assumes she can get the word play (okay, admittedly, he is showing off, but in a way that reaches out to his audience, like a clever joke you expect them to get). It's not like some of us live on a world of words, and the rest far off on a world of integers. These are linked hemispheres of our common dwelling place, the human mind. And who knows, some of those liberal arts fops might have the computational wattage to blast you off the power grid.

See, I enjoyed your joke, and had fun pretending you were serious. I've played along by by snapping up the "shiny bit" you left for me to find.
 
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Nate Sandall
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Portland
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Been there
I went through that awful naming yourself phase back in 1997 and suddenly had the epiphany that I AM THE CAVEDOG!! Been that ever since.
 
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S W E E T !
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TygersHart,

Very nicely done.

I definitely don't align myself with all the math wizards on this site. I'm the "I took as little math as I could to graduate" guy.

On the other hand, I wouldn't even try to keep up with someone such as yourself in a contest of words (or literary references, to be sure)--hence my reference to needing a dictionary.

I was going for the joke, as you obviously saw, that someone with the ability to write that original post probably wouldn't have had the time, nor the inclination, to do much in the way of the "hard sciences." I personally enjoy the "war" between the scientists and the liberal arts majors (or even the "social scientists"). It's all about the metagame.

Some more advice, but serious this time. I think you'd like the thoughtful geeklists written by Chuck Blahous (Chuckles) and probably any of the strategy articles by Alexfrog. There's much more excellent content here on the geek, but I'll let you find that for yourself.

 
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Shane Cubis
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Well, I used to use 'menorajah' all the time (including here), but that was because I was greatly amused by homonyms of obscure scatalogical medical terms when I was 18-20.

Now I generally use 'rubikcubis', since my real name is Shane Cubis. And I can't think of a clever pun on 'episiotomy'.

 
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Mike Bialecki
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Costa Mesa
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Stripped of Imagination
When I registered on the 'geek sometime back in the 20th century, I was in grad school, and thus stripped of all native creativity. Therefore, I am simply "mbialeck". I'm not exactly sure what happened to the last "i", maybe I was being rebelious.

Five years, two ulcers and one passed kidney stone later, I graduate from graduate school. My limited native creativity percolates back into my skull, and a new pseudo emerges, seeking recognition on the 'geek, "DrDNA". Unfortunately, it is apparently too much of a pain in the ass to change pseudos, so I'm forever plain vanilla, no chunks 'mbialeck'. sigh.
 
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