Getting a Handle on Things

Some people have really good internet handles. Day[9]. Moot. The Numa Numa Guy. lonelygirl15. Birth names really don’t matter so much as the handle assumes most of the identity. Given that the tubes look like they’ll hold up for awhile yet, I have been wondering whether I should try to switch over to using a new handle.

So far, I have stayed true to using the same ones forever. My first AIM screen name was warstrekkid, and it’s stuck. Although multiple, changing screen names was popular in junior high, I thought it was inconvenient and to this day use it for AIM and my non-gaming internet activities. It made sense: I liked Star Wars, I liked Star Trek, and I was a kid. I’m still a fan of both of those science fiction franchises, though perhaps less so, and every day, kid becomes less appropriate. And it’s kind of a mouthful, too.

My gaming handle has always been DeathSoror. I started playing games online in either 7th or 8th grade beginning with the Red Faction demo. The community was small, but we were dedicated, and we became fairly familiar with each other. In the morning, I would wake up, eat breakfast, then head up to my room and start up the dial-up internet. For about 15 minutes before school, I would play with a few guys from Australia who were presumably gaming at a more sane hour. A kid from somewhere in Canada gave me my first and only handle after pointing out how ridiculous and not helpful it was that my name was “Default”.

I’m starting to not like that one so much, either. It’s also difficult to repeat, since soror isn’t a real word, unless you’re referring to a member of a sorority. In that case, it’s just confusing. And “death” seems much, like something a junior high kid would put together. Handling 2 different handles becomes trickier with gaming-like communities, and I just wish I had a single identity. So, I’m trying to think of a new handle.

My first thought was to come up with a clever pun, like “SwedishChief” or “Hippocampy.” Although potentially funny, they also feel somewhat gimmicky. A step back from that is the random adjective-noun combination, like “JumpySofa” or “AngryHat.” Two words is sometimes a stretch, and a single word can be acquired as an identity, like “Boxer” or “Fatal1ty.” And then some people use even more meaningless ones that are just pronounceable, like “idrA” or “HuK”. Even pronounceable might be too much work, like “qxc.”

I am worried that I’m going about this the wrong way in trying to find a new handle. My first handle took me almost no time and no thought to create, though the quality reflects that. Many people have good stories about where their handle came from, like any good nickname, and “thinking about it for a long time” doesn’t really qualify as a good story.

There’s no rush, of course, to think of a new one, and I’ll continue to keep it in the back of my mind the same way I listen for good band names. I’m waiting for the handle that I’ll instantly identify with and pick out, but that could be trying too hard as well. Maybe I just need to pick one and let it become me.

2 replies on “Getting a Handle on Things”

@warstrekkid I mostly use my real name as handle, and try to keep the number of alternative handles down. It’s hard to remember too many of them.

You might pick a name that is a concatenation of some unlikely words, and do a search on that: it pays to have an extra handle that is relatively consistent across domains, because it turns out that when you do want something more distinctive than your real name, there’s nothing more annoying that finding out that someone else has already taken it.

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