For those of you who don’t know yet, it’s been announced that, by September, there will be a new feature on SL that will allow you to set a display name that overrides your given name, similar to what you can do on most instant messengers. Here’s the official blog about it.
While I do like the idea – I’m not really one for permanent display names, especially over long periods of time – I do see a lot of potential for abuse.
I’m not completely clear on the details, I’ll admit. From what I know, it overrides your displayed nametag. I’m not sure exactly how your original name will be displayed; from what I know it’s going to be visible on tooltips and obviously on your in-world profile, but just glancing at a nametag and not going any further, that’s what a lot of people are used to.
I know people will eventually start peeking at profiles a bit more to check on the person’s real identity, but for those who aren’t up-to-date on the news, once this goes into effect, things are going to get really weird. I can see people imitating others for some reason or another, and some shit is inevitably going to hit the fan.
However, for those who wish to have a name with more than two words, change their name for roleplay purposes, or (like myself) have grown tired of their original name but do not wish to create a new account, this is going to be a nice little feature. I’m looking forward to its implementation, aside from the aforementioned abuse potential.
What do you think about the upcoming display names feature? Will you be using it? What creative uses do you see for it? Please comment! I love feedback and mature discussion.