People-Watching: A Study in Gamer Tags
Context: A “gamer tag” is the name a video gamer uses as their identity, usually in a multi-player on-line game or when using a console or computer system that allows you to connect with others on-line.
You’ve gotta love the gamer tag. Some give you great insights into the person behind the avatar – maybe a favorite movie, song, or game character. Some let you know that the individual is pretty vulgar and isn’t afraid for you to know it. I won’t be giving you any examples of those today (lucky you!).
I also like the gamer tags that on-line “tough guys” use to display how amazing they really are. Names like pwnology (to pwn someone is to “own” them or basically to kick their butts), BaronVonAwesome, you get the idea.
The ones I really want to know about are the ones that seem to have absolutely no context at all. Right now, I’m watching Mr. Great Weirdness play on-line with a teammate named GloriousApple. What does that mean? Other recent favorites in this category – SandwichTaker (what’s next, LunchMoneyStealer?), …. , and a whole collection of unfortunate endangered bears – CripledPanda, FlawdPanda.
However, my all time favorite (at least today), was an individual named iNeighbour. Whether or not this person considered this name intentionally, I thought about what a true statement the name conveyed. In an online world, where we are increasingly connecting to those we barely know for brief, often random, interactions, how do we apply Christ’s commands in regards to these, our global neighbors?
The anonymity of online gaming and forum posting and general interacting can provide you with a protective shield behind which many choose to display their least neighborly characteristics. It’s probably good for us to remember that we are connecting with real people, “virtually” touching real lives through the screen of another computer. So, go out there and be neighborly.
Even to that jerk in the forum who posted a viewpoint that you think is totally wrong (especially the one you disagree with on politics)…