Good Morning! Hope you are all staying safe and well.
All the chatter in SL over the last couple of days has been about name changes and everyone….especially those it doesn’t affect because they have no intention of changing theirs, has an opinion. Not only do they have an opinion but they feel a deep desire and need to share their opinion about the optional service they don’t intend to use with everyone they come into contact with.
When I joined SL we had a choice of last names to select from. My original avie is a Pinkenba and Kess is Crystal. The name options changed and were released in batches to keep the number of people with the same name at a balanced level. When Linden Lab released Display Names they did away with the choice of surname and all new residents would be Resident named.
Now they have brought back the option to enhance your Second Life experience with a choice of surname from the first released batch for a payment of around $40, if you are a premium member. Paying for name changes is not unusual. I changed names, servers, factions in World of Warcraft several times over the years and it’s also been a paid service, even with a subscription akin to premium membership of Second Life. Some games are free to play and make their money from paid services, a la Guild Wars II.
Here are the main complaints I have heard:
- I don’t want to be a premium member but I want to change my name.
- Linden Labs has a stated goal of increasing premium membership as part of their strategy. It’s sensible to tie a popular and requested feature into premium membership to encourage that. SL might be a game to you but it’s a business to LL.
- I’m a premium member and think I should get this additional service free.
- There is obviously an amount of work required to process this service. If it were free people would be changing their name every other Wednesday and twice on Sundays. I’m sure when considering the price point they have factored in the amount of people that will use the service at that price point and the workload that would put on the team at LL.
- I don’t like the names.
- Wait a while. There will be a second batch soon where there might be a name you do like.
- I want to have my own choice of name.
- There is the option of having a custom name but it’s designed for businesses to use. So let’s say Amazon decided to have a virtual operation in Second Life and wanted all members of their staff to have Amazon as their surname. It is only available for Commerical, Educational and Charity organisations.
- It’s too expensive.
- Everyone makes their own decision on the value of products and services every day. Some think mesh heads are too expensive and others have 12 different ones. It’s a personal choice and value call.
According to my friends list the decision to bring back names seems to be very popular. There are issues. Chat history has gone and there doesn’t seem to be a way to cross-reference who was who before. This is difficult in business. I’ve heard rental boxes for tiers need to be updated as it doesn’t recognise the name. If you purchased from a store who doesn’t use a vendor system you will no longer have provable sales history with them as there is no way to prove you were the name you were when you bought the item.
As for me, I intend to stay Kess Crystal. For me, the value of my name and the work I’ve put into building my reputation as a blogger and business person outweigh any desire to change my name. I will be using the display name function though when I get married in July and I’m more than happy with having that option.
*Head – LeLutka – Lake
Septum Piercing – [ kunst ] – Basil Septum
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