Oh, I heard the news. I have not read the official news yet, because apparently my company bans SL sites from our computers. So much for thinking about entering SL. :p Joking. I am already grateful that I can use blogger and fb. :D
Ok, I am out of point already. I just wanted to say that I don't know the details of this new Display Name feature yet, but I can already pinpoint several concerns.
Of course there is The Good Stuff.
1) Users who registered with crappy usernames and ended up not liking their names finally see sunshine. But there is really a better way to solve this without impact on users who are happy with our names. SL can give every user a chance to change our username just once.
2) Roleplayers get the fun without the inconvenience of switching from one account to another. Non-roleplayers also get the fun of nicknaming ourselves every now and then. I can name myself Superbimbo when I am feeling lame and know that I can change out to suit a different mood next week. :D
Now The Concerns.
1) The griefers. Many users are already getting away with trying to abuse others on the grid simply because they can hide anonymously behind their AVs. Imagine how this will be aggravated with the convenience of further anonymity to our already anonymous AV identities.
To check this group of nonsense, the username of every AV should be CLEARLY DISPLAYED and not hidden to other users. It is important for users to be able to distinguish the ok AVs from the problematic ones, preferably upon sight. And right now, what enables us to do so is the unique username displayed on our AV heads and in our IMs.
(And with some foresight, SL should not allow display names to take on any registered username, to prevent griefers from posing as an already established and respected AV.)
I wonder if there will come a day when I just have to set up all security barriers at home, hole my AV in there and never talk to anyone again? Gawd, I might spend the rest of my SL roleplaying as a mental.
2) The SHOPPING. How easily will a shopowner be able to track a purchase down to a username? A display name involved in a purchase may create confusion and inconvenience if not chaos for both shopowner and shopper. The shops are arguably the key group of income contribution to SL and it is therefore vital for the shopping processes to be easy and smooth. If SL pisses off the shopping industry, it is akin to business suicide. Has SL put something in place for this?
I have not started breaking things down to the nitty gritty. I won't be surprised if the impact of having display names turns out to create more problems than what I had just briefly thought of, and some bloggers may already have mentioned other things. SL, just make sure that you know what you are doing ok?
Posted by Tashi Core