Is it wrong to name a child after a video game character?

I'm currently writing an article about this and wanted more opinions on this matter, so: Is it wrong? Silly? Stupid? [even if its an established name like April and Nathan] Why? Is it worse than naming your child after a movie/tv show/book character? Why? Does it matter if there is a positive background story behind it? (i.e the character stands by good morals that are inspiring/meaningful to you). Where should you draw the line? Between established and totally obscure. Does it matter? Those are the only questions I can come up with now, but I might add some more later. Please comment, if you wish. 8-)


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March 29, 2013 3:08 AM

I would not draw distinctions between movies, tv shows and video games in serving as naming inspiration. I might rank book inspiration as slightly more lofty, just because I'm a really avid reader, but ultimately, I tend to feel extremely positively about name choices if the name chosen has a particular meaning for the parents (as compared to "it sounded good").

If there is a positive background story behind a choice, I can get behind even more outlandish sci-fi/fantasy choices. I might tend not to like names that have a very transparent violence to the name (e.g. Raiden), but if I were told that the parents picked that name because they met and fell in love while playing the video game, I suddenly have a much more positive reaction.

Of course, not everyone will hear the backstory for the child's entire life, so I think there's something to be said for picking a name that stands well on its own, too... but I think the personal significance can be a major contributor to how the name is received by the child. I have the #1 popular megahit name for girls of my generation, but I feel very positively about that name, as well as that like it was a very special choice, because my parents named me after their favorite song. I think intent matters, especially to the child.

March 31, 2013 9:25 PM

It doesn't seem any wronger or sillier or stupider than taking inspiration from a name in a book or a movie or from that kid you went to grade school with whose name you always liked.  People get inspiration from all sorts of places, and lots of video game characters have well-established names, or very...namelike names (like Zelda). 

May 30, 2013 7:38 AM

I don't think it's wrong especially if you had a history with that video game and if the name is an established one. I know couples that have been tempted by this, some friends actually looked on a beat battles forum for some suggestions.

August 2, 2013 11:57 AM

As a lover of video games, I think it's absolutely fine to name a child after a character you are fond of/wish them to emulate. I probably would keep it to names that have a history as "normal" names though: i.e., Alistair, Dante, and Zelda are acceptable, whereas Sephiroth is not.

August 2, 2013 3:29 PM

My husband and I named our son Lincoln specifically because our favorite video game is the Legend of Zelda series. And yes, we call him Linc. I also know someone who named their son Garrius (after Mass Effect). I don't see anything WRONG with it. If you fall in love with a character, it does affect the way you look at the name and it can sway you to have a VERY positive association with the name. 

For me, when we were picking names, my husband actually wanted to use Link Gannon as a first/middle combo. I talked him into using Lincoln instead (and completely nixed Gannon) because I always try to remember that one day, this child will be applying for jobs and I want him to have a name that'll look good on the top of a resume. So we picked a classic middle name.

When we heard that the couple we know picked Garrius as a first name, I was actually supportive. I LOVED the Mass Effect series and the character Garrius in particular. It's similar to Garrett or Gareth, so I felt like the name wasn't too far "out there"; the kid probably wouldn't have an awful time with his name. Then I found out that his middle name was Leonidas. Which, by the way, is my dogs' name. I can typically get behind one name that's a little out there, but I usually recommend at least one more "grounded" name to give the child options. Now I hear his name: Garrius Leonidas, and I just think it's a joke. 

I think there's NOTHING wrong with drawing inspiration from video games, just like drawing inspiration from books, movies, TV shows, graphic novels, actors, etc. I actually think it's a little better than picking Mason just because Kourtney Kardashian picked it for her son. But, with ANY name, I think there are limits you should try to keep in mind. 

August 3, 2013 12:15 PM

Good on you for vetoing Link Gannon; the lad may have grown up to be constantly torn between saving and destroying the world. /stupid joke.

In all seriousness, Lincoln/Linc is a lovely name, and with more than one extremely admirable namesake, to boot. Good on you!

August 3, 2013 3:23 PM

HA! No, my husband made that same stupid joke. =) I just could see the charm in Linc, but I can't find ANYTHING I like about Gannon. Nevermind that he's the bad guy in the series. 

I had multiple reasons to love Lincoln. I was (way back when) SUPER into Prison Break (and Dominic Purcell is pretty sexy; definitely worthy of being a namesake) AND my best friend and son's godmother lives in Gettysburg, PA which is basically Abe Lincoln central. So I was definitely ON BOARD with the options. Most people just assume that he's named after Abe (especially since we live near DC) and I don't really mind them thinking that.

The only other name I was really pushing for was Nathaniel just because I felt like it was a lovely, upstanding name that would look incredible on a resume, but we could still call him Nate which has more of that laid-back, cool guy sound. But my husband just couldn't let go of the video game honor name. =) I'm glad now because Nate/Nathaniel just wouldn't have fit him.

(We're uber geeks because our daughter - who's due in December - is being named partially after a Joss Whedon character.) 

April 27, 2018 6:28 PM

So this old thread was revived by a spammer (since nuked), but now I'm wondering if the article was ever published. Anyone ever see it?