Do your characters' names change depending on the race or class you're playing, or do they reflect your play-style as a whole? A recent article at Gamasutra
by games analyst Anders Drachen
explores the patterns that emerge when studying names in games.
Speculating that patterns in naming exist, Drachen and colleagues studied millions of World of Warcraft
character data and found a relationship between the name selection and the class and race of a character; the most popular names had virtually no overlap between classes and races. It was also discovered that unique names in the game existed at a higher frequency than in the real world. The researches found that an average of 58% of the names overall were unique and that 83% of names were unique on RP servers. Additionally, names with negative connotations were six times more common than positive ones.
Taking the study beyond WoW
, the researchers looked at shooters and found "hints that it may be possible to predict some aspects of play behavior or perhaps even personality of people based on their character names."