Piracy, the Trove and how they affect the Hobby

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T. Foster

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My real name is on the book I published at DTRPG that's linked in my sig so pretty trivially easy to obtain. Luckily for me (in this instance) it's a common enough name that connecting it to the rest of my online identity (i.e. non-gane social media, work stuff, etc.) would probably be a bit more of a challenge. I know when I Google my name nothing related to the real me usually even comes up on the first page of results (which are dominated by a pro athlete with my same name). But mostly I just try to keep a sufficiently low profile and avoid controversy so that people won't feel the need or desire to dox or cyberstalk me. I used to have some anti-fans ~10 years ago who I occasionally worried might try to cause trouble for me if they were able to connect my forum ID to the real me (one guy literally threatened to come to a con I was scheduled to be at because he wanted to fight me because he didn't like my opinions on elfgames), but thankfully all of those guys seem to have lost interest in me and moved on to other, juicier targets.
 

EmperorNorton

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I have three usernames. One is a reference to a video game series (which also connects to my real life name, because of how it crosses over with my job (when I got hired to do what I do now, I was running fan communities for the series that hired me under that name), one is this one (which is just a reference to one of my favorite oddball historical figures), and then one more that is a combination of Emperor Norton with a different reference that is INCREDIBLY dorky for when Emperor Norton is taken.
 

ffilz

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My real name is pretty easy to guess from my user name and signature... And googling my name or user name finds out stuff about me pretty quick.

I've been a real name person online since I started using a chat service in grad school in 1986 or so. Initially I used a handle and freaked out when someone implied they knew me. Shortly after that I calmed down and started using ffilz. And then the chat service (which ran on the mainframe separate from the normal multi-user login) provided a mechanism to log in and have the equivalent of Unix's whois file on your mainframe account that people could access. Soon folks started opening a private channel for anyone who had real name information in their whois file. Then one day someone was making a big pot of pea soup and invited anyone who wanted some to come over and we started face to face meetings, including late night doughnut runs.

I claim ffilz anywhere I can. Sometimes I can't claim it because I already claimed it but lost the password and the account isn't tied to an active e-mail address anymore. Sometimes some other F Filz has claimed it, apparently I'm not unique in the world (my family name is unique enough that a high school teacher wanted to get in touch with me after I had moved away and called the first Filz he found in the phone book who was my sister - on the other hand there's ANOTHER Filz family in Oregon... I actually met one of them when I was displaying some Lego and had my name on it).

Since I work in open source, what I work on is pretty public and its also easy to connect to my hobbies. I really don't have anything to hide and I must not have any serious enemies... yet...

And most of the time I remember to remove location information from the photos I post...

Frank
 

Fenris-77

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Yeah, forgetting password and shit is a pain. I've had to go with Fenris-77, Fenris_77, Fenris77 and that sort of thing as a result, and in one case because the forum in question didn't allow dashes in user names. What the fuck that is about I don't know.
 

Voros

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In terms of the OP, I'd like it more if we got a rpg site like the magnificent My Abandonware, where only OOP games are made available. Keep it classy I say.

I do find the online culture that gets outright self-righteous about their supposed right to steal material rather annoying. I mean I've grabbed something for free to take a look but I never thought of it as my 'right.'

Even stranger are those who try and spin it as some kind of egalitarian or subversive act.

To me if that's your stance you shouldn't be snatching big corporate material from WotC or Disney in the first place but as mentioned be releasing material free-of-charge via platforms like itch.io.

One blogger recently declared that this was what they were going to do in response to what they saw as the increasing 'professionalization' DIY gaming and encouraged others to do as well, while still supporting those who did want to still charge for their material. That to me is walking the talk.
 
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Bunch

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I'm the complete opposite. Every forum I'm on for my different interests gets a different screen name, and I try hard not to cross the streams. There are certain people from my past I would just as rather not have any further association with, and avoiding repercussions from random asshats online who think I like the wrong RPGs or whatever is a bonus.
Sadly I think this is a more common situation for women in general. I have had more than one female friend who use name variations to keep harassment down.
 

chuckdee

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I'm the complete opposite. Every forum I'm on for my different interests gets a different screen name, and I try hard not to cross the streams. There are certain people from my past I would just as rather not have any further association with, and avoiding repercussions from random asshats online who think I like the wrong RPGs or whatever is a bonus.
I have two hobby streams and tried to keep them separate, but they bled together.
 

Gringnr

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So, assuming for the sake of argument that Piracy is bad, what would the solution be?
 

Alai

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I claim ffilz anywhere I can. Sometimes I can't claim it because I already claimed it but lost the password and the account isn't tied to an active e-mail address anymore. Sometimes some other F Filz has claimed it, apparently I'm not unique in the world
I can also imagine someone stealing as a great Norman-Welsh surname for their online persona! Not to be confused with the Ffitzes, those no-goodniks from the next imaginary country over.
 

Bunch

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Sadly I think this is a more common situation for women in general. I have had more than one female friend who use name variations to keep harassment down.
To make maters worse I'm not talking online name variations I'm talking work vs dating vs childhood etc.
 

Black Leaf

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The name on my birth certificate is near impossible to track down online, but my pen name ("Sam Flintlock") is trivially easy and from there you can certainly find stuff like my Facebook.

I'm good with that because:

a) most of what you'll find is my writing and that's the whole point of having a pen name in the first place

b) I've been using it for so long it feels more like my real name anyway. (Pretty much anyone that knows me that hasn't known me for decades only knows this name)

c) I choose it because it's cool in a slightly cheesy way so I have no issue with people knowing about it
 

Séadna

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There's a few people with the Anglified short form of my name even working in the same areas, but there wouldn't be much you could learn about me through it and it'd be mixed with two other guys. My real name nobody could pronounce well enough to remember.
 

Ladybird

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Most of my usernames come from whatever song I was listening to at the time, when I signed up for the forum.

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I'm fully in favour of everyone choosing their own name, even if it's just actively deciding "yes, I like the name I was given at birth". My brother changed his name purely because he didn't want people laughing at his middle name during his wedding, and I am totally down with that kind of energy. My ex and I were unmarried, so our daughter has both of our surnames in her name so she can pick whichever she wants to keep in life. Heck, I'd have changed my surname too by now if it wouldn't make things so much more complicated for her - no major reason, there's just one I want more (But it's my middle name now).

Of course, here in the UK, the process for changing your name is basically trivial; I know it's harder in a lot of other jurisdictions.
 

Nobby-W

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Most of my usernames come from whatever song I was listening to at the time, when I signed up for the forum.

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I'm fully in favour of everyone choosing their own name, even if it's just actively deciding "yes, I like the name I was given at birth". My brother changed his name purely because he didn't want people laughing at his middle name during his wedding, and I am totally down with that kind of energy. My ex and I were unmarried, so our daughter has both of our surnames in her name so she can pick whichever she wants to keep in life. Heck, I'd have changed my surname too by now if it wouldn't make things so much more complicated for her - no major reason, there's just one I want more (But it's my middle name now).

Of course, here in the UK, the process for changing your name is basically trivial; I know it's harder in a lot of other jurisdictions.
We didn't change Mrs Nobby-W Nobby-W's name as it needs a court hearing to do this in Indonesia. Interestingly, she is distantly related to a royal family, but not so close that she can use the name, so she actually has no surname. Her first name has three parts but it's actually just her given name.
 

Séadna

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We didn't change Mrs Nobby-W Nobby-W's name as it needs a court hearing to do this in Indonesia. Interestingly, she is distantly related to a royal family, but not so close that she can use the name, so she actually has no surname.
How do names work in her culture/language?
 

Black Leaf

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I think we should go back to the early Medieval model where only notable people have names and everybody else is called stuff like "Friend of Eric".
Go back to people being known by offensive nicknames for their surnames as well.

I think my favourite of those is Badneighbor.
 

Nobby-W

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How do names work in her culture/language?
Basically just a given name and a surname, although apparently it's not necessary to have a surname. Although her father is quite poor, he is on the periphery of Surakarta's royal family. I'm not 100% sure how this works but as I understand you get to use the surname out to six generations removed, but not outside that. Some of her friends also have triple-decker names, but I'm not sure if they're the same multi-barrel name structure or include a surname.
 
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Raleel

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Mine game from a drow name in the 2e drow book or the boxed set for menzoberranzen. I’ve used it since the early 90s. It’s pretty easy to find my read identity with it. It’s fine. I’ve had plenty of other identity stuff go on, so I have all kinds of other protections in place to prevent shenanigans.
 

Gringnr

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The Butcher The Butcher thanks for that additional info. I feel like that added context helps me understand him a little better. Alas, that understanding if anything makes me like him even less...
Yeah, knowing that RPGPundit, who wrote a blog post in which he repeatedly encouraged designer Cam Banks to kill himself, is the same IRL as he is online doesn't exactly make him a more likable or sympathetic figure.
 

Gringnr

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My name is a reference to the main character in The Eye of Argon. So the name should have been "Grignr", but somehow I added an extra "n". Neither spelling is particularly uncommon online as a user name, though. I use it on most, but not all, rpg-related forums.
 

Vile

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No one knows who I really am. I mean, not really.
 

Sosthenes

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I pick random NPC names whenever my initials are taken (because they match the abbreviation for one of the most common first names on earth).
 

The Butcher

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Yeah, knowing that RPGPundit, who wrote a blog post in which he repeatedly encouraged designer Cam Banks to kill himself, is the same IRL as he is online doesn't exactly make him a more likable or sympathetic figure.
Yeah, well, didn’t wish death on anyone while I was with him. Just doubled down on some of the usual talking points.
 
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