When games give you the ability to name things like characters or even items I find that I continue to make them ridiculous for my own amusement, a joke that until writing this article was only for me to enjoy. In my teen years I had a period of trying to find intimidating names to make my characters or items seem more powerful. I remember using the name Dante from Dante’s Inferno long before Dante was the main character in Devil May Cry, but this artificial toughness didn’t get me anywhere so my choices took an interesting turn.
In Civilization II I loved naming Cities after myself to reflect a George Foreman level of self aggrandizement so you would look over my massive empire consisting of Deanville, Deanatopia, New Deanmark, and Deanver Colorado and know exactly who is boss. The joy in capturing a city so that I can rename it in my honor was the final insult to my enemies who now had to answer to me. When I ran out of ways to force my name into a classic city, I would return to standard puns like naming a city “Dumb” so the animation would appear “Dumb Founded 1507 AD”. This playfulness with warfare and empire building certainly came to a middle as games started having more and more customization options that would allow me to take things to another level.
Which brings us to Fallout 4 where you can rename your weapons which functionally makes them much easier to tell apart from the items you picked up to scrap or sell, but also allows for nonsense. Take my knife which began as a rare weapon granted after a mission which was named after its serial killing previous owner. Why would I carry around the knife that bears someone else’s name when I can rename it Pokey McStab? How embarrassing it must be to fall prey to its poking. Or maybe the name can reflect its usage. I have another knife that I named “The Red Smile” which is a Game of Thrones reference, and I am only allowed to use it from behind or I would desecrate the name. My puncturing power fist has been renamed “Dome Opening Kit” which is a reference to an Ice T lyric I found amusing, but I chuckle to myself when I decide to gear up for an adventure and choose to bring my Dome Opening Kit, you know, for emergencies.
I encourage you to bring some more creativity to your arsenal, as these long single player games can get stagnant at times and you may get more satisfaction unloading your “Little Friend” into a Super Mutant than you would utilizing a Powerful Calibrated Combat Rifle. Or you can bring your “Pen Pal” Sniper Rifle to let you get in contact with bad guys who are far away. Get creative and please send me some of your best names so I can laugh along with you.