Mass Effect Players are Unimaginative

by Rachel Baker on May 16, 2014

So, apparently, people who played BioWare’s Mass Effect weren’t too creative when it came to naming their Shepard character. I wonder if people use their own names more often than not; and I wonder if just by looking at how often certain common names have been used bioware (or some enterprising young behavioral scientist) could figure out an idea about the average age of your players. Further, I wonder what else could be deduced about the players just by taking a macro view of this over gaming franchises.

As a point of reference, I’ve played the game(s) multiple times – my favorite names for the female Shepard were: Athena, Rowan, and Arya (before the game of thrones show on HBO). None of these are my name; and its the same when I pick any character name – I never use my own. Also, the name of any of my characters is dependant on the type of personality I want the character to have. As an example, if I want her to be an ass-kicking warrior always on the offense, then she gets one of many names from a pantheon of War Goddesses; likewise, if i plan for her to be magical with more defense than offense capabilities, then I name her after a magical plant with protective alchemical properties.

I thought everyone did things like this.

I’d be curious to know what players of other games have named their characters and what’s most common.

The most common choices by a large margin were the default names, John and Jane, but BioWare has published the top five names in each gender and the results are… pretty generic.

The top male name chosen (other than John) was Jack. It’s not surprising, really, considering the name Jack (as in the “Giant Slayer” or “Bauer”) is an archetypal hero name utilised in everything from nursery rhymes and fairy tales to episodes of 24 and disappointing Die Hard sequels.

The most common female name after Jane was Sarah, one of the world’s most-popular given names for women across a range of countries, English-speaking or otherwise.

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