That’s not my name

I’m known as Wang in the World of Warcraft.

That’s what my Unemployed guild mates call me, as well as former guildies, friends, and even pug members.

I even embraced it as my identity in everything related to Wow, especially here in this blog.

But Wang is actually short for Wangari, and the origin of that name is what inspired me to finally write this post.

I have never talked about it before, because no one ever asked really.

But I bet some people think it was always my intention for it to be Wang, in the penile meaning of the word. Like in some kind of immature joke. And disguised a bit so I don’t infract any naming rules from Blizzard.

No, nothing like that. In fact I only realized my name was a phallic reference when people started making fun of it. Not in a mean way though, it was always friendly, and I often laughed about it with them.

No, it’s not a chinese name or anything like that either.

No matter what, it was unique. And it helped to establish a connection with other players. Still does.

But Wangari is in fact a tribute to a very distinguished person, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai. When I created my shaman, I was reading her autobiography, entitled Unbowed, for a job I had on the side.

I was a consultant for an established publishing company here in Brazil, and I was asked to read some books, originally in English, and recommend them (or not) to be translated and published here. I also got to review the translation of some books, but that was a bit more work, and less fun. I only did this for a while, but it was great to be payed to read these great books.

Anyway, I really loved her book, and her story.

She’s from Kenya, in Africa, and throughout her life she fought against the devastation to the environment, working mainly with women to promote tree nurseries and planting of green belts. Of course, her work made a lot of enemies in the political scene, as she did go against some corporate interests in a very non-democratic regime.

But she believed in her cause and how environment preservation could promote equal rights and a better life condition for women, through education and opportunities they wouldn’t have access to. Her work is really remarkable and I truly recommend this book.

Somehow, it was her story that inspired me when I decided to roll a Tauren, a very spiritual race, connected to nature, kind but fierce. I thought it fit the lore behind the character. So Wangari was born in Camp Narache, dedicated to the shamanistic arts, exploring the natural elements to fight oppression. Hmm ok, maybe I went a bit far with the lore nerdiness.

But I do think naming your character is a big deal, and I develop a great connection with the names I pick. It’s how you’re gonna be known in that world. I could never be Ipwnuhard, or just go with the first randomly generated name from the character creation screen. (I do use that name generator sometimes, but I often go through a lot of names, and usually change a couple of letters so it sounds better for me).

I take my time when creating a character. After all, I’m gonna be spending a lot of time with him/her.


~ by Wangari on July 22, 2009.

2 Responses to “That’s not my name”

  1. Wow, that’s really interesting! 🙂 It’s always neat to hear about name origins. Really cool that you have such a lore-based idea for your name.

    I must say mine is much less exciting, I think it was based off of a randomized name, customized to something I thought sounded “Trollish”. I always put some sort of thought into my character names, I can’t even say how long I’ve spent just staring at that little text box waiting for inspiration.

  2. I want to go read that book now 🙂

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