Bring back last names in SL – vote now

I recently heard of a JIRA called Bring Back Last Name Options!, created by Harlow Heslop. So far there have been 593 votes and 148 watching the progress of the JIRA.

We will have to see if Linden Lab will make a comment in the coming days which would be nice.

I voted and commented saying bring back last names and many others agree it should come back. Hopefully LL won’t close this and will take notice.

Here is the description of bringing back last names in Second Life:

In hopes of Linden Lab taking notice in the many Second Life Residents who would like the options of last names when creating a username in SL, I have created this JIRA! So many of us wish for the option of originality like we once had and hope that new residents in the Second Life community would be given this option.

Many people have expressed interest in having the option of choosing from a list of last names but also being able to choose “Resident” as their last name if they want to. So many of us believe that one of the best aspects of Second Life is the ability to be original in our virtual world and by being able to pick a last name we are able to find identity and originality!

If this is a feature you would like to see brought back to the Second Life Grid please consider voting on this JIRA!  We love all the new features that Linden Lab has brought our way the past few months, but taking away the option of a last name, in our opinion was a mistake. Now often times the name people want is taken and they are forced to use numbers within their username, resulting in what looks like an instant messaging screen name.

This being said, we do also love the feature of being able to change our names in world. Keeping that option is great, especially for those in family settings within the Second Life Community! We simply would love to have the option to have a last name choice once again when creating an SL avatar! It makes will in turn, hopefully make the community feel less divided between the older residents and the newer ones. I know many new residents have expressed interest in wishing they would have had the option of a fun last name like the rest of us!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and casting your vote!

If you like for this to happen then vote now. I will publish more if this JIRA develops further with the lab.



24 thoughts on “Bring back last names in SL – vote now

  1. I completely agree.
    Not just are last names just a lot more fun, they are also easier.
    So many new residents get confused when they don’t know what their last name is and when I need to look someone up or add them to tip jars, rental signs, scripts, etc. it is often a bit of a pain to figure out whos who.


  2. If you want to influence Linden Lab then one needs to WATCH the JIRA item. Votes are nice but Lindens have said they only pay attention to the number of Watches. If you are in doubt, do both.


  3. The concept of a first name and last name isn’t global. It’s found mostly in European countries and their former colonies, and even the people in those countries often have middle names (sometimes more than one).

    Then there are weird people like me, whose full name is Thomas Troy McConaghy, but who goes by “Troy” and signs his name “Troy McConaghy” on cheques, but signs “Thomas Troy McConaghy” on official ID (e.g. passport).

    I think the idea of a “username” and a “Display Name” makes a lot of sense. A username is like a (unique) handle whereas a Display Name is how you want others to see your name.

    In summary, I do not support this idea.


    1. It would be nice to have an original name that you’re satisfied with in the first place, rather than having to edit your name once inworld, and even then, other users can see the original user name alongside the edited name. The whole idea is to be original and flexible and a majority of SL is all about being original, but if we can’t even start off that way with our names, what kind of message does that send? I support the idea 105%!
      We need the original options we had before. It was working great. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Well, they did anyway and it really IS broken now. LOL


  4. Bring back last names? This is a terrible idea and far too late to ask for it now! I’m perfectly happy with the way things are at the moment. Don’t throw your toys when you discover that the Jira issue will just be closed or ignored, this is such a waste of time.


  5. The use of Resident for all last names happened suddenly with no rationale offered. It smells of simple laziness on the part of someone who didn’t want to be bothered thinking up the next list of 200 last names. I do hope LL will bring back the character and heart of Second Life by restoring the last names other than Resident.


  6. A username, like john4519, should *not* be thought of as a name. It’s more like a handle or passport number. For one thing, it’s unique — only one person can have a given username, so for example, there can only be one johnsmith.

    If you want people to see a last name and any number of middle names, then use the Display Name. That’s the purpose of the Display Name.

    The “Resident” last name is a stopgap measure to make it so that one can still login to SL with old systems that ask for both a first and last name. It has nothing to do with laziness, and everything to do with pragmatism. (Old viewers would complain if you left the ‘last name’ field blank.)

    Why is this issue being raised now, anyway? Did some tabloid start stirring the pot?

    593 votes on the JIRA is pathetic. There are around a million active users of SL.


    1. For me there is nothing unique or appealing about a username with a bunch of numbers in it. Display names are great, and was an okay attempt in my opinion at making sure there wasn’t such an uproar over the removal of last name options from Second Life.

      There are so many issues now with search features, scripting, etc with the whole uniform use of “Resident” as a last name for usernames. There are far more complications that many did not mention.

      For me personally I did not realize these reasons until they were pointed out. I honestly started the JIRA because I missed the personal and unique feeling that each avatar was given when given a last name. It was something very unique and special about Second Life and really gave life to an avatar in my opinion.

      And as for you thinking that 593 votes is pathetic on a JIRA…there are a LOT of residents in Second Life that have no idea about the JIRA system. And umm…the votes have gone up QUITE a bit. I’m proud that so many people have stepped forward and given their opinion, and i’d say that i’m in the majority of residents within Second Life that feel the same way. Step into any sim and ask around. Many people will tell you they miss last names, including new residents that never even got to experience them. So many have told me how much they wish they could have a last name like I and others do.

      Maybe it is too late to go back to the way it was, but I do hope Linden Lab takes notices and realizes that some kind of change needs to be implemented.


  7. There are around a million active users of SL–and what fraction of them read/participate in the JIRA? 593 votes is pretty respectable compared to other JIRA vote counts I’ve seen.

    If display names were intended to be the real solution, why does LL bother to let you pick a name at all? It should do as CompuServe once did, and assign residents a TOPS-10 style number or ordered pair of numbers. After all, they can pick the display name they want.


  8. Display names wouldn’t be so aweful if users didn’t abuse them by changing who they are every single week making it impossible to keep track of people, not to mention the over use of number, symbols, ascii and even upside down letters making it impossible to type or even READ some of the display names. If LL would limit display names to letters only and restrict the frequency names could be changed Display names would become a viable option. For now, I keep display names turned off to cut down on the headache and eyestrain of trying to see what asinine name people put in the display name field now. The new system reeks havoc on scripts as well, and makes it impossible to find chat logs when everyone changes who they are every 7 days.


  9. I don’t agree in bringing last names back, there has been a lot of discussion about it, after a while you resign and find them cute once you get used to it, but the new user may feel forced to have one.

    I felt that way, i didn’t wanted a last name, I had to choose from the ones available, what for? what company ask for a last name when you register? I found it completely senseless when I registered, but oh well, couldn’t do anything about it if I wanted to continue.

    new users are finally free from having to choose a last name, so why bring that burden over them again? so that the oldbies can have a smile? create burdens in the life of others just to have a laugh.

    if last names are going to be back at least make them optional, and that the user can write its own.


  10. @Harlow Heslop:

    When I use the word “unique” to describe SL usernames, I don’t mean special, I mean one-of-a-kind. Linden Lab needs a way to give each SL resident an ID that identifies that resident and nobody else. They could have auto-generated the username (and in fact, they do auto-generate a “key” or UUID for every resident), but they decided to give you some freedom. You don’t have complete freedom, because you can’t choose a username that’s already been used. You have much more freedom to choose your Display Name. You can also change your Display Name (which is useful, for example, if you get married).

    Twitter has similar concepts to usernames and Display Names. I’m @TroyMc on Twitter (i.e. TroyMc is my username there, so nobody else can use that name), but I can change my Twitter “Display Name” whenever I like. Today it’s “Troy McConaghy”.

    I think you need to put yourself in Linden Lab’s shoes and understand why they did what they did.


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