Examples: Lalopornstar, southsidepimp24, Wild Cat 69, LORDFOUL69, KareBare07, BUSTED NUT99, StripClubDj, Buff My Pickle, GoopySplooge
Everyone knows that sex and the internet go together like peanut butter and jelly, so we weren't shocked to discover this theme running through gamer handles. Some appear purposely designed to impress us; others aim to intrigue us, tease us or simply disgust us.
Regardless of intention, they are all obsessed with fornication. But just as with the violent examples, this is undoubtedly nothing more than wishful posing. Common sense dictates that the more you can't have something, the more you want it... and the more likely you are to include it in your Gamertag or PSN ID.
Dr. Frederiksen: "This category might be generally thought of as 'aspirational.' This is who I wish I were. Designed to titillate, tease or boast, there is often a big fantasy component. Freed from the constraints of the real world, you can assume a sexual identity more to your liking."
Examples: Cute Bunny Ears, Stallion83, ButterflyFlame, Wombat Wrangler, WizenedPigeon, Moose Matt, blackpython89, Lobstah 1125, FishSwish, NamelessMonkey, Red Wolf66, Depressedsnail
Millions of different species exist on this planet and each one of them is represented on Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. From aardvark (MetalAardvark) to zebra (Zebrasqual), we came across at least one example of everything.
Let's not over analyze - clearly, some people simply have favorite animals. For others, though, it goes deeper. They choose a particular species for what it represents; they recognize a trait in that creature that they either admire in themselves or jealously desire for themselves. A gorilla might symbolize strength, a butterfly beauty or a unicorn individuality. And don't be fooled... anyone who chooses a bunny for their tag is trying to project reproductive prowess, not speed or cuteness.
Whatever your animal totem, the ultimate goal is transformation. In the wild environs of the online world, you can be whatever you'd like to be.
Dr. Frederiksen: "Most animal themed tags are probably not driven by a love for a particular animal species (ok, ok... with the exception of cat lovers). More likely, they rely on the stereotypic characteristics of animals. A fox is crafty, elephants don't forget and monkeys... well, you get the picture. Because of this added layer of abstraction, these tags tend to be some of the more creative and use some of the best humor."
Examples: IrateCartman, DTenacious, StJimmy521, GHOSTGUNDAM, Frostythebatman, Scareface neilo, Yoda 40111, Kornholio33, S1LENT H1LL, Zelda64
The possible motivations behind referencing a famous piece of pop culture - be it a movie, TV show, comic book, musical group or even videogame - are many.
Emulation is one reason. Rather than pretending to be a murdering madman, a legendary lover or an adored animal, players choose to embody the essence of a character or celebrity. Cartman and Scarface don't take guff from anyone and neither do they!
Or is it a blatant bid for popularity and acceptance? By associating themselves with something they know to be extremely well liked, gamers hope to be automatically lumped together with the "cool kids." Even obscure references are carefully constructed to receive approval... in this case, from the cultural elite who are hardcore enough to understand them.
Dr. Frederiksen: "Conformity is a common theme in many pop references. The gamer is expressing his or herself by identifying with a pop icon. Oddly enough, even the reference to characters that symbolize non-conformity or rebellion can be a type of conformity itself."
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