Few acts in life seem less significant than selecting an Xbox Live Gamertag. After all, it's just a meaningless string of letters and numbers that happen to look good together or happen to be available at the time. Right?
Then again, your name is your identity. It is a symbol of who you are, a representation of both how you perceive yourself and how you'd like to be perceived by others. The fact that it's being used solely for videogames does nothing to lessen its importance - or its impact - when you consider that escapist entertainment is where we play out the roles we wish we could embody in real life. No blaming your parents, either, as this is a name and an identity that you choose.
So is there secret significance hidden within your online handle? We decided to find out.
First, we scoured the leaderboards looking for trends. Before long, we had identified six popular and surprisingly encompassing categories - seriously, you'd be amazed at how many tags fit under one of these headings. In fact, all of the examples used in this feature are REAL. They have not been changed by a single character.
Next, we handed our results over to a professional - in this case, Lee Frederiksen, Ph.D. Dr. Frederiksen is a former professor at Virginia Tech University and has specialized in applied psychology for over 30 years, during which he has written dozens of research papers and books. He graciously agreed to provide his expert opinion on the following pages as a balance to our more, er, amateur judgments.
Before we proceed, however, a word of caution from Dr. Frederiksen:
"Professional psychologists don’t rely on a single observation such as a Gamertag to form an opinion of a person. And, of course, sometimes the tag really has very little extra meaning. As Sigmund Freud was quoted as remarking... 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.'"