10 real people with game character names

What's in a name?

We all know someone who shares their name with a celebrity. It's usually someone like Michael Jackson, Emma Watson or Michael Bolton--common every day names that have become associated with superstars. So, it seems logical that many people share names with video game characters. We smell a feature...

Over the next few slides we'll show you the everyday people (actually, most are minor celebrities) that share their names with video game characters. We sifted out the more mundane entries, and just focused on the men and women who have become notable in their field; who have found fame away from their gaming namesakes. Enjoy.

Alex Kidd

Ah, Alex Kidd, the Sega mascot cruelly elbowed aside in favour of a certain blue hedgehog. While the gaming Alex Kidd has to content himself with cameo appearances in Sega games, all the while muttering under his breath about taking his terrible revenge on Sonic with a cattle prod and a broken bottle, the real life Alex Kidd is actually a UK-based DJ. Quite a popular one too. The Kidd done good.

Here's a link to the official Alex Kidd website.

Desmond Miles

Desmond Miles is the whiny 21 century hero of the Assassin's Creed games. Plugging into the Animus, he constantly moans about his life throughout some of history's most turbulent time periods, wearing Altair, Ezio and Connor like a digital glove. The real, real Desmond Miles, on the other hand, is the former leader and bass player with the Jamaican band The Mighty Vikings. Sadly, he passed away in December 2012.

Here's an article about the real Desmond Miles.

Gordon Freeman

We all know the world-saving physicist Gordon Freeman from the Half-Life games, but he shares his name with a man who is arguably more remarkable. Meet Gordon Freeman, an Associate Professor at the Department of Medicine at Harvard. Real Gordon works in the Dana-Farber Center, researching a cure for cancer. He's literally working every day to save millions of lives. Real Gordon is an absolute hero, just like Half-Life's Gordon, only he uses a crow-bar slightly less and may or may not own a robot dog.

Want to check out the real Gordon Freeman? Here's his profile on the Dana-Farber website.

Jane Shepard

Jane Shepard (or Fem Shep, as she has been lovingly dubbed by the Internet) is the ass-kicking hero of the Mass Effect trilogy. Google her name, and you're just a few short clicks from the kind of fan art that'll get you arrested in 27 states. However, a Google search will also bring up Jane Shepard, a contemporary playwright.

The real Jane Shepard's best known work is Freak City, which she wrote as a Showtime original movie. Here's a link to her official website.

Johnny Cage

Looking for an awesome rock'n'roll band to get your party started? Do you live in or around Cardiff? Then you, my friend, can hire Johnny Cage and the Voodoo Groove. The lead singer is no relation to the sunglasses-toting star from the Mortal Kombat series, and there's little chance that the band's encore performance includes the removal of any attendees limbs or internal organs. That's probably for the best.

Check out Johnny Cage and the Voodoo Groove at their official site. Oh, and if anyone has heard them play, please let us know in the comments.

Nathan Drake

Of course, we all know Nathan Drake as the wise-cracking hero of the Uncharted series, but to gentlemen of the Georgian era the name was associated with a respected essayist and physician. The real Nathan Drake wrote several published pieces on Shakespeare, including his most noted (and snappily-titled) work: Shakespeare and his Times, including the Biography of the Poet, Criticisms on his Genius, and Writings; a new Chronology of his Plays; a Disquisition on the Object of his Sonnets; and a History of the Manners, Customs and Amusements, Superstitions, Poetry and Elegant Literature of his Age

We're still searching for the real Nathan Drake's blog. We believe it's buried under a Costa Coffee, somewhere in York.


Fans of disembodied, French platforming protagonists will know Rayman as the star of their favourite games. Scientists are still trying to work out what Rayman actually is, and why he doesn't simply fall apart into a neat heap of weird limbs. So, imagine our surprise when we tracked down a Mr Ray Man, who works as Editor of Freeyourstyle Productions, in London.

Here's a link to the Freeyourstyle Productions Facebook page, where you may--or may not--be able to hook up with Ray Man.

Sam Fisher

Ah look, it's Sam Fisher, the all-action hero of the Splinter Cell series. But hang on a minute... which one is the real Sam Fisher? Ok, it's obvious which of these is the gaming Fisher, but it's spooky how much Samuel Fisher, actor, looks like his virtual namesake. If they ever get around to making a Splinter Cell film, the campaign for Samuel Fisher to play Sam Fisher starts RIGHT HERE.

More info on Samuel Fisher III, on IMDB, right here. Bonus points if you've seen his most recent film, Nazis At The Center Of The Earth.

Sarah Bryant

While the virtual Sarah Bryant kicks her opponents squarely in the teeth in the Virtua Fighter series (or, more recently, in Dead or Alive 5) the real Sarah Bryant is kicking ass of her own... in the Canadian property market. YEAH! Real Sarah B is something of an entrepreneur, and a role model for young women everywhere. And, yes, she's damn pretty too.

You can find Sarah Bryant, and maybe buy a house from her, right here.

Tom Nook

We searched high and low for a real Tom Nook. Interestingly, if you type the phrase 'Tom Nook' into Google, the top suggested search is 'Tom Nook hate'. What a world we live in. We didn't find a well-known person who is actually called Tom Nook, but we did find this creepy taxidermy of a real Tanuki, made to look just like Animal Crossing's despised shop-keeper / insidious loan shark.

Here's the place where we found the morbidly stuffed animal.

Unique little flower

The names we couldn't find? We searched for Ethan Mars, hoping to find 'Ethan Mars Childcare Services', but sadly all Google threw up was weird fan art and pics of the Heavy Rain character looking sad. Similarly, we couldn't find Jet Brody (Fracture) or Gabriel Belmont (Castlevania LOS) either. Shame.

Want more features that take a humoruos, sideways swipe at gaming? Check out 11 Random Objects That Look Like Gaming Executives. Alternatively wrap your browser around Solid Snake Doing Mundane, Unexciting Jobs.

Andy Hartup