Thursday, March 22, 2018

Linden Lab Announces Upcoming Changes, Including Return of Last Names

In an announcement that they linked to Second Life's upcoming 15th Anniversary, Linden Lab announced there would be a number of changes this year. Counting a few earlier changes such as lower mainland tier, they listed a total of fifteen, one for each year the Grid has been around.

Among the changes are "more value for Premium members," which could mean more perks. The Lab also promises "more exclusive games and experiences," which could mean at least one more game like "Tyrah and the Magical Glitches" last year. Some interesting changes mentioned included "themed learning islands," "Linden Homes improvements," and "land auctions." They also plan to move Second Life's infrastructure to The Cloud, and officially release animesh in full.

But the change that's gotten the most attention, "The return of last names." Until about 2010-11, those signing up for a Second Life account gave it two names, the first whatever they desired and the second one from a list that varied depending on when the account was created. Then Linden Lab gave new accounts a different naming system. One was a display name that was whatever the person wanted. But for account names, they did away with surnames and on browsers all new avatars showed up as having a default last name of "Resident."

While display names have been popular overall, the move to ditch last name choices for account names was highly unpopular. With every newcomer listed as having the surname of "Resident," many felt like second-class citizens. There were also complaints in the first few months that some clubs were banning everyone with the default name as it instantly identified them as newcomers and possible griefer accounts. People also looked for ways to make an account with a last name.

Linden Lab realized they had a problem, and in December 2011 announced they would study how to bring back surnames. But in March 2012, the Lab announced they just couldn't find a way to do so. While several years have gone by, the issue was never forgotten.

Exactly how the Lab plans to return surnames is unknown. It's also unknown if existing "Resident" accounts will be given a chance to get a real surname. Time will tell on both.

To read the Linden announcement, Click Here

Bixyl Shuftan


  1. Too little too late, so many of those with the last name of Resident will want a change. If the changes were retro so that everyone could pick a name for free (I can see LL wanting to monetize this) then maybe I'd have a higher opinion of it.

    1. Anyone can change their name. There will be a charge.