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Everquest stamps on Bob Smith

Original, high-fantasy names demanded

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Everquest class action threat over auction spat

Regarding this Everquest palaver, Colin MacDonald sent in an amusing factoid:

Er, you missed the really funny bit, that they even dictate the *names* you can use. And no, I don't mean they ban stuff like "Rumpleforeskin", they ban "Bob Smith" because all names should be (quote) "Original, high-fantasy names."

How you're supposed to be original while at the same time conforming to a naming convention that's defined only by other peoples' trademarks is not explained, but reports from the gamers say that basically you have to pick a phonetic corruption of a fantasy name and whack some Z's and apostrophes in. You can't play as "Bob Smith" but "Z'gan'dulf" is just fine. They have 13 categories of "offense", restrictions on punctuation, double capitals, implied titles, blah blah blah. You couldn't make this stuff up.

So I suppose my witty gaming moniker 'Dave1' is out then? Sean Fowler was able to add a further bit of enlightenment regarding Dennis Flanders:

Re: A quick search through the Washington phone listings turns up a Dennis Flanders living next door to Gravity Spot's office, but his home number 'does not accept unidentified calls'."

Dial *82 and you can get through. You must have caller ID blocked on your line or otherwise disabled. Flanders' line apparently blocks calls that have caller ID blocked. *82 disables the block, so to speak, on most phone services allowing you to get the call through. I have to do this when I call my parents, a sign of the times.

While I don't play the game myself, I have several friends that do. A few of them make a nice supplemental income selling EQ characters and items. These folks spend probably 4-8 hours per day playing EverQuest. (That's why I don't play - I cannot possibly spend even that much time per week, let alone every day, and it seems like you need to to really understand and succeed in this game.)

There is a new game on the horizon called Shadowbane (www.shadowbane.com). Its authors are saying that anyone who wants to auction items and characters is free to do so. The release date I heard most recently for this game is March 2001.

Cheers, we'll keep readers posted on that.

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