Back by popular demand! After being gone for almost a decade, last names in Second Life are now available once again!
THE HISTORY OF LAST NAMES
So, what’s the big deal you say? Well, a bit of context might be helpful for newcomers and those who created an account at any time in the past decade or so.
Back in the day, Second Life Residents were given the option at registration of selecting from a variety of pre-determined “last name” options. The use of shared “last names” helped build community among Residents who found instant kinship and bonding amidst these newfound virtual family ties shared with strangers of the same lineage. Similar to the commodity of dot-com domains, some “last names” held a special status in the community. Some were extremely rare and, in some cases, there were perceived attributes and reputations associated with certain last name offerings. To make sense of it all, there was even a dedicated website put together by a third party to track the history and availability status of last names (which tended to rotate in and out of circulation quite quickly).
It all came to an end in 2010 when Linden Lab announced that “last names” would no longer be available amidst the roll-out of “display names,” which allow Residents the opportunity to use their real name, nickname, role-play name or social identity in Second Life. While display names do allow for a great deal of flexibility and freedom in expression, some Residents mourned the loss of the common shared “last name” options that helped people across the globe bond together across the metaverse. For those who are curious to learn even more about the sordid history of “last names,” there is an interesting thread that goes into more detail about “the very real panic over virtual surnames” on reddit.
THE RETURN OF LAST NAMES
Given the ongoing interest in “last names” among our community, we’ve reinstated “last names” effective today as a new option for Second Life Premium Members. If you have a Premium account, you will be able to visit https://secondlife.com/my/account to change your first, last or both names. In the true spirit of the original “last names” option last seen in 2010, participating Residents will once again be able to choose from a rotating list of available last names. Some names may only be available for a limited time, so if you see one you like then you might want to claim it quickly!
Already changed your name and want to go back to one of your old names? You can do that too! After you have changed your name once, you will see a list of your previous names below the list of available last names.
Please note that “display names” are still available at no charge to everyone. However, “last names” is a new optional feature just for Premium members and a separate $39.99 fee applies when you change any part of your account name.
In order to ensure your name changes proceed smoothly, please make sure you are logged out of the viewer before changing your name. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for your new name to show across all services in Second Life.
We know that many of you may have further questions about how this all works and that’s why we’ve put together a dedicated FAQ to help explain things in even more depth.
This is the list of current available last names (as of April 13th, 2020).