I first heard we were going to get the ability to have ‘display names‘ yesterday on plurk. There was a lot of concern, but in general I think this will be one of those things the community will adapt to and probably embrace whole heartily. Knowing what I know about technical issues and the way software is put together I cannot imagine this needs to be implemented in such a way that will break much (OK, so my faith in LL is not unshakable, but it’s hard for me to imagine a scenario where they screw this up too badly) .
I’m relatively excited about this as well. When I first signed up for my account I used the name ‘Alidar’ simply because I had used it for years in settings where gender was not an issue. There were no pictures, genders, etc. It seemed rather gender neutral, I liked it and so it followed me throughout the years. Second Life was the first time that I really started identifying with someone named ‘Alidar’ and by the time that I realized I was identifying myself as her I was wishing I’d have chosen a somewhat more feminine name. By that point of course it was too late, I had identified with her, made her my own, made friends and way too much of a giant inventory. I just started telling people to call me ‘Ali’ and not worry about. I assume other people have similar stories.
Will there be a couple of jerks who try to impersonate others, just like in real life, the difference here is that while it may take a couple of clicks to find the person’s real name, in the real world you may never find the person.
This is not the end of the world, ultimately this will not be the end of the grid as we know it. The grid will adapt and we will forget the controversy, just like we did when LL started allowing people to buy islands, or Lindens or any of the other things we thought would be the end of the world.