As a parent, you’ll face an endless array of difficult choices and challenges. If it’s your first child, you might even have perused the many, many damn books on the matter. These are written by super smart people, and cover everything from discipline to having the awkward birds and bees talk with your child.
Which is all well and good, until the squelchy brown hits the fan and all those conveniently laid-out rules go out of the window. Seriously, the woman who wrote the book had a Ph.D. and everything. I expected better.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. One of the major dilemmas facing any parent comes into play right from the very start: what to name them? You could choose a regular name, maybe one that’s a family tradition. Or you could make like a celebrity, and choose something utterly ridiculous and mentally scarring. Remember when Kim and Kanye thought ‘North’ was a good idea?
For nerdly gamers like ourselves, there’s another course we can follow. Why not name your child after your favourite video game characters? This is an actual thing, and becomes more and more mainstream every day. If you go this route, you’ve got a whole range of options for names, all hitting completely different points on the cringe-scale. How lucky or unlucky your baby turns out to be all depends on the game and the series. Here are 20 PERFECT Baby Names Inspired By Video Games.
That’s right, friends. If you must be named after a Pokémon, I guess you should be flattered that you’re an Onix. Do you think Justin Timberlake minds the nickname Trousersnake? You’re damn right he doesn’t.
Onix is actually a relatively popular name — for both genders at that. Naturally, it’s more often spelled Onix, after the gemstone of the same name, but Onyx is a variant that sees use. This one’s a little out there, but it’s both a (somewhat) mainstream name and an awesomely nerdly Pokémon reference in one. That’s something I can definitely get behind. It's much better than naming your kid Steelix (its evolved form), at any rate.
One of the more conventional choices here, Lara has always been quite a popular girl’s name. In recent decades, it’s surely enjoyed a resurgence thanks to the rise of Lara Croft.
The Tomb Raider heroine is a fine role model and namesake. One of video games’ first and most iconic female leads, Lara is courageous, powerful, intelligent, and beautiful. Much of her time is spent battling the undead, destroying ancient evils and wiping out various endangered species with high-powered firearms in jungle environments. Lara has been an inspiration to gamer girls and women everywhere, and, to boot, she has a name that your child wouldn’t hate you for.
Dante is a name with deep, traditional roots. There are numerous famous Dantes. Dante Alighieri, Middle Ages poet and author of one of the greatest poems ever written, Divine Comedy. Medieval artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. You could opt to name your baby Dante, and give the impression that you’re a little fancy and artsy.
In truth, though, for many of us, there’s only one Dante we have in mind here: the star of Capcom’s Devil May Cry franchise. This Dante is a superhuman half-demon hunter of beasts, and oozes badassery from every pore. That iconic red flowing coat and mane of silvery hair, his twin handguns Ebony and Ivory… Dante is the coolest character in the history of the hack and slash genre, and a great choice for a namesake.
Miles is another of those stealthy-nerdy-gamer-reference names that you could definitely pull off on the down low. These sorts of names are best for people who want to express their love for a certain game or character, but want to be subtle about it. Not inflicting a name like Crash Bandicoot or something on their newborn.
Miles, as you probably know, is the real name of Sonic’s faithful fox buddy Tails. Miles Prower (miles per hour), nicknamed ‘Tails’ for obvious reasons, is one of gaming’s most iconic sidekicks, and the blue ‘hog’s OG partner. These days, Sonic has a whole menagerie of hangers-on, from Amy to Big the Cat, but we’ve all got a soft spot for Tails. Whether you’re dedicated enough to name your child after him is another question.
Naming your child ‘Bulbasaur’ would be kind of pushing the boundaries of the kind of child cruelty that’s acceptable nowadays. Times have changed, grandpa. We can’t just send those little urchins down into the mines to work fifty-hour shifts anymore. We can’t just be wanton a-holes when it comes to naming, either.
So how about the next best thing? Not only will you know that you’re honouring Bulbasaur’s evolution on the sly, but Ivy also comes with a ton of other nerdly video game connotations in tow. Ivy is, as I’m sure you know, the name of a super busty lady from Soul Calibur fighter, as well as a really infuriating (if perfectly designed) plant enemy from Resident Evil 2. Pick your poison.
You’ll recognize this one as the name of the keyblade-wielding hero from Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts series. Sora has an exotic, just-the-right-level-of-eccentric feel to it, which is something that a lot of parents try to keep in mind when choosing that all-important name.
This is a popular one in Asia, considered a feminine name in Korea and having more unisex appeal in Japan. The name means ‘Sky,’ and is also the title of an ethnic group in India and of many towns and regions worldwide. There’s a reason it’s been adopted by so many people and cultures.
Kingdom Hearts’ Sora is a popular hero, who is often praised for his character development throughout his games. Starting life a little inexperienced and naïve, Sora has become a strong and stalwart warrior.
Raiden is also a name that has cropped up in all different places and contexts. Most significantly, it’s the name of a god of lightning and thunder in Japanese mythology. These origins were the inspiration for a central character in the Mortal Kombat universe, where Raiden is a goodly (usually) figure who fights using the power of these elements in defense of Earthrealm.
If raging thunder gods aren’t your cup of tea, how about Metal Gear’s cybernetic ninja? This guy made his debut in Sons of Liberty, and fans didn’t take kindly to the lack of Snake at first. Over time, though, Raiden grew on many of us, and became a big name in his own right.
So that’s a reasonable case made for Raiden, then. What do you think?
Many gamers have said many things about Final Fantasy VII. It’s made frequent appearances on Best Games Ever Made Lists, Most Overrated Games Ever Made Lists, and we’ve defended it and hated on it in equal measure. Nobody’s changing anyone else’s minds, so there’s really nothing to be gained by continuing to bitch at each other.
But nuts to all of that. All that matters right here and now is that Aeris is probably my favourite name in the series’ history. Aeris used to be a perfectly good support character until she took a Masamune to the abdomen. Still, as in the game itself, her name lives on.
Aeris is also, of course, a star sign, so this is another case where you could definitely make this one fly with any non-gamers.
Unlike a lot of video game franchises, Resident Evil isn’t known for its eccentrically-named characters. It’s known for the completely everyday likes of Chris, Jill, Albert, Claire, Jack, and Rebecca. In that sense, millions of people across the world are named after Resident Evil characters accidentally. I know, you sometimes want to keep your nerdly references low-key, but this may be leaning a little too far in the other direction.
So, Resident Evil fans who want to be stand out a little, what do you say to Ada? As we know, Ada Wong is a recurring character who appeared in Evils 2, 4, and 6, and the given name Ada has risen in popularity slightly in recent years.
When I hear this name, all I can think of is Ross’s snarky response when a pregnant Rachel suggested it to him: “Rain? Hi, my name is Rain. I have my own kiln, and my dress is made out of wheat.” Well, you’d better sit down and stop your mockery, Ross, because this Rayne is no dreamy hippy.
Rayne, of BloodRayne fame, is a Dhampir (human/vampire hybrid), and a fearless and relentless warrior. Terminal Reality’s action series centers around brutal bloodletting combat, with its beautiful and terrifying protagonist cutting foes down by the dozen. She may have a daddy issue or two, but if you want a name for a strong, independent woman, Rayne is one way to go.
Final Fantasy characters, as I say, are kind of a mixed bag as far as names are concerned. The series seems to favour things like Cloud, Lightning, and Squall. If that sort of thing’s your bag, you just have at it, but it’s not for me. When it comes to baby names, I like to look somewhere over than the meteorological system for inspiration.
Like Dante, Cecil is a name that is more classical in origin. It was most popular during the Victorian age over in Merry Olde England, and has become somewhat more niche than it used to be. Even so, it’s still very much in use, and has a real history behind it. If being the name of the Night at the Museum bad guy isn’t enough for you, Cecil Harvey was the protagonist of Final Fantasy IV.
For Resident Evil fans like myself, the name Leon only brings one man to mind: the floppy-boy-band-haired hero of Resident Evil 4, and co-star of RE2 and 6. We’ve really been through the mill with Leon S. Kennedy. First, we played through the worst first day at a job anyone has ever had, then we were stuck on that damn village/castle/island with Ashley howling "LEEEEEEON! HEEEEEEEELP!" whenever a gnat so much as buzzed past her.
When you go through all of this BS together, you form a bond. Remember when Harry and Ron hated Hermione until that business with the troll in the girls’ toilet? Leon isn’t an especially interesting guy, but I can’t help but like him. Particularly his name, which I’ve earmarked for my own son.
Speaking of Harry Potter, a certain famous Hufflepuff by the name of Cedric Diggory, or Robert Pattinson, reminds me of another great video game related baby name (this is just the way my mind works, so try and stick with me here). Pattinson also famously played everyone’s favourite sparkly vampire, Edward Cullen. Who you'll remember from adventuing in Dragon Age.
Cullen is more frequently a surname, as Stephenie Meyer will tell you, but it can also work as a given name. Cullen Rutherford appears in Dragon Age: Inquisition as a military advisor to the Inquisitor, a goodly Templar who’s available for romance by human and elven women alike. If those are the kind of traits you’re after, Cullen has a nice ring to it.
A little bold, this one. We can’t all pull off Roselia, but the select few who can will definitely work it.
Rose, after all, is quite a common name in and of itself. As are Violet, Hyacinth, and a couple other flower-based names beyond. Why not strive to do more, be more, achieve more? Why not be the very best Rose you can be? For those instances when being a Rose just isn’t enough Rose, you can throw a little extra embellishment onto the end there.
Roselia is, if you’re a little behind the Poké-curve, another Pokémon. It’s Budew’s first evolution, before reaching its final stage Roserade. I’ll admit, I wasn’t quite sold on this name even when I started this entry, but as far as Pokémon to be named after go, this is another of the better options.
Marcus is probably one of the safest options on the list. Mostly because it’s a super common name in its own right. In its classical, non-Mark form, this name has its roots in Ancient Rome, and means ‘dedicated to Mars’ (god of war).
Ever since then, it’s been a top pick, and is always found ranking in lists of the top couple hundred boys’ names in Europe and the US. We don’t see much of Mars in our everyday lives these days, though, so why not dedicate the name to somebody else instead? Gears of War’s iconic warrior Marcus Fenix, perhaps? For Xbox gamers, Fenix is among the biggest names in gaming.
As we’ve already established, there’s no better Zelda-related name for a baby than Zelda. When it comes endorsed by the great Robin Williams himself, there’s just no arguing with it. It’s not the easiest, most conventional fit, but Zelda Rae Williams is a living embodiment of how well these video game names can work.
Williams and her famous father both shared a love for the franchise, and if you’re in the same boat (and Zelda’s star has never shone brighter than post-Breath of the Wild), you can follow their example. If you’re looking elsewhere within the franchise, though, the pickings are a good deal slimmer. How about Saria?
Final Fantasy IV’s Luca is a curious character. Daughter of Giott, King of the Underworld dwarves, she cuts an unusually feminine figure in her pink getup and pigtails. She isn’t playable in the main game, but is available as a party member in the expansion, The After Years.
If you’ve seen Luca wield her gigantic axe in battle, you’ll know she’s a formidable dwarf-woman that you just don’t want to argue with. She remains quite feminine in her pink outfit, though, managing to subvert and parody gender stereotypes in a way that we just don’t see enough of these days.
Even without all of that context behind it, though, I’m a huge fan of her name. In Lucas and Lucy, there are variants of it for either gender. It’s very versatile.
As we’ve already seen, when it comes to naming your child after a Pokémon, you’ve got to tread really damn carefully. There are some decent enough choices here, surprisingly, but there are also some horrible pitfalls to avoid. If you’re not careful, you might end up with a son named Charizard or Bulbasaur, and that’s really not something anyone should have to deal with.
Eevee, in my eyes, is pretty darn neat. It’s really just a more eccentric spelling of Evie, and that’s already a pretty well-established name. Evie, Eve, what’s not to like? This is one any Pokéholic could easily get away with. Even if you don’t want to play fast and loose with all of those Es, and go with the traditional spelling, that’s fine too.
It’s a hard and fast golden rule of life: If it’s good enough for Robin Williams, it’s definitely good enough for the rest of us mere mortals. This means two things: First, if you want to cross-dress as an old lady and inadvertently set one of your false boobs on fire while cooking on the stove, you have at it. Second, Zelda is a fantastic name for your daughter.
It’s a well-known fact that Robin and his daughter shared a great passion for the Legend of Zelda series. To that end, Nintendo got them on board to advertise the games, in a series of commercials that are far too adorable. Of course, the name’s a little out there, but it’s a fitting tribute to one of the most beloved franchises —and comedians— of all time.
In this list, I’ve tried to focus on names that are unique, as opposed to just bizarre. You could go totally out there for the sake of it, like Coldplay Chris Martin calling his daughter Apple. I like to put a little thought into these matters, rather than just cruising through a grocery store and deciding that whatever I see first in the fruits and vegetable section will be their name.
In The Witcher series, I always quite liked the name Ciri. Ciri (or Cirilla) is the Princess of Cintra, and adopted daughter of series protagonist Geralt. Her Elder blood gives her supernatural powers, and piercing emerald eyes. If your daughter’s born with striking green eyes, you know what to do.