The origins of this nickname goes back about 20 years. Once upon a time, I played a text based online game called a “Mud“. I had been playing a Mud named Dark Castle since the fall of 1994 and after about a year of playing, I had become fairly established in the game with one character but wanted to explore other characters and play styles (read: go from the nice honest guy that got trampled now and again to one of the hated assholes on the game that did most of the trampling). Why the hell not? It’s a fake online world from which I’m shield by my keyboard and computer screen. So I set off to create a new character and in the process, I looked around my room for inspiration for the character’s name. Searching, I eye fell upon this little guy:


Cute ain’t he? I don’t remember where I picked it up, or who gave this to me, but it’s a little chibi plastic Gamera piggy bank. From my understanding, the pronunciation is Gam-ra (similar to how camera is pronounced). So that solves the first part of the name. The second part is also an artifact from the days of text based gaming and an influence from the clan/guild I was part of in-game. The clan centered around the dark elves (Drow) from the Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore. Baenre is a house name within the realm of the series and *I’ve* always pronounced it as Ben-Ray. Arguments abound about the “proper” pronunciation, suggest Bane-Ray and a few other similar. I think I’m close enough. So the whole name is “Gam-Ra Ben-Ray“. As online monikers go, it not the most complex, but it’s not the simplest either. I’ve yet to run into problems with this nickname as it’s a pretty unique combination. Running around the mud named after a giant flying turtle from the house of Baenre from the City of Spiders (Menzoberranzan) has just followed since, even after I’ve long stopped playing the rather antiquated yet predecessor to the modern MMORPGs such as Everquest, WoW, etc.

Everytime I make an online identity for some hobby forum be it about cars, models, etc, I’ve used this name. There’s some bit of history to it and I like the continuity. Even my website has been so named since I bothered to create such an online existence back in 2003 or so. I know a few other folks that have stuck with the same online identity; and some of them are pretty interesting; most a result from an evening of drunken fun. But for some that have always wondered about where the name combination came from, or even how the bloody pronounce it; there you have it.

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