This Baby’s Name Comes From Mass Effect, And Grandma Is Thrilled

This Baby’s Name Comes From Mass Effect, And Grandma Is Thrilled

Here she is, and doesn’t she look adorable? This is Tali’Zorah, and that is indeed her entire full first name. Yes, she is named for the Mass Effect character. BioWare, the studio behind Mass Effect, tweeted out her picture as a tribute this afternoon.

“When I’ve spoken to people about it, the conversation led somewhere like ‘how did you manage to convince your wife to go through with that?'” her father, Adam, told Kotaku. “When it was absolutely the other way around.”

It was always his wife’s idea to name the girl Tali’Zorah, after the series’ mysterious Quarian hero. “This was going to happen years ago,” Adam said. “I was playing the first Mass Effect while she enjoyed it as a spectator, and she fell in love with the name ‘Tali’Zorah’ the instant we met the Quarian being hunted by Fist.

“She told me back then, ‘If we ever have a daughter, I’d love to name her Tali’Zorah,'” Adam said. “It just sounds so beautiful.”

Adam took the story of his daughter’s naming to The Escapist’s forums on Friday; this weekend, we picked up on the novelty of game-loving parents naming a child for a character, and the reaction was … principled.

Some wondered whether giving a baby such a specific and esoteric name would set her up for ridicule. “I had the same questions as many people on the Internet,” Adam said, “like, like ‘well, what would kids at school think?’

“Once I realised that I had one of the most basic names in ‘Adam’ and dealt with bullying in school, I knew that not only was it fruitless (and rather defeatist) to try and prevent bullying through a name choice, I also realised that the best thing I could do would be to raise her to not put so much stock into the negative opinions of others,” Adam said.

“Kids will pick on other kids, whether it’s for a name, their hair, or their clothes, so the best I can do is to teach her how to treat people with respect and how to handle those who refuse to do the same. I still don’t see her name being ‘extra ammunition.’ for said bullies, though.”

Some had argued that Adam and his wife, if they really wanted to go this route, should have named their girl Tali, with Zorah as a middle name. No dice, said Adam. “We made a promise to my wife’s grandmother that she’d be named after her, so her name is Tali’Zorah Rose,” he said. “It never occurred to me to split up the ‘Tali’ and ‘Zorah’ into two separate names.”

And for those wondering what grandma and grandpa and all the rest think of her first name, “Family reaction has been 100 per cent positive, on both sides of the family,” Adam says. “In fact, we received so much support (and both her grandmothers adore the name so much) that the ‘Internet backlash’ really surprised me. Every brother, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, and so on seems to love the name, and we’ve gotten nothing but support from them, even from those who don’t play video games.”


  • I wonder if they’re going to teach her how to use her emergency induction port responsibly.

  • This story ran before. I’ll say it again: the parents are assholes.

    Of course their family loves the name. They wouldn’t tell their son that they just screwed up the child from step 0.

    • why the hell would that make them assholes?

      Its not like theyre calling her “potato shit nugget” or something.

      what is wrong with the name “tali’zorah”‘

      • I listed the reasons at length in the other thread. But briefly:

        – Bullies, general teasing. It’ll happen, guaranteed. And it will affect the child, guaranteed.
        – Having to spell your name. Every damn time.
        – An apostrophe? Really? This will lead to:
        – Legal troubles – problems with humans entering data, machines not parsing correctly, etc. Driver license and electoral info don’t match for example will lead to hard time getting password/etc.

        Since this is something the child cannot choose themselves yet, the parents are taking away the freedom of the child in the aspect that it cannot be ‘average’.

        I am prepared for some more downvote goodness.

        • Heh, voting. People really think about which comments they think should get an upvote. But a downvote? Pfft, some people simply downvote you if they think your comment isn’t good enough for an upvote.

        • As someone with an unusual name that’s also spell incorrectly (because I’m such a special little snow flake, apparently), I know from experience what poor little Tali’Zorah will be going through, and you’re right. Bullying, having to constantly spell out your name, having people always spelling it wrong (even when you’ve literally just spelled it out to them)… I can only imagine how much worse it’ll be for Tali’Zorah. Her parents have screwed her up before she was even born…

          • When I meet people with interesting names I ask them where it is from. That’s gonna get old really quickly. “Remember that Xbox game that came out 15 years ago? Yeah, my dad had a relationship with her so he named me after his digital fuck buddy”

          • Yeah, but after a while answering peoples questions gets less old and becomes second nature, as does spelling out one’s name. Although with rise in strange and/or misspelled names, I suspect many people will just get to the point where they shrug and don’t bother.

            Also, apparently it was the mother’s idea to name their daughter Tali’Zorah, so it would be more accurate to say that she’s named after the mother’s digital fuck buddy (or both their fuck buddy, which is probably even more accurate).

          • I’m curious as to what your last name is. Could be worse though. I’m named after a popular song from a one hit wonder band. If I had a dollar for every time someone sang the damned chorus to me, I’d be a very rich woman (thankfully that has died down in recent years).

        • It will probably just get shortened to Tali. There are a lot worse names out there, but those are some good points above StickMan, the only one I would probably discuss further is the whole bullying thing.

          Bullying will happen regardless, sure, it’s not a good idea to make a possible situation worse by giving your child a horrible name, but giving them a sensible or traditional name is no guarantee either.

        • How is it any different to a non white kid with a name of not of anglo-saxon origins? Oh wait, kids with those sorts of names whether they be Asian names, African names or Arabic names get picked on anyway because their names are “funny”. Let’s just all name our kids Julie, Sam and John because those are “real” names right?

          • i have a fairly simple name – Daryl. Guess what? growing up i STILL have to spell name every single time ( i’ve been called, darly, gerald, darren, barrel etc etc).

            kids will be kids and bullying will always be there. Give any name – i bet somehow,someway kids will find ways to pervert it.

          • Exactly, just as the parents of Tali’Zora said. Does giving her a more “everyday” name make it easier? Perhaps. Ideally though we could better adults and not pass off our biases and judgements to our kids. I was fortunate enough to grow up around kids whose parents were open minded that their children had an Asian friend, vegetarian one at that.

        • its not as bad as you think

          Kids will bully over anything, having a name like talizorah will make no difference to having a name like matt where they can rhyme it with “fat” or something.

          I have to spell my name because its not spelt the usual name, it doesnt effect me and never has

          No legal troubles as its legally fine to spell the name without the apostrophe, a guy at my works name has an apostrophe in it and just spells it without half the time without any issues.

          so really, there is nothing wrong with this name in my opinion. its extremely trivial issues you bring up and calling parents assholes for using a name they like is an over reaction.

          • In my travelling years, before mobile internet was a common thing, we played many word games. One in particular game was based on a Simpsons quote where we’d say “there’ll be no more mockery of your name Mr ______” and we’d insert the most ridiculous thing possible with the only goal to cause the most laughter.

            Often the ones that lacked profanity were the strongest. Names like Mr Analchampion entertained our tired minds.

  • Why not just call her Tali, that is how the character is referred to most of the time anyway and that way the kid wont hate you when she grows up.

  • Cute, but kind of a bogan thing to do. Tali’s a nice name though, but Zorah is a bit of a worry.

  • I don’t see the big deal. There are enough weird names coming out nowadays to dilute any bullying that occurs, and force institutions to deal with punctuation. And in the grand scheme of things, Tali isn’t that weird.

    I find it somewhat amusing that a story like this comes up the day after I read a chapter where one of the characters reveals his name to be Numuhukumakiaki’aialunamor. Kids, be grateful with what you’re given. Or use a nickname.

  • Good on them for choosing a name that means something to them. I would have gone with just Tali myself, but the full Tali’Zorah is also fine.

    When I was in school, reasons to get bullied were not your name, they were because you didn’t have the right clothes, or didn’t hang around with the right people, or had to wear glasses, or had bracers on your teeth, or your haircut wasn’t the current fashion, or you were too skinny, or too fat.. or a billion other reasons that just boil down to “you’re different and unlikely to be much of a threat to me if I bully you”. Ben Dover didn’t get bullied any more than anyone else because of his name.

    @Stickman – plenty of names have punctuation in them and don’t seem to cause problems with data entry. Especially last names, where the partners have kept both last names, but hyphenated.

    This girl is going to have a lot less trouble learning to spell Tali than Talia will have, or Taneal or Teagan or Elspeth!

    This name is a complete non-issue.

    • When I was in school, reasons to get bullied were not your name, they were because you didn’t have the right clothes, or didn’t hang around with the right people, or had to wear glasses, or had bracers on your teeth, or your haircut wasn’t the current fashion, or you were too skinny, or too fat

      Mine was all of the above… on top of having a funny name, being non-white, and/or poor. I don’t think dear Tali’Zorah is going to have it any easier . If she was vaguely ethnic, she could just pass ‘Tali’Zorah’ off as heritage but it seems the family is quite WASPy. Now every time she introduces herself, she’ll probably get a raised eyebrow and a ‘Oh, that’s pretty, where’s it from?’ After enough years, she’ll hate hearing how pretty her name is, and having to explain what Mass Effect is in 2030. Kotaku and other gaming blogs are a bubble; videogames, even ones as cataclysmic and ‘AAA blockbuster’ as Mass Effect, are unknown to the vast majority of people. I’d hate having to explain my referential name every time I meet someone new.

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