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.”