The fundamentals of changing your name


Bear with me, because lately I’ve been thinking about this a lot:

As some of you might know my name is Sebastiaan, which is a very good international name. The french pronounce it “Sebastian”, the english “Sebastien” and in most other languages the name isn’t a problem either. My last name on the other hand is “van Waardenberg”, which (except for the germans) no foreigner can pronounce correctly. It’s mostly the “g” people stumble over in this typical dutch name.

“Why is this a problem?”, the only thing that happens is that a couple of people pronounce your name wrongly. This partly true, but for anyone trying to get his or her name out there, an easy to remember name is a must. If you get introduced to someone while at an expo, most of the time people will forget your name instantly if they have problems pronouncing it and when later they try to recall it, they have no idea how to spell it. There is a reason why hollywood stars are named “Brad Pitt” or “Sean Connery” and not “Eugenie van Dongelricke”.

Another reason to change your name is to make it sound more interesting and give it that extra spice, people simply react better to some names than to others and it’s the first thing you tell someone when you meet them. This might seem shallow, but that doesn’t make it less true.

The problem I seem to be having is that I like my name, even my last name. It shows my lineage and is something I hold with pride. My family, although somewhat strange at times, means the world to me and I enjoy all the little traits I inherited from them. Losing my last name would be like losing a part of that and I don’t think it’s worth it.

So how can I do both? How can I change my last name and keep it? Roughly translated my last name means “Value-Mountain”, but that sounds more like an indian name than a real last name. A few minutes with a thesaurus landed me with this name:

Rockworth, Sebastiaan Rockworth.

It sounds solid, posh and yet rough, it changes my last name to something more international and yet stays close to my family name.

Although I still feel too attached to my family name to change it in the registry, Sebastiaan Rockworth is the name I will be using to sign my games. Some people might say I spend too much time thinking about things like this and they might be right, but finding this name solved another problem I had: Naming my game studio.

Rockworth Games

Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? And it has meaning now to. I hope I didn’t bore you to death,


Sebastiaan Rockworth (Also Known As: “Sebastiaan van Waardenberg”)


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