March 27, 2009

The Name of the Game

Posted by at 9:41 am in Games | Permalink

Game_on_animatedPaging all gamers!  Read on for advice from Alyssa Hansen and Kaycee Johnsen, two 15-year-old inventors!

An important step when it comes to creating something like a video game is naming the invention itself. It may seem simple and unimportant to name the creation, but it’s more important than you’d think. In fact, the name is really a major selling point for your game — it will be the first thing that comes to people’s minds . . . Do you really want to have an unimaginative name? Take Post-it notes for instance…would you rather buy something called “Post-its” or “little pieces of paper with sticky gunk on the back”? Giving your invention a catchy and cool name shows that you care about it and care what people think of it.

When it comes to naming your invention, it could be a really simple name or a more creative name. Here are five suggestions for naming a new invention or video game:

  1. You could simply name it for what it does. An example of a video game that says exactly what it represents is “NBA Basketball.” Keeping it simple is a good way to ensure that everyone will know what your invention is just by simply hearing its name.
  2. Name it for its parts. One great way to come up with an invention is by putting parts of different things together. Suppose you came up with a game where you had to search for treasure and solve mysteries. You could call it “MysteryFinder.”
  3. You could also feel free to name it after yourself. Some of the biggest creations of our time were named after the people who dreamed them up, like Disneyland after Walt Disney, and Ford after Henry Ford. And, hey, if you don’t like your name, you could always name it after us (just kidding!).
  4. To get more creative, try naming your invention using fun and catchy sounds — like Yo-Yo, and Hula Hoop. It should be something fun to say out loud, something you’d happily say over and over again. The first invention we helped create is called Boogie2Boogie because it has to do with putting 2 body boards (also called “boogie boards”) together. We spent a long time coming up with a giant list of possible names, and when we went back to our teammates with them, Boogie2Boogie was just the most fun to say, and it stuck!
  5. Try using initials as well — like UPS (United Parcel Service) or GM (General Motors). You could also use numbers and symbols in the name of your invention to make it stand out. The pool game we invented with our friends is called UX, short for “Underwater X-treme.” One of our friends made up a cool logo that is eye-catching and that helps people remember the name of our product, even though it is just two letters.

We hope you get the idea that naming your game is a big deal! The better the name, the more attention you’ll receive and the more drawn to your invention people will be. It may be hard for you to decide what name to use, and that’s okay. Just make a list and start narrowing down to your favorites. Ask your friends for opinions, too. Their different viewpoints will help you understand what other people will think when they hear about your invention. Who knows . . . maybe one day we’ll hear your game’s name or see it on a shelf, so you want to make sure it’s memorable!

Good luck! We can’t wait to hear about your inventions!! And don’t forget that the contest entry deadline is coming up on Tuesday — so you’d better get your game on!

— Alyssa Hansen & Kaycee Johnsen, Kid/Teen Inventors


Alyssa Hansen and Kaycee Johnsen, both 15, began inventing when they were just 10 years old. They, along with their siblings and friends, have created Boogie2Boogie, a new kind of wave-riding toy and the Underwater X-treme, a challenging pool toy that solves the problem of everybody peeking when playing Marco Polo. Both inventions won the National TOYchallenge and are currently being marketed by By Kids For Kids. Alyssa and Kaycee have been writing a regular column for creative kids in since 2006 and have co-written a book and activity kit that teaches kids how to invent. 

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