Every time I hear some company or another is offering parents a prize in exchanging for naming rights to their baby, I've got to wonder what little bean counter in a cubicle came up with that idea? Does he have any kids? And does he even know what he's asking?
This time the folks at Bethesda Softworks are asking a parent to name their precious dumpling Dovahkiin or Dragonborn in honor of their Elder Scrolls games series. But methinks they've already given up on it ever happening, as the offer for the geeky guardians who comply is rather lacking. According to Bethesda's Blog, the parents will get:
A Steam key that will grant you, and presumably Dovahkiin him/herself, every ZeniMax/Bethesda game — past, present and future — for life. Once your child eventually achieves cognition — and grows old enough to play intense video games — we think it will agree that this key blows away a pink pleated onesie. As for the rest of the loot, we’ll leave it as a surprise.
So, tongue in cheek enough that these goofy gamers understand any fan that fanatical is cuckoo for cocoa puffs.The crappier the prize, the less serious the stakes seem to be for the company. I find it interesting they're betting their game company will still be around long enough that their little namesake will actually be able to play their games someday.
That is the rub for companies, isn't it? If they're pathetic enough to try one of these stunts, they must be doing pretty poorly in the numbers game . . . poorly enough that by the time Little Blue Shoe Company Jones hits kindergarten their last pile of rubber soles will probably be on the way to becoming that recycled rubber playground material the kindergartners are shoving up their nostrils.
But it's got me thinking. Is there any prize cool enough to take the average, normal parent over to the dark side? Anything that would make you say, sure, I'll do it?
Weird names can be worked with. Dragonborn is bizarro, but Dovahkiin can pass for something handed down over the generations. You just tell people your gramps was eastern European and call him Dov (on second thought the only Dov I know is creepy American Apparel owner Dov Charney, so maybe not). If the prize were a bit heftier, I could see it. Even Bethesda isn't bad, if you're OK with your kid sharing her name with a city in Maryland.
And if a name truly stinks, you can go with the middle name. So your kid is Little Blue Shoe Company Jones. Call him Blue. Or Little Blue Shoe Company Joseph Jones. Hi Joe!
So what would it take? Say a cool billion dollars? Or at the very least their kid's college education, orthodontist appointments, sneaker bills and a diaper service all rolled into one fat check?
I'd love to say no way, no how -- and considering I am one and done, really, I don't have to debate this -- but ensuring my kid's financial security from here on out sounds awfully tempting. Imagining knowing that every bill would be covered, even if they had some obscure disease or a seriously expensive hobby?
Would you ever say yes to one of these deals? What would it take?
Image via Amazon