My Name is Not an Error

#314: Josué and Link discuss the importance of names. Specifically, how exciting it was to have Josué’s name be included in Forza Horizon 5


Josué Cardona 0:11
Welcome to GT radio on the Geek Therapy network here at Geek Therapy, we believe that the best way to understand each other and ourselves is through the media we care about, my name is Josué Cardona. And I’m joined by Link Keller.

Link Keller 0:20

Josué Cardona 0:22
Hey Link. Today I want to talk about the importance of a feeling a feeling seen. Okay, I feel like you you’re, you’ve been seeing like your we talked about representation

Link Keller 0:42
I’ve been seen,

Josué Cardona 0:43
I’ve been seen,

Link Keller 0:45
I have no, that is true. I have been seen,

Josué Cardona 0:48
you have. We’ve talked about representation a lot in different in different ways. And there’s, there’s this, there’s one thing that like, for years, I’ve had this idea that one day, I’m going to, I was going to like, either make a YouTube video, or like this really long blog post, like, you know, someday, maybe I’ll do it, but this is this is gonna end up being the first version of that. So there’s something that I do. So my name is spelled J O S U E. And on the E, there’s a there’s a tilde, right? Or an accent mark. And so that that’s, that’s correct. Spelling in Spanish, that’s the way you do it. Many languages have other characters and symbols on, on their letters, my name happens to have one. And it’s, it’s important to me, it’s very important to me, so I always spell it correctly. And I appreciate it so much. When, when people like, you know, there’s a pronunciation part of like, oh, how do i pronounce her name? And like, I appreciate that part. And I get it. It’s like how, Oh, I’ve never seen that name before. That’s kind of weird. That’s usually people’s reaction when that comes up. But the writing part, right is is also a big a big thing. So I, for years, I’ve been, you know, I put my name in, and I got a website when I sign up for something. And so for years, I’ve been taking snapshots of all the times that different systems, websites, programs, apps, have told me that’s not a real name, or it’s an error. Not only not only like, sometimes it’s like, there’s a there’s a there’s an error in your name, but it’s like this thing that you wrote in there is an error, right? It’s a and there’s there’s many different ways of that sometimes it’s just not acceptable.

Link Keller 2:56
unrecognized symbol

Josué Cardona 2:59
unrecognized um, I don’t, that sucks. And sometimes I get to red letters. It’s like, hey, No, try again. Don’t do that. So then I have to I have to misspell at the misspelled my name. So I have to remove the the tilde, right? It’s like, okay, fine. I get it. And I still again, I’ve been doing this for years. And I take a snapshot of it. Because I want to see what it looks like. Sometimes, systems will accept it first. But then on the back end, they change it. And it has all sorts of weird things that come up. Some of it I think is like ASCII code that that’s like, you know, like this all so many weird things. And sometimes it just doesn’t make any sense.

Link Keller 3:44
There’s just an ampersand, where it’s like anything that is not a letter or a number. We’re gonna turn it into an ampersand.

Josué Cardona 3:50
I wish it was just that. So one of the one of the most absurd ones that has ever happened was when I signed up to be a, like a contributor for for my local NPR station. Many years ago. I sign up and a member supported I’m a member now awesome. I put my name in. It accepts it. And then I get something in the mail. And my name is written. Oh, like J o su ampersand, E A C U T E. Right? It’s just like this huge Josué uhh Akuti. Right. And I’m like, what? It’s the weirdest version. Sometimes there’s like weird symbols and stuff. So I mean, it just it just, I’ve come to accept that it bothers me. I don’t like it. Every time I’ve had the opportunity. Whether whether you know, that whenever I’ve had an opportunity to like bring it up or any kind of consulting piece. I’m like, Look, names matter. Right? Let’s do something about that. So That’s that’s just, I accepted it. And again, I’m collecting it and it, it doesn’t feel good. And, and I was recently, I went on vacation, I went to a national park. And you know, like when you go to touristy places, and there’s like the souvenirs that have people’s names on them.

Link Keller 4:25
Mm hmm. The keychain wall

Josué Cardona 5:22
key chain, right stuff. Exactly. Stuff like that. So

Link Keller 5:25
the lanyard bracelets,

Josué Cardona 5:27
yeah, yeah, exactly. All that stuff. And, but to be fair Josué is not as uncommon. A name, like I used to. I mean, you’re in California. I mean, used to be in California, right? Like, you’ve probably, you know, seen it often. More often than, than, you know, people in other places. But it’s not that uncommon. And I used to, like, as part of this argument, I use it. So every year, I would go, the Social Security, his Social Security website has a list of the most common names that are given to children every year in the country. And Josué was always in like, the top 200 300 For the past, like 10 years. And I mean, I haven’t checked it recently to see like where it is, but it’s like, it’s there, like kids are being named Josué all the time. Josué is, is the Spanish equivalent of like, if you open a Spanish Bible, right, what an English would be the chapter of the book of Joshua. It’s it’s Josué, right? I mean,

Link Keller 6:24

Josué Cardona 6:25
it’s just Joshua, and many countries have a different version of it. That’s the Spanish version. And in French, it’s technically spelled the same way. So it’s not it’s not super uncommon. I’m still

Link Keller 6:34
no, it’s super common. It’s a biblical name. Just because it’s not in English. It’s Oof.

Josué Cardona 6:43
I mean, look, I’m giving my my story, my perspective, my version of this, right? Like, there are there are Asian names that are so common, if you take the world and in context, right? Because Because Asia has so many people, right? So many people in India, so many people in China, who have names that once they come here, people are like, I don’t know how to spell that. What is that? Like? And it’s the same type of, I’ve never heard that before. You know, and you know, that you’re like, one of, you know, millions of people you right, in the world who has the same name. And so like, I feel that but I but I get it, right, like you don’t know another language. Maybe you don’t know, too many other people that maybe you just forgot its Okay. So this is something that that again, is important to me. It always bothers me anytime even. I have this conversation all the time. Oh, how would I say your new Oh, that’s so nice. I’ve never heard it before. And I like automatically goes like, oh, it’s the Spanish version of Joshua. Like, you know, it’s like, it’s my version of like, how to thank you. Here’s a, here’s a learning moment. And let’s move on. Right?

Link Keller 7:57

Josué Cardona 7:58
So in media, I’ve never, never, ever seen the name Josué. Like, I mean, I’m like, sure. Spanish mean, it’s like an English like, I don’t remember ever seeing a character name or sway, anything like that. A book like nothing, I think there’s no like main or even side characters right now named Josué I’ve never, never seen it. And, and, I mean, we’ve, we’ve talked about it not in this context, right. But like, there’s some popular video games with like, Link, and Lara, you know, a character so much. I have no idea what that what that’s like, actually, I have this, um, this. I don’t know if I would call it a fear. Let’s call it a fear. I have this I have this fear that when someone finally names a character, right, Josué, it’s gonna be a villain. Like, it’s gonna be bad, right? And I’m like, No, or it’s gonna be just like a terrible character. And then people will associate me with that name. Right? Because because you hear those stories, right? Where people are like, oh, like, I was born with that name. And now everybody associates it with this stupid character from the show that everybody hates. And, and that that’s, that’s a fear that I have, um, there’s not much I can do about it. So so that would suck I hope it doesn’t happen. But you know. Anyway,

Link Keller 9:26
fingers crossed

Josué Cardona 9:27
there’s just I have no positive or negative examples of my name in in like, general like English media, but even I’m sure in Spanish media, you know, it. It’s much more common but we’re talking about English stuff in particular. Nothing. So do you have any comments on this before I before I continue

Link Keller 9:48
before we get into that juicy meaty bit? Sure. My name is Lauren. And that is a extremely common name.

Josué Cardona 10:01

Link Keller 10:02
So basic. Speaking of the Social Security website where you can look up the most popular names the year that I was born, both my first and middle names were in the top 20 Girls names the year I was born. So I was like, wow, my parents really didn’t try. Oh, yeah, yeah. But in choosing to go by Link, utilizing my initials as a way to do something kind of fun. But then it’s also name of one of my favorite video game characters.

Josué Cardona 10:32

Link Keller 10:33
it’s real tasty. It is a name that is common enough, does not show up on magnets and key chains and stuff. I have not seen that in the wild yet. But I’m also not really at the age where I’m interested in that kind of stuff anymore. Yeah, I remember the first time I went to Disneyland when I was 6? 5? 6? And I lost my first tooth there. And the Tooth Fairy brought me $1 wrapped around a magnet that was my name in pretty rainbow cursive. And I thought that was real swell. It also absolutely revealed to me that the tooth fairy was not real. Not as important to me. I was very excited about the magnet.

Josué Cardona 11:22

Link Keller 11:23
But yeah, as I as I’ve gotten older, it has become less important to me. But I think that that is explicitly because I saw myself out there. I saw my name on things. Yeah, I There are very famous, popular main characters named Lauren. Like, it was not something that I ever went without, like even even evil characters named Lauren is like, I have choices there. So it’s like, I got to see myself in that way. And yeah, I, I, I wonder is it’s is it worse to just not be represented at all or to only be represented in negative ways? So I mean, see, we’re talking about if, like, they put out a video game character, and the villain is named Josué. Like that? Yeah,

Josué Cardona 12:15
yeah. Yeah. Um, I don’t, I don’t know. I can’t speak. Yeah, I don’t have any experience. I can only tell you that, that moment of going to Disney and seeing that wall of stuff. And then you are not there. And there’s, it’s like, it’s a giant wall with so many different names. And you see the names of kids who are in class with you, right people that you know, and especially when you’re when you’re that’s when it’s like, why isn’t my name here?

Link Keller 12:45

Josué Cardona 12:46
And I mean, you know, it, it’s othering, right? It’s like, oh, like, I’m not a part of this. I’m, I’m in freakin Disney and suddenly, like, I feel like most some things are not for me. Right? Like, I can’t have Why can’t I spend $30 on this? On this little on this little piece of garbage that is not worth $30. But, but then you keep going through that right your entire life? And yes, like when I went to a national park now? It did not. It did not hurt in any way. Right? Because it was, but I still I know, I always look, I still do it. Because I would I still want it to be there. Now, of course, we can custom order anything, right? Like online and get it and get it engraved and all that stuff. And that is fantastic. Because that’s an that’s an option. Right? So like, you can bypass that. But that experience of like this, you know, commercial experience is like, ah, but it’s reflected in other areas as well. You know, so like, there, I can’t imagine the amazing feeling of like uh like their Star Wars characters, right? That are that are like South Asian names, right? And things like that, like, like to to, like the creators, right? And not just ours, but like in so many different things. They’re just like, oh, this name sounds cool. So let’s pull it from over here. You know, like, there’s not really thinking about it in that way. But imagine like your name is Ahsoka. And all of a sudden, it’s like,

Josué Cardona 14:29
ahsoka is like one of the coolest characters in Star Wars. And to most people. It’s like, oh, that’s a cool name, but it’s just the character and you’re like, No, like, that’s been my name my entire life. Because it is a pretty common name in other parts of the world. And an at least a known name, so things like that. So you know, I’ve never, never had that until recently. Okay, so

Link Keller 14:59
set the scene

Josué Cardona 14:59
I’m gonna process this now. Yeah, I’m gonna process this with you with you now

Link Keller 15:02
take us through the experience.

Josué Cardona 15:04
Yeah. So there is a very good driving game on Microsoft platforms called Forza Horizon,

Link Keller 15:16
just a little game you might have heard of.

Josué Cardona 15:19
I mean, you know, Forza Horizon series. And, and apparently I was looking this up and apparently, you know, right now there’s the fifth version. So Forza Horizon five came out a couple months ago, November, December, and it’s really good. Like, I like driving games a lot, I find them very calming. This game has a lot of things to like, including that I can use nothing but Volkswagen Beetles throughout the entire game. So it’s, it’s all to me, it’s also the spiritual successor of Beetle Adventure Racing 64. I basically only drive Volkswagen Beetles in it. And, and I love that stuff. And so it has this feature at the beginning, you build your character, and it has has an interesting character creator that with a whole bunch of stuff that we could we could talk about. But then it says, Pick a name. And so in a lot of video games, including the Legend of Zelda, but you can just rename Link to whatever you want. And since there’s no voice acting, right, it’s always it’s always just spelled out. And so like, I’ve, I, I think I did that once. I usually just leave Link as Link because to me Link is link and like, I’m not link, right, like, I’m playing, I’m playing link’s story. And, but I could, I could just change it so that everybody calls the character Josué. And I’ve had that like, in writing, you know, like, you can you can switch it up. And but in forza horizon,

Link Keller 16:49
I think Nintendo does have accent Es as a choice.

Josué Cardona 16:52
You can No, no, absolutely. Like, you know, lots of games let you write whatever you want. Like, like, you know that that is an option. In terms of, if we’re talking about a character that you’re creating from scratch, right? That there’s there’s so much that’s what like that part of it, I think we’ve covered in the past, and it’s super important to have that. But what Forza Horizon five does that is special is that it says Pick your name. And so it doesn’t let you write your name. And it has hundreds of names to choose from. So now, I’m playing this game. And I’m going in, and I’m, this is the wall of key chains. It’s exactly the same thing, right? And so what do I do whenever I see one of those walls of keychains?

Link Keller 17:39
you got to check.

Josué Cardona 17:40
I gotta check. Josué is there in the menu. And not only is the name there to pick, the reason why you pick and you don’t just spell them is because every name is voice acted.

Link Keller 17:58

Josué Cardona 17:59
so there’s a narrative, there’s a story. So throughout the entire story in cutscenes, and the characters that are speaking to you over the phone, and like throughout the game, they are referring to me as Josué in the game. So it’s not just like,

Link Keller 18:20

Josué Cardona 18:20
it’s written there, or like, oh, look, we can write it. No, like, the characters are saying the name. Okay. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s an it’s the first time that this is something like this has ever happened to me. And it’s again, it’s not like, Oh, they’re in the commercial. They said Josué, like one note, take this whole game. There are multiple characters referring to me right? In the game, as Josué. I don’t know how they did it. I don’t know why. And of course, there’s only hundreds of names. I’m sure. You know, there’s a lot of there’s there’s a lot of other people whose names are not there. Lots of them.

Link Keller 19:05
My immediate thought is I hope Lauren isn’t there. Lauren doesn’t deserve it.

Josué Cardona 19:12
But but but my name is they’re Josué there. And and it is. It is, like you said like for you maybe like I don’t know, like, that wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I mean, it’s like oh, it’s like it’s novel, right? Like, oh, that’s cool. Every character like says your name. That’s kind of cool. But I’m I’m still processing how this feels like, I don’t know how much work. It was for Microsoft to do this. But it feels really good. It feels so so good. Yet I have haven’t I haven’t looked too much into it and I and I’m assuming that the names are actually read by the because because they’re like actors doing it. So I’m assuming they had to go through, like 500, you know, names and pronounce each name and you know that in the backend, the system is just replacing every time one of those names come up, you know, with that, but and then it’s not like a like a, it’s not just a, an AI reading the names, because, again, there are actors doing this. I’m I hesitate to say that, like, I’m grateful, like, like, I’m thankful, right? Because I don’t, I don’t know that I’m like, I want to knock on Microsoft’s door and you know, like, Thank you for giving me this thing that I that I but like, but it feels really good. It feels. Again, it’s like I’ve been seen

Link Keller 20:41
I been seen

Josué Cardona 20:42
to be seen in that way like to, to know that like, Oh, you’re it’s almost like your name isn’t real? Again, like, I started talking about how on a daily basis, the things that I interact with, say that my name is a mistake. And now this other thing, again, still in the digital world, right? Is is is going and referring to me by name. And it’s the care that it was that was put into it. Because I can I can go into my phone, I can tell Siri exactly how to pronounce my name. And there’s like a whole system and things that you can do. So it’s almost there, right? Like it’s not perfect. But it it pronounces my name, I had to train it to do it. I had to like, do a whole bunch of stuff. But like, it refers to me by name, right? It’s like I can’t do that Josué, like, or Josué. Like it doesn’t it’s not perfect, but it’s almost there. But in this game, it’s there. And now Forza Horizon five is set in Mexico. So I don’t know if they purposely added more names,

Link Keller 21:54
I think so

Josué Cardona 21:54
that are common in Spanish speaking countries. I thought that this was a new thing. Apparently this is also possible in Forza Horizon four I never played four. So I I don’t know if the name Josué was on the list in in Forza Horizon four. But, but yeah, I don’t know what the reason is, but that’s, that’s, that’s awesome. It just it just feels really good. Are you looking it up now to see what the name? Again? I don’t know if it’s there. But um, yeah, no, it’s, it’s, it’s incredible. It’s, uh, I didn’t know how I guess I didn’t know how important it was, you know, that feeling of a feeling excluded from stuff like that. Like, I knew, I know, it’s important, right. Like, and, and we know that that affects people. Especially if you fall into, you know, any minority, right, you, you, you’re like, Oh, this is a big, important part of me. And then we’re talking about name in particular.

Link Keller 23:00

Josué Cardona 23:00
Right, like, like, because I think it’s, again, it’s a very different conversation when you’re talking about, I think that names are so complicated, right? When it comes to this stuff that we don’t even even in the past when we’ve talked about seeing yourself in other characters and in terms of skin color, and body type, and hairstyle and presentation and all these other things is like that’s way more generalizable. Right. Like we could have a whole bunch of people and like, oh, you know, we kind of we have common traits right? But like a name is something again, like that’s we’re having now it’s a very different conversation

Link Keller 23:36
is another aspect of identity but it’s one that can be way more personalized to them.

Josué Cardona 23:42
Right? You can spell it a body different ways. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Did you find the list? Oh,

Link Keller 23:50
I don’t know if there is an actual list I can pull up but I it is very funny. I just I Googled namelist Forza Horizon horizon four and it’s just a whole bunch of like Reddit and forza it’s a discussion post is like the game knows my name??

Josué Cardona 24:06
Yeah. So so so just Yeah, so I did not realize that this is one of the features that they put in it. So basically, apparently, there’s tons of posts and there’s articles about this where people were freaking out because the game didn’t let them pick their name it just by default. If your name is on like your Xbox Live account, it would automatically start the game up and

Link Keller 24:34
that makes it a little spooky.

Josué Cardona 24:36
Yeah, yeah. So a lot of those posts are about that. I’m and again, when I read that all I thought is like this story would be even better if the game had actually done that. Just started off and started it just called me Josué for the beginning. I would

Link Keller 24:54
that’s real power moves right there.

Josué Cardona 24:55
This would have been this would mean

Link Keller 24:58
just imagining you sitting on your couch and be like, are you trying to seduce me? What is happening right now?

Josué Cardona 25:05
Is this is this real? Is this happening? Am I did I die? Like am I like what happened? It would it would have felt like such it would have been, it would have been shocking, but in a in a in a good way. Most what you’ll find is people are just complaining. Like it feels like an invasion of privacy. Like why Why are they calling me like, you know, they didn’t even let me choose the you want to call me Josué I would have cried probably.

Link Keller 25:29

Josué Cardona 25:30
And and which again, just goes to show the difference in the in the and what this means, right? Like I read an article, I forget, it was like a I think it was a popular video game site. And the person. The person’s name was Eric right and like, yeah, Eric, Eric was complaining about the game calling him by his name and not asking him first like blah blah blah like, Eric, if you have no idea. How, how lucky you been? It’s never been a problem for you.

Link Keller 26:06
You’ve only ever had to deal with the C versus K issue. But you can see yourself okay. Ah, that was so bad. Oh my god.

Josué Cardona 26:18
I haven’t haven’t

Link Keller 26:19
that was for Nina.

Josué Cardona 26:20
I haven’t I haven’t talked to uh, I’ve had that’s happened so many times. I’m sorry. It’s, uh, you know, it’s Eric with a with a K. I mean, that that’s part of the personalization of the names, right? It’s, um, your parents got creative. And, and, and then you end up having the same problem, right, that you end up having the same issue where it’s like, oh, like, it’s got Eric with the C. But not with the K or like, you know, my name is spelled this way. And like, the name is there on the keychain. But it’s not exactly that. And it’s a good point. The same, you’d have the same problem in the game. Because if your name isn’t spelled, I mean, technically, it’s pronounced the same. Right, with a different spelling, but it is. So that would be almost there.

Link Keller 27:08
I mean, that that’s like a whole nother level. Right? It’s we’re talking about in video games, it’s very easy to just add in a name text wise, but it’s when you hear a voice actor. Say your name to you, the player. Like that is such a whole nother level of like, immersion honestly is like you this game is actually responding to me. Not just a player character. Yeah, it’s like, me!,

Josué Cardona 27:36
yeah. Yeah. So like, like in terms of, I think it’s, it’s been an incredibly meaningful experience. One because it it, it has reminded me and your example of being at Disney and having that, like, I remember that, like, that’s happened. That’s happened so many times. Right? When I was a kid, it’s like you it’s like, Ah, my stepbrother’s name is Victor. Never had a problem, right? Victor was usually there. My my sister, and I, my name is in the shop, and my sister has it even worse, like her name is like, made up. It’s like, you know, half of one person’s name with a half of another person’s name. And so like, that’s, that one’s that was not on the Social Security list at all. You know, that’s a, it’s bigger. It’s, you know, so her problem is like,

Link Keller 28:24
on the one hand, you can actually Google somebody and find them if they have a rare name. But me I live in anonymity, because there’s like, probably half a million people with my flag by full name. Yes. The same as me.

Josué Cardona 28:39
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I’m like, there’s, there’s lots of Josué Cardrona on online, which is just funny, right? Like, it’s like, nobody knows my freaking name. And like, even even the combination is, is out there. Um, but But again, this experience was meaningful, because it helped me reflect on on that. And like, again, like I don’t even think about anymore, I always check to see if my name is there. I always take a screenshot of when this happens, because it’s like, it’s another. I don’t think another rejection, it’s like another. Another reminder that you, you know, of how different and again, the wording that’s used like, your name is unacceptable. Your name is an error. Your Name contains an error. Your name is wrong. Like that’s not allowed.

Link Keller 29:27

Josué Cardona 29:27
Because it the negative the negative language around it, it’s just one context, right? I mean, I’ve heard stories of people, right, who like are speaking to a human being, and then someone corrects them about their name. I’ve had this happen to me too,

Link Keller 29:46
uhh, rude

Josué Cardona 29:47
but I’m really again, I think I feel like it’s my normal, which this is, this is important to talk about too, right? Like, like,

Link Keller 29:56

Josué Cardona 29:56
the game reflects how It’s such a it’s such a such a new and different experience. Again, it contrasts like what has already become normal to me normal to me is that my name is not okay. Right. And that my name is is inconvenient. And again, I know people who have been, I had a I had a co worker named Iram I R A M. And she told me a story where like, she was a kid, and she goes to the friend’s house, and the and the other person was like, No, it’s, I think she’s Iran. Right,

Link Keller 30:38
oh no

Josué Cardona 30:38
and like telling her, like, if she knew, like, even I’m sure she was even pronouncing the country wrong. I’m probably pronouncing it wrong. And it’s like, she’s like, No, like, I know my name. And I’ve had that happen to me, right? Where it’s like, hey, like, you misspelled your name, or they’ll automatically correct it to Jose, and like, oh, no, that’s not

Link Keller 30:56
that’s worse

Josué Cardona 30:56
I mean, again, it’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s an unfortunate an unfortunate reflection upon how that is my normal, right? Like, and, and that’s just, I just accept it. I just, I don’t think about it much. And in many ways, I don’t think, I don’t think it hurts me as much as it used to. It’s just like, it’s just normal. But holy shit, did it feel good, when that wasn’t the case. And those, you know, there are examples of this type of thing that, uh, that, um, that I think I think we can build on we can we can work on, right, like, in terms of whether it’s a student or a client, or, or even friends and family like this is this is one version of that. But it’s also very exciting about how interactive media is an opportunity to bypass those things. Because because there’s the there’s the AI piece, right? Which is exactly. Like, like I was saying before, like, I can tell, I can tell Siri to say my name correctly. I mean, we’ve come such a long way. Like, actually, I mean, there is a there is a very old episode of psych tech, where I talked about customizable learning. And how, like, because of that, I mean, this is an example of that you can just you can have that blank. And then you can you can fill in that blank with things that are more relevant to the student, and then they’re going to care more about it. I mean, that’s what we’re talking about here and Geek Therapy all the time, right? It’s like, how can we how can we contextualize the issues that we’re dealing with the things that we want to learn more about, or change with the things that are already meaningful to us, and they don’t even they don’t have to be real. Right? Take the like, I didn’t know, Forza Horizon five, I knew about it. Like the game meant nothing to me before I played it. But I like racing games that I care about that. That’s that was my entrance. And then a racing game of all things a racing game. gave me this, this experience. And again, like I think, I think some care was put into that, right, like recording all the names. It reminds me of, um, you know, when you when you hear about Rockstar Games, like GTA, and especially, especially Red Dead, right, like, read that, too. There was like, how the Scripts are like 1000s and 1000s of pages, because there’s so many possibilities. Right? And that makes the world feel more alive. Because depending on a number of different things, it’s so different right from, but they’re doing that for the sake of for immersion, right, like, like creating a world where, like, every NPC doesn’t just say the same thing over and over again. Right. But like, you shift that focus to then be more inclusive, and have and have different names. Again, I think, I think, I think it’s kind of impossible, and probably not even worth it to, to voice record every single name. I think that that doing like the AI version is, is way, it’s like much more scalable, right? In a sense. And then any name could be there, right? Like, like we could have, we could like there could be a website where like you fine tune your name, so that it so that it knows how to say it, and then the game can just like pull that information when it’s doing it. That would that would be really cool.

Link Keller 32:21
You have to go to the Hatsune Miku training page and teach her to say your name, and then she’ll teach the other computers how to say your name.

Josué Cardona 34:37
Just Yes, exactly. I mean, that’s that’s a feels like an option.

Link Keller 34:43
hell yeah.

Josué Cardona 34:44
Yeah, yeah. She’ll sing songs about you. It’ll be great. It’ll be fantastic. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But like, it feels possible. You know, like, it doesn’t. I’m sure this was hard, right and sense of like, kind of, you know, I’m sure it’s A lot of time, and those voice actors, right? Technically, you can do it in a game like this, because there’s like, there’s only like five other people in the game, there’s only five, right? And so they get they got paid to read all those names. You have to draw the line somewhere. But like, but it’s possible, you know, um, and I have not even looked into what it does in other languages. Like, I don’t know, if I if I, if I, I’m assuming that, that if I switch it to French, that people will speak to me in French. And I don’t know, if they’re saying, you know, if they recorded all these names, also speaking other languages? I didn’t, I didn’t even actually, I didn’t even change it to Spanish to see what would happen. You know, I’m assuming, I don’t know that there’s all these other possibilities, right? Like, because we’re looking, as this whole conversation has been very much like living in America, you know, going to Disney and seeing your name that I’m sure it happens in other places, too. And the common names in each place would be very different. But I didn’t even think about the, the language piece of it, right? Like my name is in Spanish. And all of these people speaking English or pronouncing Josué. But like in the Spanish version in the in the Japanese, like, is there a Japanese track on this unfortunate, I don’t know, like, how many language tracks are there? I’m gonna have to look this up. This is gonna be fun. Yeah, like after this, I’m probably gonna go into switch the language and just see how people pronounce my name. And while they’re speaking other languages, that’s gonna be very excited.

Link Keller 36:32
Driving my Volkswagen. And these German men are calling me by my name!

Josué Cardona 36:37
Whoa, that’s a good idea. I hope it has a German language track. Yeah. And they’ll say Volkswagen, right. Yeah, so it’s exciting. It’s very exciting. Like, because I started thinking about the possibilities of how of how you can do that. Way better. And, and especially, see, because there’s, there’s a lot, I love audio, and I love. I love the idea of audio interfaces, where the experience of working with audio interfaces is still I still find it very frustrating. And that is someone who has what could possibly, I mean, what is probably considered a neutral American accent, right, for the most part. And then so technology even understands me, like there’s a lot of people who will try to communicate with with different smart devices, and just any kind of audio interface and there’s no vocal interface. And you know, they don’t understand them as clearly. That stuff is frustrating. But that’s also just another opportunity for my name to be mispronounced. And misspelled, and it gets frustrating. Yeah, because at least some people it’s easier to, to just tell someone you know, like, repeat the name for someone who asks politely like, Hey, did I pronounce your name correctly? Is that Is that okay? Then it was for me to program Siri to say my name. And I’m sure we’ll get better at that. But I think but I think that that’s really, really important. Again, like, I’m, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m pretty old now. And and I didn’t realize how much how how much I would appreciate it when something like this actually, actually happened.

Link Keller 38:39
I’m imagining some kid. 10 years old. Parents got him Forza for Christmas. And he loaded it up, and he saw his name. And that’s

Josué Cardona 38:55
that’s me! That’s my story.

Link Keller 38:56
Yeah. But as a kid, yeah. As a kid, as a as becoming the norm, the expectation the experience that you actually have versus

Josué Cardona 39:06

Link Keller 39:07
Your experience. Yeah. Which is why we’ve been waiting for this moment.

Josué Cardona 39:13
Exactly. What do you mean, like, this hypothetical kid? Like, it’s like, they’re gonna take for granted. Like, they might take it for granted or like, it’s more special to them, because they’ve, they went to the wall of keychains, and it wasn’t there. But they went to the game and it’s there.

Link Keller 39:29
I hope that this is going forward. Josué will be included in things more often. And so for him his for this hypothetical 10 year old Josué, who lives in Nevada. And hangs out with response a lot. And he in 20 years will be like, Yeah, my name shows up and stuff. Like it’s not a big deal. Yeah,

Josué Cardona 40:04
yeah. Yeah.

Link Keller 40:06
It’s important to be a part of culture, society, media, seeing ourselves in those things matters. We talk about this constantly.

Josué Cardona 40:24
We do

Link Keller 40:24
and, and I am so fucking happy that that this happened to you and I’m so excited hearing this story. It’s fantastic. But uh, yeah, I hope less people have your experience, I guess is where I’m going. Is that how I feel?

Josué Cardona 40:45
do you?

Link Keller 40:45
Yeah, I guess I mean, hmm.

Josué Cardona 40:50
You know, I mean, so the more customizable that things are right. Like, like, I mean, to, I guess, like finish with that with a, or to not bring up any more keychain the wall of the key chains, right? But it doesn’t have to be that way. Right. Like it’s even. It’s not even like if it’s my store it’ll probably even be cheaper if I just have a machine that will like customize it right there

Link Keller 41:18
laser engraved

Josué Cardona 41:18
to buy stock of like, yeah, then to buy like, oh, you know, I got all these Jessica’s and I got all these Lauren’s and none of them are, you know, like, I bought too many. Like, Lisa used to be the most popular name like for 10 years. And now nobody buys the Lisa keychain anymore. What are you gonna do with it?

Link Keller 41:34
My son is also named Bort! I’m so glad I got to say that Yeah, yeah. So I guess that is what I want. I want I want to abolish the keychain wall.

Josué Cardona 41:53
But But in, in, in, in interactive media, right, like stuff like video games, and just websites and, you know, voice interfaces. There’s also that customizable aspect. Now. It’s a completely different thing when it’s like that. It’s a narrative story, right? It’s like, again, like, Tomb Raider. Is is Lara Croft, right. And like, our co host, Lara, is that that’s her name. Right. So it’s like, Lara, you see it? Right. It’s there. You mentioned tons of Lauren examples. I don’t have a, there’s no. I mean, it’s just, it’s just an part of that whole experience, right? I’m not, I don’t know, there’s so I hope that my name doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t go into like this terrible character, an annoying character or a villain or anything like that. That would, you know, I wouldn’t like unless it’s like a cool villain. Like, it could be cool villain. Like, I don’t want it to be like, I’ve thought about this. Yeah. I’m like, like, it could be a really good villain, you know, that would be okay,

Link Keller 42:59
i don’t want to be associated with a villain. But if it’s going to be that villain better be hot.

Josué Cardona 43:05
And just like, badass and like, just yeah, that’s like high, high quality, grade A villain. But that’s that, that’s largely out of out of my control in the sense that, like, I’m not a screenwriter, I don’t I don’t do these things. I like there’s no, I have no influence over over that piece. But there, but there are these other areas where it doesn’t, it doesn’t have to be that way. And that would be kind of cool. But it’s, it’s important is kind of the point, right? Like that. This is something that, that that matters. And I hope that this conversation has kind of illustrated maybe a little bit about how meaningful that can be and the effect that it has over time when, like, because again, it’s not just that it’s not there it is it is like there’s a message of, of the the othering and, and, and the how it’s not acceptable, like being excluded and being told that you’re that you’re not allowed is our two are two very different things. And so on the on the media, just like the traditional, you know, media front, it’s maybe that’s even like a I’ve actually I think we’ve had that conversation right and there was a the closest I’ve ever come to feeling like whoa, like there’s a does it does like in an actor, like there is someone with which which was it was like that was a the character of Endor Cassian Endor it’s the same in star in Star Wars Rogue One, played by Diego Luna and there was something about like, like, oh, Diego Luna is like playing of lead character in in a Star Wars film. He’s getting his own series. Right and I’m sure I brought this up before For like Mandalorian, Ahsoka and Endor three TV shows on, you know, in the Star Wars universe the three leading characters are are are Hispanic and their and their names are in Spanish and like oh, okay when they represent different countries and it’s a there’s a that feels good right that’s as close you know as I It’s good, right? Like that’s that’s a big thing also, but the main thing, right it’s like it’s it’s separate, right? It’s so personal. It doesn’t because I don’t I don’t feel any kind of connection to other Josués, right necessarily. Um, it’s not the same connection that you feel, you know, culturally or, you know, under different umbrellas like, oh, like, all these people are Hispanic. But yeah, so again, so that conversation is different. But I think that there’s a lot of opportunities for anyone, again it can be a little thing, right? It’s like, the way you pronounce someone’s name, the way it’s written, and personal interactions. That stuff is really meaningful. And we can we can extend that into other areas.

Link Keller 46:10

Josué Cardona 46:11
Make people feel good.

Link Keller 46:13
Make people feel seen.

Josué Cardona 46:14
make people feel seen

Link Keller 46:15
make people feel included,

Josué Cardona 46:17
please. Yeah, we can do it. We have the technology. We can, we can do it. We’ve proven that it’s possible. Yeah. So any, any, any closing thoughts? additional. No, no,

Link Keller 46:32
this was a nice episode to come back to New Year. Yeah, I’m so happy.

Josué Cardona 46:42
Good, good. Um, please let us know what you think of this. Let us know any ideas you have of where we can see this kind of stuff implemented, where it’s it, you know, where we can improve. In this type of thing. Give us your horror stories of names as well. And let me know if you’ve seen Josué in any, you know, English media anywhere that would be that’d be cool to see. Please share your story on the GT forum, where you can comment on this episode or any other episode on the entire GT network. Links to how to find all of our community spaces are in the show notes for Mark Geek Therapy, visit geek therapy.org. Thank you so much for joining us. Remember to geek out and do good. And we’ll be back soon.

Link Keller 47:36

Josué Cardona 47:40
Geek Therapy is a 501 C three nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a better place through geek culture. To learn more about our mission and become a supporter, visit geek therapy.org

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Characters / Media
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Link / Legend of Zelda series
  • Lara Croft / Tomb Raider series
  • Ahsoka / Star Wars series
  • Beetle Adventure Racing
  • Hatsune Miku
  • Cassian Endor / Star Wars: Rogue One
Themes / Topics

Conversation Topics:

* Change
* Cultural representation
* Feeling alone
* Finding Oneself/Identity Development
* Standing up for oneself

Relatable Experience:

* Feeling Excluded
* Feeling Seen

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Links / Social Media

Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com

GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org

GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord

GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy

Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona

Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq

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