A while back I visited some community meeting about last name in which Linden Lab was gathering feedback on their plans to eventually allow name changes.
This was back in April and I also blogged about it here (I was so young back then… ;-).
Since then we haven’t heard that much on any progress on these plans (although we all of course had great ideas :-).
But when you look around these days you see more and people from RL businesses or RL artists coming in having a customized last name. Now I assume that
you can buy these names (maybe you need special rules to apply to you e.g. being a known RL person/company). Examples are recently the last name “SunMicrosystems”, “Vega”
or “MillionsOfUs”. So might give this some hints on what their final plan on last names is?
It might mean that name change will not be that open as I would have hoped for. My personal dream here would be to make it completely up to the person to choose
an arbitrary name at signup and eventually change it later for a fee (e.g. due to marriage or whatever). Now of course this has issues such as trademark issues as with
Sun or issues in which you need other means of identifying a person. But this in fact is not that different from real life although you eventually want to exclude existing brands
as it is the case with domain names (also check the mentioned post for more details). But buying name is IMHO not really the coolest option.
What the real plan is now is of course pure speculation but I hope that Linden Lab will soon announce it given that they are already giving out custom last names.