Before I considered myself to be a writer I’ve always been a gamer for as long as I can remember. I grew up in the 80s with the popularity of arcade games and home video game systems. I still have my original Intellivision system that my parents bought at a Radio Shack in Austin. It still works.
That’s not the focus of this post, though. I’ve been asked by a number of people where my nickname “Sharkbait” or “Sharky” comes from, so I decided to write about it and post it here on SharkbaitWrites.com. First of all, I’m not a surfer (I only surf the Internet) so I didn’t get my nickname from getting bitten by a shark. Although, that would have been a great story. Sadly, my story isn’t as exciting as floating casually on a surfboard waiting for the next wave to ride, only to be mistaken as a seal by a hungry great white shark. Studies show that sharks don’t care for the taste of human flesh anyway; they typically take a bite and then after determining it’s just a surfer and not a seal, they usually let go and go elsewhere… usually. Too bad for the surfer, though!
Anyway, back to the nickname. When I first started playing multi-player video games and needed a handle I chose some goofy name and rode with it for a while. I mainly played racing games at first, so I had a racing themed screen name. Well, then I started making some gaming friends and began playing first person shooters with them and quickly realized that playing games like Call of Duty offline is a heck of a lot more challenging when you’re playing real people online. And yes, I was still using my goofy race-themed username. I needed to change it to something more universal.
I thought about it for a while and then after getting blasted by one of my opponents and falling backwards into the water one time, it hit me. Sharkbait! I was getting killed so often in these games that Sharkbait seemed to fit after seeing my character getting the liquid burial treatment a number of times. So, I changed my screen name to Sharkbait and added two Ws so they would look like teeth. WWSharkbaitWW. That’s what the Ws are for. Some people make the connection, while others just call me “WW” during games.
Like I said, the origin of Sharkbait isn’t all that exciting. However, the avatar I use is a little more comical. I originally used a basic picture of a great white shark, but then I started noticing total strangers chanting “Sharkbait! Whoo-Ha-Ha!” when I entered game lobbies. At first I thought it was just funny, but I quickly made the connection to Finding Nemo. So, it was at that time that I embraced this and changed my avatar to Bruce the Shark from Finding Nemo. Now obviously Sharkbait was Nemo’s nickname, so it would make sense to use the clown fish as the avatar instead… but I have such a fascination of sharks that it just wouldn’t feel right. Plus, the shark avatar just looks cool.
My original WWSharkbaitWW Twitter account (my main account is @SharkbaitWrites) was actually only supposed to be to communicate with my gaming friends, but none of them wanted to use Twitter. I ended up meeting some writers on Twitter and the rest is history. One of the writers I met at #PubWrite gave me the nickname “Sharky”. I think it was Karen DeLabar, but I’m not 100% certain. So, if it was someone else, I apologize. Cara Michaels, however, is without a doubt the mastermind who crafted the lovely vV””Vv Sharkbait signature that you may see me use from time to time in my tweets.
So, there you have it… a little history behind the nicknames of Sharkbait and Sharky. Although, it’s not very exciting I’m sure, I felt it would be a disservice to my lovely followers if I didn’t write about it for you. I hope you enjoyed the post nonetheless, and if you haven’t done so already, please be sure to subscribe via WordPress blog above (if you’re logged in) or via email on the left.
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Robert “Sharky” Pruneda is a native Texan, video game “enthusiast” [addict], and fan of all things horror. He left a career in the newspaper industry in 2011 to pursue the life of a nocturnal author, brainstorming new and creative ways to creep out his readers. He doesn’t only write horror though. He also pens the occasional family-oriented tale just to keep from going completely nuts with all those creatures of the night whispering in his ears. When he’s not pulling ideas out of his twisted brain, you’ll likely find him on social media or fighting alongside his fellow gaming buddies where they all get shot up into Swiss cheese (or turned into little bite-sized chunks because of “Sharky’s” obsession with explosives). Medic!
Pursue your dreams . . . and never look back.
Twitter: Follow @SharkbaitWrites