There are a lot of wonky names given to computer peripherals, and some pretty good ones too. In our last article on peripheral names, we opined on the acronymization bent of Mad Catz and Razer’s fascination with snakes. This time around, we’ll focus on the tamer, yet equally perplexing names that Roccat, Plantronics, and SteelSeries give their peripherals.
ROCCAT, the German manufacturer of computer peripherals, is obsessed with Finland, so much so that they created an origin story where in 2005, a group of scientists study the impact site of a meteor in northern Finland and find a mysterious and powerful substance called Aimo (a Finnish first name that also means plentiful). According to ROCCAT, each of their products is made with Aimo, which makes them so irresistibly good.
Paying homage to their secret ingredient, ROCCAT uses Finnish words to name all of their products, here’s what some of them mean.
ROCCAT’s first line gaming mice is aptly titled Kone, which means machine. The more recent Tyon line, or Työn in Finnish, means “of or relating to work.” This makes sense, considering the arduous torture a gaming mouse will go through during its lifetime.
Taken together, Työkone (you lose the’n’ when you make compound words in Finnish) means work machine, which fits nicely with the famous German attitude toward productivity.
Scrapping the “MK Pro” from the name of ROCCAT’s gaming keyboard, we’re left with the name Ryos. After applying the requisite umlauts, we find that Ryös, which comes from the common word of ryöstö, or robbery. It’s an odd name, but it used to mean “marauding,” so the complete anglicized name for the keyboard comes to Marauding MK Pro.
That’s…actually not bad. PC gamers often refer to themselves as keyboard warriors, a distinction ROCCAT has clearly identified with.
By and far their gentlest name, ROCCAT’s gaming headset is called Kave, which comes from the Finnish word kaveri, meaning friend. Certainly a strange name for a headset, but consider this: if you’re going to have something sitting on your head all day, wouldn’t you want it to be a friend as opposed to, say, a Kraken?
In short, if you’re going all in with ROCCAT’s gear, you’ll be playing with a work machine, a marauder, and a friend on your head.
Best Name: Kave
Weirdest Name: Lua
Based out of Santa Cruz, California, Plantronics is an audio communications company that is best known for their headsets–both gaming-focused and for general use. Unlike ROCCAT, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason that Plantronics applies when naming their products, and what we’re left with are the GameCom, RIG, Backbeat Pro, and .Audio headsets (yes, that’s a period preceding the name).
Plantronics isn’t really taking many chances with its headset naming scheme, with the exception of RIG, which sounds just as big and imposing as the headset itself–which is just as well considering the bulk of their products are intended for professional and business environments.
It would be interesting if Plantronics did take a bigger risk with its names in an attempt to cater to hardcore gamers. Here are a few suggestions off the top of my head: Cochlea Crusher, Sound Helmet, and The Ear Master 5000.
Best Name: RIG
Weirdest Name: .Audio
SteelSeries is a gaming peripheral manufacturer from Denmark primarily known for their mice and headsets. They make two lines of mice, the Sensei (a Japanese word meaning teacher) and the Rival. While there is no themed connection between the different names of SteelSeries products, their official website offers a nice description of each item that often contains a bit of explanation regarding the name, which is a great touch.
Sensei and Rival are solid and understated names, but beyond the world of mice SteelSeries’s names become more uneven. Their line of Siberia headsets is currently available in a multitude of different varieties, with names like the Siberia V3, Siberia Elite Prism, and Siberia Raw Prism. Once you learn what the different parts of the name indicate (Prism means the headset lights up and changes color, for example) the names are useful, but at first glance they can be a little intimidating.
And don’t get me started on the H Series headsets. 5Hv3? Ugh, that’s not a good name.
The tendency to employ a meaningless mishmash of letters and numbers extends to SteelSeries keyboards as well, where we see things like the 6Gv2. Fortunately the company’s more popular Apex line has a better name, though why adding [RAW] to the product name for the cheaper version is sort of an odd choice.
Best Name: Sensei
Weirdest Name: 5Hv3