From Video Games to Baby Names – Raiden, Kain, Rinoa, Kairi

Dr. Cleveland Evans isn’t a gamer. Nevertheless, he recently wrote an insightful article for The Omaha World-Herald about baby names that have been inspired by video game characters, such as:

  • Kain, a male character from the Legacy of Kain series.
  • Rinoa, a female character from Final Fantasy VIII.
  • Kairi, a female character from Kingdom Hearts.
  • Raiden, a male character from Mortal Kombat.

I’ve seen Raiden used as a baby name several times. Too bad it’s impossible to tell which Raidens were named after the character and which were simply given a variant of Aidan, or Jayden, or Caden…

Have you met any babies with these names before? If so, do you know if their parents are gamers?


39 thoughts on “From Video Games to Baby Names – Raiden, Kain, Rinoa, Kairi

  1. I am considering using Raiden for a boy.. My hubby loves the name Atari for a child.. Is that do able or mean.. I am thinking by the time they are at school no one will no what an atari is.. lol

  2. @lavishka – I think Atari might be a bit much for a kid to bear, even if the gaming console hasn’t been around for a while.

  3. I thought about it and hubby loves Raiden for a boy and another computer game name for a girl – Zafina. Dunno if i like it but its prettier then atari!

  4. oh and we already have one child and her name is Xylia so that is why we are looking for something unusual again.. He just loves video games..
    I forgot to mention that he loves Arcadia.. I actually don’t mind it but prefer Zafina (i could call her fin for short)

  5. @lavishka – Zafina is pretty, and it seems like it would be a good fit for Xylia. Does Arcadia have a video game connection as well?

  6. Yes.. Well he loves Arcade machines and games more then he likes playstations and the modern stuff(though he has it all) We own an arcade machine that I bought him for his 30th/christmas and arcadia seems to be a version of arcade.. Well thats what he thinks..

  7. There is a game called skies of arcadia on the playstation 2, Dreamcast and the gamecube. So yes there is a game with the name arcadia, tho it’s not a characters name, but the title of the game.

  8. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, my boyfriend and I named her after a video game character, Naomi. From the Metal Gear Series. We are from Tennessee so naturally everyone thought that we named her from the bible. Its really funny to see their faces after we tell them its from a game. Then we immediately thought that about the name Raiden. We both know its from Mortal Combat, but it is from the same games that we got Naomi from. He is more of a gamer than I am but we both like the Metal Gear games and have decided that if we were to have more children that their names would come from the games.

  9. My step-daughter’s name is Rinoa, and was named by my boyfriend after the Final Fantasy character. Oddly enough, before I met him, I had planned to name my future daughter Kairi, after I heard the name from “Kingdom Hearts”.

  10. I named my daughter Kairi after her in Kingdom Hearts, I loved it then, and I still love the sound of it, no matter if I am screaming it :) I had her name picked for over 5 years from when the first game came out. We are big gamers, my family. Before we knew Kairi’s gender, Kain was also given as an option by my husband. I do not like it too much though.

  11. Here’s how many babies got these names in 2009:

    Raiden – 361 boys, 15 girls
    Kairi – 231 girls, 8 boys
    Kain – 107 boys
    Rinoa – 12 girls

  12. My daughter’s name is Kairi, and yes, we got her name from Kingdom Hearts. We live in Canada, and our biggest issue with the name, and I am sure her biggest hate of her name growing up, is that people here in Canada don’t see the name the way we see it. We can clearly see the Kai – ri. But people here seem to see the K – air – i. So they pronounce it Carrie. Drives us nuts. Although we are avid gamers, we didn’t set out to name her for a video game character. I loved the name Kai, but found it was mor often than not used for a male’s name. So when playing Kingdom Hearts I saw it used there, in a variant, I thought it was perfect. Feminine, pretty, and easily shortened to Kai when she feels like, if ever.

  13. I love kingdom hearts and final fantasy and other anime. Kairi Marie is going to be my first future daughters name. I have always loved it from Kingdom hearts. Other names like Tifa, Namine, Areith, Ameila, Yuna, Cloud, Leon, Riku, Sora, Lenne, Tidus, Lulu, and many others are really cute names too. I kinda think that Braskon Jecht would be cute for a boy. You know its Braska and Auron put together for the first name and Jecht for the middle. I just came up with it. I like Raiden too for a boy. :)

  14. I have a two year old named Raiden =) We didnt name him after the video game. We chose the name because of his japanese background and had to keep the initials RDA in the family. My husband is a gamer though, and we are a fan of the Raiders so I guess it all worked out! I love the name and am some what sad to see it get pretty popular since I thought it also was a unique name! But its a great name!

  15. My daughter was going to be named after Dante from Devil May Cry if she had been a boy. When we found out she was a girl, it was between Tifa from Final Fantasy and Selina (as in Catwoman) ended up with Selina:-)

  16. Sindel, from Mortal Kombat, has been given to at least 34 U.S. baby girls since 1996.

    Here are the updated 2010 numbers:

    Cloud – 26 boys
    Kain – 123 boys
    Kairi – 261 girls, 7 boys
    Raiden – 374 boys, 11 girls
    Rinoa – 14 girls
    Ryu – 63 girls

  17. Here are two more video game baby names that haven’t been mentioned yet:

    -Kitana, from Mortal Kombat II (1993), which debuted on the SSA’s list in 1994.
    -Mileena, also from Mortal Kombat II. (She was Kitana’s clone, in fact.) This one also debuted on the SSA’s list in

    MKII may have also helped popularize Jax through the character Jax Briggs.

  18. I named my son Raiden. I picked that from a video game as well, but it is Raiden from the metal gear series. Wife didn’t like the name at first, but she loves it now.

  19. My daughter born ’07 named Raiden. Found in the baby book originally by Mother, not knowing the name as a character from Mortal Kombat and Metal Gear Solid.. two of my favorite games franchises. I couldn’t imagine picking anything else.. now in the middle of a long search for our second child’s name….

  20. My husband and I want to use the name Jax for a boy, Jackson as his formal name, but Jax for everything else. Jax was a character from Mortal Combat. For a girl, my husband plays a game called Eve, and I fell in love with the name Evelyn(the main character in V for Vendetta is Evie), so Evelyn it will be. :-)

  21. We just found out we’re having a boy and I suggested Lincoln to my husband and it was inspired by my love for the Zelda games. I love Final Fantasy more, but sadly none of those names really are clicking for me. The best ones I think are Sabin, Auron, Zack, and Kain. I am trying to think of other game related names though since we are both big gamers and there are lots of perfectly good names that happen to also be in video games. I love Rinoa or Kairi for a girl.

  22. We just had our first child and we decided to name her Raedyn. We fell in love with the name because of mortal kombat and wanted our little gi to be unique. Our families were skeptical at first but now it just fits. Once we have a boy his name will be jaxtin, and we will call him jax. You can tell we are a gamer family. :)

  23. My daughter is 7yo and loves her name Kairi. It is named after the Kingdom Hearts character also. Of course, her father is the real gamer not me. I was watching him play the game when I started looking over the game booklet. Those letters jumped off the page at me. I asked him to go to the part where it pronounces the name for me. Just like the french meaning of “melody” it was like music to my ears. We looked at each other and said, “That’s our daughter’s name!” People always say “Kah-ree” (broken down like that) “Karrie” or to me the worst mistake is to say “Kiara”.

  24. Our son has just turned one and is named Seifer, from FF8 :3 I love it and wouldn’t change it for anything; I couldn’t imagine him being named anything else!

  25. More on Roxas, from a recent Baby Name Wizard post:

    Roxas is a literally heartless character in the Kingdom Hearts video game series. The character came into being when protagonist Sora briefly lost his heart – note that Roxas is an anagram of Sora + X. (Sora is a Japanese name from a word for “sky.”) Both names have seen occasional use in the U.S. since Kingdom Hearts became popular.

  26. My daughter is named Rinoa, and my son is named Roxas. I also know I Jecth but they pronounce it Jet and I know a Jax.

  27. I named my son Roxas from Kingdom Hearts. I have always loved that name and it is so funny because he looks just like the character.

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