I have developed an app/game that doesn't collect any user data, and I aim to pleasantly surprise users by revealing their real name during the gaming experience. The game follows a story-based format where a cat character engages in communication with the user, who simply aims to progress through the narrative. Without directly requesting user data or requiring any login permissions, my strategy involves incorporating a decision-tree-based communication method. By structuring the interaction in a way that user choices inform potential names (similar to Akinator), I can dynamically unveil the user's real name without explicit input.

I found inspiration from a similar game that extracts the user's name from the system directory (C:/Users/ on Windows) and displays it on the screen as a delightful surprise. You can explore a reference to a game with a similar concept at this link: Game Ref Link.

For more technical insights on the Android side of this approach, you can refer to a previous question I posted: Previous question link.

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    No offence meant, but this would very unpleasantly surprise me and make me double-check permissions and tracker-blocking extensions. Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 12:13
  • Certainly, but the impact varies depending on whether it's an app or a game. In my case, it's a game. While I acknowledge that it may raise concerns for some users, I am not collecting any additional data from them apart from their names. Users willingly provide their personal details to major social media platforms, and at worst, my data collection is only 0.1% more intrusive than that level of information gathering. Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 5:35

1 Answer 1


"Psychology questions" won't get you anywhere here because, typically, the person whose psyche you'd be probing was not in charge of giving themselves a name. It's usually the parents who do that.

The best you could do probably is "what year were you born", "what country were you born in" - but even then, while there are most popular names per year per country statistics, those generally do not incorporate ethnicity. So you'd probably also need to ask for ethnicity, and perhaps "does your name rhyme with...", "does your name start with the letter...", perhaps more to reach any sort of good confidence.

I expect any question-based approach to fail for a significant percentage of cases, unless the question is "what's your name?".

Users willingly provide their personal details to major social media platforms, and at worst, my data collection is only 0.1% more intrusive than that level of information gathering

Users willingly provide their personal information to social media sites, yes. In your case you want to trick users into giving you their name, and to reach it, you'd also be collecting a lot of other personal information and, in your original idea, likely ask extremely intimate questions to figure out their psyche. The amount of data you'd collect overall may be lower than what a Google or Amazon may collect, but the intrusiveness would be much higher.

As an alternative, I'd like to point out two other games:

  • The Stanley Parable has a massive buildup for a button to reveal your name using technology at one point in the game - but it's just a puny sound recording saying "Jeff", after which a throwaway comment is made "oh, this is still work in progress".
  • Forza Horizon gets your name from your Microsoft account if you agree to their privacy policy, and if your name matches what they have voicelines for, they will use your name in dialog. Otherwise a generic "Player" is used.
  • wow you know your gaming, i didn't even know those games existed!
    – Devin
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 20:01

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