(I’ve had a minor email disaster and lost all
Rabbit messages from about the beginning of the year, so I responding “in
the dark” here.)
On other lists there was some concern that the science
theme of “Lab Assistant” might not play well across our target
demographic. Mad Lab Rabbit already _is_ science themed. Switching
from Lab Rabbit to Lab Assistant is a neutral move in that respect. We
can still keep the lab coats as an informal trademark and still use the Big
The shift isn't so much between a science and a
non-science theme one way or the other. It's more about the level of
seriousness. To be honest, at places other than game conventions, where
LL is relatively well known and well represented, the Lab Rabbit title just
sounds goofy, even without the "Mad" lead-in. I've had a few
awkward moments introducing myself to, say, the manager at my local Joseph Beth
book store, when I actually say the MLR title. It does sound too
kid-based. I think Lab Assistant would be a definite improvement.
There is also a subtle shift in role. A lab rabbit
is the test subject, while a lab assistant is one of the people running the
experiment. The new title would make our role clearer. We're not
just there playing games; we're actually running things.
I personally think Lab Assistant is a step up from Lab
Rabbit (Mad or otherwise). I'm still not necessarily convinced that
"Lab Assistant" is absolutely perfect, but it _is_ better. We
can do without the rabbitty bits. I could see, as others have suggested, “Lab
Technician”, “Lab Tech” or just plain “Techie”.
I’ve also read that the name change might be cause
for some alienation of the “old guard”.
In my opinion, the name change actually removes a
long-standing minor irritant, thus making more likely that I'll stay.
I've always thought the Rabbit moniker was too goofy, and I've said so at least
once every other year. I have no illusions that I speak for a group of
like-minded individuals of any size -- I'm just adding one more data point.
Yes, there will be some costs and effort associated with
the transition: lab coat embroidery, reprinting any printed materials, editing
various web sites. It'll take some time, but I think it'll be worth it.