I mean, it backfired completely - giving ourselves ridiculous names, in response to a reader's query, was meant to be flippant, and yet they stuck. And here I am 26 years later still calling myself Mr Biffo.
At the age of 22 - the age I was when I started writing Digitiser - I was possessed of a slightly forced cynicism, but in reality that was mixed with a little bit of envy. We acted like we thought games journalists who plastered their photos - or, worse, cartoons of themselves - all over their magazines were tawdry attention-seekers.
In reality, we didn't care as much as we made out, but so far did my self-depreciation go back then that I didn't dare do anything which might've appeared like I wanted anybody to know who I was. It went so deep that even though Digi was written by individuals, we adopted a collective "we" when it came to any opinion.
It was ridiculous really. Just another way for us to strut around like we were better than everyone else. I mean, the games journos-as-celebrities thing never bothered me when I was on the outside of the industry. I liked feeling I was getting to know the writers of my favourite magazines.
It was only when I accidentally became one of them - albeit writing for Teletext, "The scrag-end of journalism", as we used to say - that I felt uncomfortable drawing too much attention to myself. But that might've been because, on a barely conscious level, I believed I didn't deserve to be one of them.
The truth is, most games journalism these days is online, and relatively faceless - barring a byline and a link to the author's Twitter account. You're highly unlikely to ever see a photo of a games journo in which they're pulling a stupid face.
On the rare occasions a feature is accompanied by a photographic byline, it will appear ripped straight from Instagram; tasteful, the subject perhaps smiling and staring off into the middle-distance, flat white just out of shot...
I don't really blame the writers for this, more the competitive nature of the industry. By necessity, the fun has gone out of most games writing, which - when I look at many of the big sites - seems to be either heavily news and reviews focused, or deep into gaming culture. Stuff which, more often than not, I've got no great interest in reading.
Furthermore, the sheer turnover of content - and speaking as somebody who has been laid up with flu since the end of last week, I know all too well the pressure of getting new stuff out - and the amount of competition, again skews the types of articles that get written.
Clickbait has become a dirty word - there have been a few times I've been accused of it - but you want people to read your stuff don't you? Surely you want to lure them in? It makes me roll my eyes when I hear the word sneered as an insult.
And then, in the same breath, I also wonder what the point is in writing something if the writer is merely writing to be read. However well-written something might be, if all it's doing is existing to get advertising clicks, then it's the journalism equivalent of being paid to stand in the frozen food aisle of Morrison's with your trousers around your ankles, shouting "Look at me! Look at me! Now look at the frozen chickens!"
This isn't an attempt to shit-on modern games journos; there are lots of incredibly talented writers out there, and I'm in awe at the level of research and thought that goes into much modern games writing. I just wish there was a bit more... silliness, I suppose.
I'm not saying my way is right - certainly, in my experience people seemingly would much rather read 5,000 words on the socio-political context of Animal Crossing than one of my stupid lists (10 Games Where The Main Character Hasn't Got A Bum!). Nevertheless, I do miss that devil-may-care, mates-having-a-laugh, gang feeling you got as a reader of Your Sinclair, or Mean Machines.
That is what seemed to define games journalism back in my day - particularly British games journalism; strong voices, who didn't take everything too damned seriously.
Games journalists are still getting a lot of stick - I note a recent deeply misguided attempt to restart the ethics in games journalism "debate" - and I wonder if this change is, in part, because today's journos, again, by necessity, are perceived as less like one of us, and more like part of their own club.
To me, games journalism simply appears less inclusive than it once did, and this is why the main gaming personalities these days aren't journalists but YouTubers. There's a sense that it's now Us and Them, rather than just Us, and people are nothing if not tribal.
Certainly, much of my favourite content is put out by enthusiastic amateurs, who are ploughing their own furrow without the pressure to sell advertising. The reward isn't always the biggest audience, but more often than not you will get a passionate one.
The most popular even have names for their fans - PewDiePie's Bro Army, for instance - making them, for better or worse, feel like part of a collective in a way that readers of the 80s and 90s games mags did. I get that. I totally get it, even if I would like to flush PewDiePie down a lavatory.
I realise that part of why Digitiser had such a loyal following was due to its in-jokes and use of language. None of it was by design - it was usually just stuff that had made us laugh which we threw in, and readers would pick up on - but it had the same result; to make the readers feel like they were part of something.
Yeah, our bosses did accuse us of "excluding" potential readers (and it backfired when they attempted to make Digitiser more "inclusive"), but I'd always rather have an audience of 1,000 passionate readers who are on my wavelength, than 100,000 who don't really care one way or another, because the content is so watered down and beige that it doesn't risk alienating anybody. Although, y'know, back then we did have hundreds of thousands of readers... NOT ANYMORE!!!!
Here's what's really funny though; having spent the early part of my career railing at journos whose faces were plastered all over their magazines, not only am I now plastering my big face all over Digitiser videos, but I'm also going to be getting a cartoon of said big face to accompany my monthly column in Retro Gamer magazine. I felt no shame when they asked, more a sense that I'd finally made it as a games journalist.
It only took 26 years. 22 year-old me would be appalled. Sell-out.