X-Alt is short for Extreme Altruist, which is an alternate term for members of the Real Life Superheroes movement that was coined by NightBug and later popularized by Zero. The label is derived from the concept put forth in an article titled "Addicted to Being Good? The Psychopathology of Heroism" by Andrea Kuszewski,[1] which postulates sociopaths and extreme altruists share qualities with the only difference between the two defined as sociopaths being self-focused at the expense of others while extreme altruists are focused on others at the expense of their own self-interest.[2]

Extreme Altruist was then shortened to X-Alt with a significant subset of the RLSH movement endorsing adoption of the label. However, as "Real Life superhero" has become the default for news media to use when covering the movement, usage of X-Alt as an identifier is for the most part confined within a portion of the community and not known to the general population.


  1. Heroes in the Night; "Introducing: The X-Alts," blog entry by Tea Krulos, March 9, 2011. (accessed September 6, 2012)
  2. Kuszewski, Andrea. "Addicted to Being Good? The Psychopathology of Heroism." Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies. November 17, 2009. (Accessed September 6, 2012)
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