Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Games

Blizzard To Require Real First and Last Names For Official Forums 833

Posted by Soulskill
from the guess-that's-one-way-to-get-rid-of-trolls dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Recently, Blizzard Entertainment implemented a Real ID feature for some of its current games and all of its future Battle.net-based games. Today, Blizzard announced that it intends to require usage of the real names of Battle.net posters for its StarCraft II forums before release, and for its World of Warcraft forums shortly before the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. From the announcement: 'The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Blizzard To Require Real First and Last Names For Official Forums

Comments Filter:
  • by qoncept (599709) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:05PM (#32815192) Homepage
    Do you need some help? Everyone will know your real name.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:08PM (#32815248)
    Well, we've got a whole generation of Failbookers who believe in attaching everything they do in real life to their real name... and we've got a game. If we can get people to divulge their real names to us, we can trivially cross-reference that with the data that Zuckerberg's already mined for us, and one outer-join later, money falls from the heavens.

    What the consumer actually wanted - the ability to be The Real Them on Failbook, and Someone Completely Different while gaming - doesn't enter into it. *sigh*

    My answer to this is the same as my answer to Failbook: a strange game, and the only way to win is not to play.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:13PM (#32815362)

    You'll also see a lot more stalking, harassment, and real-world abuse of all kinds. This is a ridiculous decision and one that will probably lead to me finally cancelling my WoW account.

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:13PM (#32815374)

    I know what to think of it.

    It is a horrible, horrible idea.

    You know that list of things every responsible parent teaches their children to never do on the internet?

    One of those things is to tell someone your real name.

    Blizzard is forcing them to in a way they are unlikely to notice first or are willing to do anyway because it is for all the new big games.

    Blizzard is going to expose the identities of millions of people, including children and adolescents publicly on the internet. They can then be exploited by anyone, including the "wonderful" guys over at 4chan, and worse.

  • No big loss. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jack2000 (1178961) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:13PM (#32815378)
    I know i'm not going to use that forum if they make this mandatory.
  • by Selfbain (624722) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:14PM (#32815396)
    In the old EQ days (I know it's still around but who cares these days), all the forums for the game were run by the fans because there were no official ones. I have a feeling this change will cause similar forums to rise in popularity and Blizzard will accomplish little other than losing control of the conversation and pissing off their users.
  • by Pluvius (734915) <pluvius3&gmail,com> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:14PM (#32815398) Journal

    ... with more and more people being forced to use their real names on the Internet, you'll see a lot less flaming, trolling, and defacing. People I believe will be less quick to turn a discussion into an argument and more interested in understanding one another.

    However, I do not personally like the idea of my first and last name being made public everywhere, which is why I have generally shunned Facebook and would not use this feature even if I wanted to.

    So in other words, chilling effects on free speech are a good idea, but only if they're placed on other people?

    Rob

  • by ildon (413912) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:18PM (#32815452)

    5. People stop posting legitimate, intelligent useful feedback because they value their personal privacy more than a video game.
    6. Without the constructive feedback, issues without the game go unnoticed or unreported for longer periods of time.
    7. These issues compound and add up making the game less fun, but it becomes more difficult to quantify why the game is less fun without this feedback.
    8. Subscriptions slowly drop off and the game trickles away and dies.
    9. Long term loss of profit for short term, nearsighted gain.

  • What a sham! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yoshi_mon (172895) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:18PM (#32815454)

    While a lot of people have gone on and on about how using real names will promote more civility and better discourse, something I seriously doubt is necessarily true, that is no where near the real reason Blizzard is forcing RealID.

    It's a means to open up their TOS to allow dataminers access to a vast swath of information. Cha ching! Add to that anyone in game using RealID that then links up friends list? Cha ching! Even more information to datamine. And of course anyone who has played WoW knows that they log damn near everything. You can bet that gchat, party chat, officer chat, raid chat, general chat, trade chat, and every other channel that you type a letter in will be up for datamining. Cha ching!

    It's all about the money people. Cloaked in a flag of good intentions.

  • by junglebeast (1497399) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:18PM (#32815462)

    1) Did Blizzard ever stop to think that many (most?) people play their games as an ESCAPE from real life?

    2) Anything on Blizzard forums goes on Google, and comes up in search results. That means anybody who uses their forums is going to be labeling themselves, forever after, as a nerdy computer game player to future employers, dates, etc...which is not something that is looked upon positively by many people. I would certainly discriminate against potential employees if I saw that they were a WoW geek.

    3) People sometimes have bad days, say things they regret later...on a forum this is all saved forever. Luckily only the people who know their forum name can find it. So you protect your hidden identities more securely than you protect your email passwords. Blizzard aims to make all those mistakes unforgivable.

    There is nothing that is possibly worth saying on the Blizzard forums that is worth sacrificing one's anonymity for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:20PM (#32815492)

    Yes, because Slashdot's moderation system works so well. No trolls here.

  • Blizz forums (Score:2, Insightful)

    by space_jake (687452) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:24PM (#32815574)
    If you've ever been to the Blizzard forums then you'd know nothing of value was lost.
  • by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid@g m a i l . com> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:26PM (#32815596) Homepage Journal
    No trolls here.

    Hey, if you're browsing at -1, that's your problem, not Slashdot's.
  • by rotide (1015173) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:27PM (#32815614)

    Imagine for a second a 42 year old lonely man (with very little social skills) playing World of Warcraft and he learns that Night Elf Rogue is actually a girl. They chat for a while and become friendly online. He starts to fixate and fantasize that those trips helping her level her alt are "dates" and eventually he falls in love with her. Or at least her character and voice.

    Fixation turns into obsession and after a couple failed attempts to woo her into a real life relationship, she turns him down (hell, he's a creeper).

    He gets upset and from the personal information he has gathered over their time "together" he is able to locate her using her _real_ name that Blizzard forces you to use (not a fictional "eName" you make up to give out on the intertubes to remain anonymous). Fill in the rest with your imagination.

    Or, someone harasses you in game and you look to take revenge. Ninja looters, stealing quest mobs/items, kicking you from group/raid, etc. Maybe they simply want to threaten you (which already happens [NSFW] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUOI7BTmmk0 [youtube.com] [NSFW]).

    Of course, this can happen anywhere with any site that shows real names (facebook, etc). But forcing people to drop their anonymity is a bad thing overall. How many children play Blizzard's _games_ of which are going to be forced to link their, or more likely, their parents names to their account and be seen? It's not that hard to track someone down when you know their approximate location and their last name.

    I guess the short is, anonymity can be bad. People act like punks and you have to put up with it from time to time, I know, it sucks. But the good part is, little Johnny potty mouth won't have to potentially pay with his life. Hopefully he learns to grow up on his own without someone like the chick from the link I posted above hunting him down.

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:29PM (#32815670)

    Yes, because trolls would never stoop to using fake "real" names.

    Well, they'll find it very difficult to do that unless they figure out a way to spoof the same name on their credit card.

    FYI, you can buy 'Game Time Cards' with cash at every big-box store in the United States.

  • The children! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rydia (556444) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:30PM (#32815696)

    I like how slashdot commenters love to use "won't somebody think of the children?!" as a device for sarcastic mockery of various Internet policies. Then this happens, and we get a thread full of ...

    "But ... won't somebody think of the children?!"

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:30PM (#32815702) Homepage Journal
    My thought: Internet Detectives are going to have a field day with this. Got ganked by a Rogue last night? Search the forums for his character name, find his real name, figure out where he lives, and get him right back with harassing phone calls, pizzas, etc...

    Now all we need is for 4Chan to implement the same policy.
  • by Brandee07 (964634) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:33PM (#32815762)

    If there are no girls on the internet now, there won't be any ever once this goes into effect.

    There's no quicker way to be harassed, stalked, and otherwise massively annoyed by EVERYONE than to reveal that you are in possession of TWO X chromosomes, instead of the internet norm XY configuration.

    And the absolute last thing I want is random assholes that I've pissed off on my server to Google my name, of which the first result is the staff listing on my current employer's website, and then start sending nasty emails to my boss.

  • Not for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nege (263655) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:33PM (#32815770) Journal

    While I think that overall this is a good thing for the Blizzard forums (as well as other changes they are making according to TFA, including rating up and down on posts), it completely removes my desire to post on their forums. I don't troll as a rule (but I can't say it’s never happened), but my last name is so unique that finding me on the Google is already ridiculously easy (my first and last name - all of the first page is me). I don't need prospective employers knowing about my gaming habits, and even less so prospective dates. Not that I go out of my way to hide these things from people, but I don't want it popping up as a matter of course just because someone googles my last name.

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:34PM (#32815794)

    If I had to use my real name on Slashdot, I wouldn't post nearly as much. I'd make sure to restrict it only to things I was comfortable with all current and future employers seeing

    I've said this on here before, but I was once employed by such an employer. They wanted complete editorial control over each and every one of their employees very thoughts. They even went so far as to consider firing employees wouldn't agree to vote the way the upper management thought was 'right'.

    If your comments on Facebook, etc, ever caused such an employer to pass you by, then those comments did you a favor. Trust me. It is better to not get the job than to have to replace it because you're not ideologically compatible.

  • Re:What a sham! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by seanalltogether (1071602) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:39PM (#32815880)
    Data mining players on blizzard isn't nearly as meaningful as you're making it out to be. Blizzard employees have stated on previous occasions that the amount of data they generate is monumental and trying to mine it is so impractical they just throw it all away. This is the reason they can't even catch people cheating by rewinding battlegrounds sessions. Data mining a place like facebook is far more valuable because the connections between people are easily confined and contain stable links. Data mining the complex interactions that take place in a gaming system are impossible on a system wide scale, the best you could do is pick a handful of players and try to make sense of the avalanche of data they generate.
  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spazztastic (814296) <spazztastic@NOSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:39PM (#32815888)

    My thought: Internet Detectives are going to have a field day with this. Got ganked by a Rogue last night? Search the forums for his character name, find his real name, figure out where he lives, and get him right back with harassing phone calls, pizzas, etc...

    Or they...
      - Track him down and set his house on fire.
      - Find his workplace and tell his boss/coworkers that he's a pedophile/rapist/etc.
      - Find their SO and tell them the same as above.

    It's sickening the amount of things that could follow through from this action and just one remark. The whole RealID thing is a problem in the first place for transgender folks who don't want others to know their legal names, but all of the above listed reasons.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:42PM (#32815948)
    The only thing Blizzard is really able to "require" is that the names in the First Name and Last Name boxes on the site. That does not necessarily have any relationship to "real" first or last names. Even paying for the service can be done with someone else's credit card. So... Good Luck With That. Some will comply. Others will not.
  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JSombra (1849858) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:43PM (#32815958)

    Aye got to agree, real dumb idea. If i still played this would kill me posting on the boards instantly, especially as my real name has a rather unique spelling which afaik only one other person in the world has. Thus making it pretty easy to track me down or for business contacts to see what I am doing in my private time

    Really dumb on Blizzards part too, how long before some nut job trackssome kid down down for ganking them in game and then does them harm. Because this is forced public disclose on the official support channel you can bet your ass that not only will blizzard get sued but they will also probably lose such a case in many countries if it went in front of jury, especially if a child is involved

    Someone has not thought this through

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by osu-neko (2604) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:44PM (#32816004)

    And yet everyone gives out their real name on Facebook when they have the choice to give a fake one.

    People who read your Facebook page are less likely to be mad than people who you gank and corpse-camp in Stranglethorn Vale.

    Well, for most people anyway... don't know what's on your Facebook page specifically...

  • by lgw (121541) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:45PM (#32816008) Journal

    But that's still backwards - my forum persona should be associated with my in-game character, not my real ID. Imagine for a moment this was some sort of role-playing game ... nah, too much of a stretch. For Starcraft, there have already been real life shootings in Korea - this isn't going to help things.

    Why shouldn't I seperate my online persona(s) from my real life identity? What problem is Blizzard trying to solve here? I make it a point to avoid any forum identity that could be easliy traced back to my real name, because stuff comes back to haunt you. Do you really want somehting you said 20 years ago in some gaming forum to come up in a job interview?

  • Re:What a sham! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Godai (104143) * on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:48PM (#32816066)

    Nonsense. First, Blizzard already has the real name associated with an account. If they want, they can already do all that data-mining you're so concerned about. The publishing of the RealID names on the forum are completely unrelated to this.

    Second, the forums only show your name. Not what characters you belong to. Not even what server you play on (disclaimer: you do have the option to associate with a character, but its not on by default).

    So how is any of this not just tinfoil hat ravings?

  • Depends (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:52PM (#32816154)

    In a case like that, sure. Though actually in a case like that I'd make sure to get myself fired over a voting issue and then sue the fuck out of them. The voting booth is a pretty sacred right in the US and termination over it would be bad cause in every jurisdiction I'm aware of.

    However what I'm worried about is a case of people who generally aren't like that, they aren't the "Everyone must agree with us in every way," sort, but that they happen to see something that they decide makes them say no.

    You hear about this all the time, people post Facebook pictures of themselves at a wild party in university and find it hurts jobs later. It usually isn't that the folks doing the hiring are Puritans or anything, they are just dumbasses. They did the same kind of shit themselves when they were young but have conveniently forgotten about it. They think "Well this sort of thing doesn't reflect well for our company," and give the person a miss.

    In my case, what I might be worried about is that I've posted stories about my work environment. Now I've never named my employer, mostly because that comes too close to making it too easy to identify me, but still. I'm not worried now, I work for a public institution and thus I have a right to do it (HR specifically says so) as the tax payers have a right to know. But at some time in the future I go for another job and maybe that company thinks "Well we like the guy, but he talks about his employer online. We really don't want that, have to give him a miss."

    I just find it better that there is a barrier between my real name and what I post online. Not a strong or impenetrable one, but one that if you Google my name, you do not get results of what I've said in forums.

  • by Herkum01 (592704) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:53PM (#32816172)

    OK, then be sure to let us, the users know the REAL NAMES of the moderators, business managers, sales staff, marketing gurus of your business and I am sure that openness will be embraced by all!

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:55PM (#32816234) Homepage

    People with very common names will not be impacted in the same way that people with less common names. Real names are non-unique. How does this help? cf. TSA "no-fly" list.

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Haffner (1349071) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:57PM (#32816274)
    facebook profiles are created with that intention. You are making an account that is you. No one makes their orc warlock thinking it is really who they are. (I'm preparing for contradictory comments below).
  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by butterflysrage (1066514) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:03PM (#32816376)

    and for 99% of the time that is fine... but there have been actual MURDERS over starcraft rankings in Korea. OK, so some whacked out arena junkie you knocked out of getting their ________ Gladiator title finds your real name, looks at the post you made about your crappy ISP, figures out your timezone and region based on your posting schedules and camps out a few houses... wouldn't take long to figure out which house had a hardcore wow-head in it... load up the shotgun and get his title back.

    There are precious few pros and a whole wack of cons to this idea.

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kage.j (721084) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:08PM (#32816478)
    I happen to indulge in world of warcraft from time to time, and let me tell you this...

    I've posted on the forums a total of maybe 3 times...ever.

    If you don't want to show your real name, then just don't use the forums. You can get support in-game or over the phone.

    And parents that want to protect their children: Disable realid (forum) access in the parental controls panel.
  • Re:What a sham! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:11PM (#32816522)

    You can bet

    Who can bet? You, because you're a Blizzard employee or an industry insider? What is your source for this information?

    I don't see how wild speculation helps anything in this discussion.

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:14PM (#32816578)

    "They can then be exploited by anyone, including the "wonderful" guys over at 4chan, and worse."

    Some people need to be hit over the head with a hammer so they will take security seriously. That situation would make a nice (lulzy) "hammer".

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:14PM (#32816596) Homepage

    Really dumb on Blizzards part too, how long before some nut job trackssome kid down down for ganking them in game and then does them harm

    The obvious solution to this, of course, is to not act like a dickhole.

    Obvious disclaimer: I still don't agree with Blizzard doing this...but being polite to your fellow gamers goes a long way to making this not matter all that much.

  • by kent_eh (543303) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:16PM (#32816624)

    Yes, because trolls would never stoop to using fake "real" names.

    Well, they'll find it very difficult to do that unless they figure out a way to spoof the same name on their credit card.

    FYI, you can buy 'Game Time Cards' with cash at every big-box store in the United States.

    At the moment you can.
    And not everyone lives a convenient distance from a "big-box store in the United States"

  • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:17PM (#32816626) Homepage

    I personally think internet anonymity is a good thing. It forces people to attack each other's arguments rather than resorting to ad hominems, and ensures an even playing field, since newbies' arguments are heard on the same level as those of our celebrities (at least in theory).

    <sarcasm>Yes, because there's no such thing as ad hominem attacks on slashdot.</sarcasm> With sock puppet accounts and other trickery I'm not sure that it's so even either, on top of those that just want to trash about and destroy any real discussion. But what you don't get on a real name forum, is honesty. And before you all go constitutional on me, it's perfectly rational to not tell everybody everything. Friends, family, employers, the general public, nobody except the government is obliged to treat me the same. You might say that if I do nothing wrong, I should have no problems with sharing it with the world but that is not true. There has been, is and will be unjust laws, individuals and societies that are bigoted and intolerant. That I in principle should not be punished for something does not mean that I won't be in reality.

    It is not an either-or that there should always be anonymity or there should always be identification. I see them both as important but different tools. The anonymity in gathering a community, talking to others who feel the same way, making people comfortable with themselves and letting them know they're not alone. Those that identify themselves first are the spearheads, those that gives names and faces to those people. It does not matter how good the cause is, being a spearhead is hard. If you walked along Gandhi himself you'd still risk arrest, imprisonment or being beaten up by soldiers. You can not expect everyone to be willing to sacrifice everything, some must lead and the rest will support you up to a point. Not everyone wants to be a maryr, they just seek to live their own life as they see morally sound and get away with their way of pursuing happiness.

  • by Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:18PM (#32816652)

    never ONCE has it or should it ever affect your work.

    Except, of course, for that time when your boss was considering you for a promotion but chose the other candidate because he doesn't play that "stupid kid's game" in all his spare time.

    True story: I moved to a new town and started a new job working at a management level with a few other degree-level pros and also a large group of high-school and GED level workers. I joined an online dating site and set one of my preferences to be for at least college level education. Some of the ladies at work checked out my profile (you can hide your name, but not having a photo means no views), and it got quickly spread that I was "against" only having high-school level education. Oh, well, right? Well, then I got transferred to work under an older supervisor with "only" a high-school diploma who'd gotten his current position by working for 30+ years in the industry. Yeah, lot of fun working under someone who believed the rumors that you don't think people with only high-school level education are worth anything. Maybe it shouldn't happen, but people judge you both on what you do online and what you're perceived as doing online. That's just the way the world works. Forcing people to use their real names will have many effects, but one big one is that it will cause many thinking people to simply not post anymore, good or bad posts.

  • by tacarat (696339) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:28PM (#32816812) Journal

    I make it a point to avoid any forum identity that could be easliy traced back to my real name, because stuff comes back to haunt you. Do you really want somehting you said 20 years ago in some gaming forum to come up in a job interview?

    In that case, either: 1) Don't be a jack-ass on the Blizzard forums. 2) Don't use the Blizzard forums.

    That said, I've given my screen name which I've used for the last decade as part of a background check for an interview, so I'm well aware of the issue. However, nothing I said in the past (I've said a lot of stupid stuff) was an issue. If it is a concern to you, don't use the forums (it's an optional part of an optional game you play, you can deal with it), or simply police your behavior before it is recorded for all posterity on the Intertubes.

    It'd be safer to do the second option. While your first suggestion is good, times change. What's fine now may not be 20 something years down the road (or even next week). Today's upright, model citizen can be dragged through the mud later on without any misspeaks if future interpretations or values change enough.

  • by Burnhard (1031106) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:34PM (#32816916)
    Yes! This is the point. Anonymity is pretty much the foundation stone of identity security. I know it sounds kind-of obvious, but there it is.
  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mujadaddy (1238164) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:45PM (#32817126)
    OH NOOOOO
    I HAVE INFRINGED FACEBOOK'S TERMS

    They're much better about rejecting fake names than they were 2 years ago, but it's not hard to get around that, if you try.

    Sorry, I have to laugh again. Ooooooo, I've infringed Facebook's terms, noooooooo.../giggle
  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TruthSauce (1813784) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:49PM (#32817174)

    It's pretty interesting that a couple of random phone calls "Mr xxx is a pedophile" would pretty much destroy most people's lives.

    Doesn't that underscore a fundamental breakage in our social system?

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spazztastic (814296) <spazztastic@NOSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:52PM (#32817242)

    It's pretty interesting that a couple of random phone calls "Mr xxx is a pedophile" would pretty much destroy most people's lives.

    Doesn't that underscore a fundamental breakage in our social system?

    Mob mentality/the overall hassle of it all/just enough to start rumors can be enough damage.

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:55PM (#32817270)
    Yes, this happens regularly as it is.

    In sporting events, where a footballer makes a reckless challenge, it's almost inevitable that the victim of his foul will track him down and set his house on fire.

    And in local bowling leagues, if someone wins and gloats too much about it, his opponents are bound to find his workplace and tell his boss/coworkers that he's a paedophile.

    And in paintball, if someone hits someone else with a well placed shot, you can bet their SO will be hearing all sorts of terrible things about them before you know it.

    That's why in all those things everyone plays anonymously and in masks.

    Or not. But that's all irrelevant isn't it. It's just the internet that's full of psychotic nutters, they don't exist in real life.
  • by Spellvexit (1039042) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @05:09PM (#32817474)

    In answer to your question, the problem they are trying to solve is the fact that most forum threads in the WoW deteriorate into petty insults and gainsaying before the end of the first page of posts. Or at least, that's the published reason for doing this.

    I sympathize with Blizzard's desire to want to make the forums a more constructive and friendly environment, but I can certainly envision scenarios where players carry their RPG rage into real life. I also noted that a few women wrote in response to the new post, and they were disturbed that their gender might become an issue.

    The new system also seems to allow people to rate posts, and I wish Blizzard had first taken this step of moderating before it went whole hog and published the poster's identity.

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Maestro4k (707634) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @05:11PM (#32817520) Journal

    And yet everyone gives out their real name on Facebook when they have the choice to give a fake one.

    I have two Facebook accounts, both use fake names. Said names are based on anime characters I like. I've gotten tons of friend requests on them.... all from other accounts using anime characters names.

    So no, everyone does NOT give their real name out on Facebook. In fact I will never do so. Just because a lot of stupid people do it doesn't mean everyone does it.

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Maestro4k (707634) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @05:15PM (#32817594) Journal

    The obvious solution to this, of course, is to not act like a dickhole.

    No, that's not the solution. There are people out there, and I'm sure you've encountered a few, that take any disagreement with them, no matter how polite as an attack on their person and respond like insane psychotics. (Which they probably are.) Being polite is certainly a good idea, but it won't protect you from the lunatics of the world who are either unstable or actively looking for reasons to get offended.

    Anonymity isn't just useful to protect the assholes of the world, it's also useful to protect the normal people from the assholes of the world.

  • by thirtybelow (1755558) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @05:25PM (#32817706)
    The problem is that the degree to which anyone is deterred will be determined by how concerned they are about their online image. People with careers and families will be even more cautious, and probably less like to contribute to a discussion. 13-y.o. dickheads will go right on being dickheads, because they have nothing to lose and it will be several years before they are in any position to worry about an online reputation. So, people who are most likely to say something worthwhile are the most likely to be silenced by lack of anonymity.
  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by truetorment (919200) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @05:41PM (#32817952)
    Except on Facebook, you can choose who can see your information, you can make it such that no content is available other than to those you choose, etc.

    In this case, you aren't given any of those choices--Blizzard is deciding for you, and the only "choice" is not to participate at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @05:57PM (#32818148)

    Ok, so we're all making a big stink about how Blizzard is going to release our personal information...

    But think of it from Blizzard's perspective: Only a fraction of WoW players post on the forums, of those only another fraction are against it, and even then only a fraction will quit WoW entirely over this debacle.

    And therein lies the sad truth: If Blizzard makes more money from monetizing your personal information than it loses from people quitting the game in disgust, then it's a win for Blizzard. I'm sure they even did a cost-benefit analysis beforehand and determined that.

    And they know you're hooked, just look at some of the above posts who say "I just won't post." Well, as long as it doesn't hit them in the pocket, they won't care!

    I play the game off and on from time to time, and I'm not going to renew my subscription. I'm not going back for Cataclysm. Even if I don't post on the forums, this is still a travesty. I just hope the rest of you have the dignity to quit.

    I'm not getting my hopes up, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @06:13PM (#32818330)

    I congratulate you on not resubscribing to WoW. But please, make sure you let Blizzard know why you did.

    Many of these posters think that merely not posting will make Blizzard reconsider, but unless Blizzard gets hit seriously in the pocket book, then it will continue as planned.

    You have the dignity to not be a WoW junkie even when Blizzard ignores its customer base and puts it at risk.

    I hope more like you do that.

  • by Windwraith (932426) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @07:28PM (#32819180)

    Maybe not Bob Smith, but Abdul, Jose or Pierre will have a tough time. Racism exists.

  • by Machtyn (759119) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @12:13AM (#32821584) Homepage Journal
    That link is classic. It's too bad it's not on the blizzard official forum. However, if it was, it would have been deleted forthwith. I'm sure Blizzard is fully aware of the gameriot thread by now, though.

    EPIC FAIL on Blizzard's part (I wonder how much of a decision this was of Blizzard or Activision). There are some really psycho people on WoW. I'd hate for someone to get hurt because of this issue.
  • Its a MMO"RPG" (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:24AM (#32825090)

    say it slowly blizzard, role .. playing... game. They are so failing it hurts to watch it. Perhaps they have gotten too big to not fail.

  • Re:Hmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:39AM (#32825264)
    The whole "there's no smoke without fire!" mob mentality has destroyed more lives than we can ever keep track. These are the sorts of accusations that even being found innocent is still a form of "guilt", because people will always ASSUME that "there had to be a reason why they investigated such and such"...

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.

Working...