Blizzard forums - RealID

This is just too much fun.
Blizzard has recently announced they'll be showing player's "real" first and last name on their forums instead of just the player's character name.

One cheerful blue poster made the mistake of giving his name to a pack of ravenous players, and was subsequently investigated in every which way. Say hello to Micah Whipple. Post number 16. WoW Riot lists a scary amount of information about him. His address, his parent's names, a potentially functional phone number, plenty of pictures of him. Enough to make you wonder, would other players be able to find this information about YOU as well? Most likely, yes. Google is a powerful tool after all.

According to WoW.com, blizzard is already considering a change to the original plans. Blue posters will no longer have their names displayed because they "cannot risk having their personal lives compromised by in-game issues.".

Oh, ok. That makes an awful lot of sense right?
You'd think they'd just see off the whole thing then, right?
You'd be wrong.
Apparently it's A-OK for players to get their personal lives compromised by in-game issues.


Good sides as well?

Now, you might be thinking OH EM GEE that's awful!
Well, it is. But, I think the whole RealID thing does have some merit. You can talk to your battle.net friends while they're playing Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, or World of Warcraft, whether they're on a different server or different faction. You get to choose who you allow to contact you in such a manner, rather than any moron who happens to know the email you used to register to battle.net to.

Incidentally that whole "using your email to login" thing is an additional layer of security that they've now opened up and allowed hackers to exploit in trying to take over your account, or spam you with fake beta invites and other scams. As a player, you're either going to end up paying the stupid tax

Ironically, those shouting at the blizzard forums about this change are most likely the ones who enjoy trolling the most. You know, those level 1 characters who always seem to disagree with you, and always agree with certain "other" posters? If people have their real name displayed, you might go hunting for them in the regular world, harass players like you've never been able to do before. But, why would you if they don't give you any reason to do so?

Obviously, blue posters are "special" as they are of a limited kind. But the average Joe and Bob players, they'll just be another face in the crowd. Unless they go crazy and behave like complete dicks on the forum, why would you go after them? If it's a chance to harass a random person that you're looking for, you could simply open up the phone book at a random page and look up that person. Chances are you will be able to find their facebook or hyves, and it'll even list a working phone number that you can use to call them with!

I'm sure you've all seen Bart calling Moe in the Simpsons?
* Phone call for Al...Al Coholic...is there an Al Coholic here?
* Wait a minute...

Obviously the first thing some "troll" or griever is going to do if he wants to harass you, is post your address, phone and email on a public forum somewhere. But, aside that this will now also display his own name for the world to see, most forums have an instant delete+ban policy on anyone doing so.

Could Blizzard's new RealID "Idea" really solve the giant cesspit of trolling that their forum currently is? Could it really? Only time will tell.

Maybe you could fly over and kick some ass?



For source and related info, see:
* Mmoc
* Tweakers.net (Dutch)
* wowriot
* wow.com / wow.com 2
* PCGamer
* Examiner
* about.com
* IncGamers
* australiangamer

And so many many more. Search and you shall find :)


Update: Aaaaaaand, it's been canceled altogether.

2 comments

  1. My issue with this is that people "being dicks" is not the only reason for internet bullying. Trolls will target anybody who disagrees; one of their favorite games to play is replying to long-winded, usually well-written posts with macros and "lolnou".
    And the wow community has shown it's tendencies towards racism, homophobia, and misogynistic comments. With real names, we'll probably see a lot more "lolfgt" "lolngr" "lol tits or gtfo" from trolls.
    Last thought: trolls are more likely to target someone with re-life insults whereas the average player is more likely to flame someone for their gaming. So when you have a troll with a real name but no character attached, what you end up with is even MORE anonymity than before.

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