Exposing your real name on the forums

Blizzard is changing the official forums for the release of Starcraft II and later Cataclysm. Among other things, your real name will be shown when you post instead of a character’s name as is done now. This is causing consternation, on their forums, on this forum and other forums on the Internet.

I don’t like it because it brings the game much closer to real life than I’m comfortable with. In game, I’m Mayveena or Maeveena, or now even Meyveena. I’d like to stay that way in all communications I use within the game. I totally understand that their forums have become cesspools, but I wish they would try the other measures listed in that posting first, and then if the forums aren’t better, go to listing people’s Real ID’s. I’m also honestly afraid that older people (by that I mean people older than 20) won’t post at all because of fear of reprisal in real life, so their forums will be even less useful than they are now.

This will be implemented for Starcraft II forums shortly before the release of Starcraft and then for WoW shortly before the release of Cataclysm.

Note that past posts will not be updated with your information. When you do choose to post on the new forums, you will be given warning that your name will be posted also.

UPDATED: This was updated this morning

We want you to know we are very much aware of the range of reactions being displayed here. We’re very much aware of the feedback being given. We’re listening and carefully considering everything being said. Posting in this thread is not a waste of time, the feedback is being gathered and delivered. You may choose not to believe it, but we do greatly appreciate it when you take the time to give us your constructive thoughts and reactions. For those who are avoiding the insta-ban style spamming and instead are taking the time to write constructively, we thank you. For those that aren’t, we hope that in the future you will come back later and with a clearer head, to provide constructive feedback when you are more able to.

[QUOTE]Q u o t e:
I don’t think “scare mongering” is appropriate when people are in fact reading this thread by very virtue of the fact that they are scared. This news is point in fact scary.

Since this comment seems to have been misinterpreted by more than just yourself, let me try to explain further – I could have easily not used it and avoided the repercussions, but it seemed to describe some of what was apparent and thus seemed the best word to use.

A lot of legitimate and understandable concerns are being raised. It would be hard for myself or any caring individual to not empathise with the fears and concerns people have. But amidst these concerns there is also a bit of something going on that I can’t easily describe with other words, but I’ll try.

Posting on the forums with your real name will be optional – yes, in the sense that the options are simply post and show your real name, or do not post and you keep it confidential. If people are happy to post and do not feel intimidated by this, then great – hopefully they will also post constructively (though it’s fair to say, this isn’t a given). It might be scary to consider posting with your real name, in which case it might be advisable simply not to post in these forums. There’s a whole load of other forums across the internet where you’ll be able to post in a more anonymous way, and maybe you will make a useful and constructive contribution there instead.

If you really do read all posts in this thread and others, like we are doing, then you will see some examples of what I was meaning by “scare-mongering”. There are posts from some people who are either confused by the changes or generally uncertain, and they are getting understandably scared and then posting in a way that scares other people in the process. With such a change as we have outlined, it is completely understandable that people can and do feel this way. Describing the process of scaring others and raising the level of general fear as “scare-mongering” does not in any way diminish people’s validity in doing so, nor does it dismiss the usefulness of anyone expressing themselves in any way, including in a way I might describe as “scare-mongering”; the term simply describes it for what it appears to be.[/QUOTE]

It’s a brilliant move to allow more scalability for forum moderators by, in theory, drastically reducing the number of trolls/flames and otherwise unconstructive posts/threads.

This change won’t kill the trolls. Instead, anyone who cares about their privacy will stop posting, and people who care about that sort of thing are more likely to be adults and less likely to be forum trolls. This change will have exactly the opposite effect.

I assume this change was pushed on them by Activision. They’re trying to meld MMOs with facebook, and real names facilitate that. But they forget facebook is being constantly lambasted for their lack of privacy-- or maybe Bobby doesn’t care, and just sees floating dollar signs.

Sounds good, I wish every forum did this. Fake names are lame.

Great, now I’m going to have to submit my birth certificate proving my real name is Hugh G. Rection.

Yeah stusser, I hope they like talking with the 15 year olds because that’s who they are going to get.

I doubt it. The googlefu’ers will have a field day with all these comic book guys playing keyboard warrior.

I think it ups the ante when your troll post can be followed up with pictures of you covered in bacon grease in your finest muumuu.

It just means that all the remaining posters will have the temperament of Derek Smart.

Going by my real name wouldn’t bother me, but it would be nice to see an opt-out or something. Not as big a deal as some will make it, I’m sure.

Yeah, and that will be fine until someone comes over and stabs you because they think you ninja’d the Grand Axe of Awesomeness.

While I think it gets rid of one of the major factors in the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, I’m not comfortable with giving out my private info for everyone to see. It’s why I don’t have a Facebook page and it’s why even game trades go to a pseudonym.

It was linked in the Cataclysm thread but I thought it beared repeating here.

Lum’s take

I particularly agree with Sanya’s comment, which pretty sums up the issue best. Anyone who thinks this is a good idea hasn’t played many MMOs, and particularly is not likely female, as any female gamer knows that merely possessing a vagina opens you up to all sorts of harassment in an MMO, and particularly Wow.

The other issue of course is that this makes it even easier for goldfarmers to target people for social engineering schemes.

I love it.

Will I participate? Fuck no, I have tits.

Are kids under 18 also required to share their personal information? Seems kinda… wrong.

While it’ll be nice to have anonymous level 1 trolls go away, having my actual name posted on the WoW forums basically means I will never, ever post on the WoW forums. And the only thing I currently do is update my guild in the realm progression thread.

How do I know you’re really “Mike Cathcart”?

I have never seen a forum more ugly and enervating than the realm forums in WoW. Going there was like taking a dip in acid. I applaud this move. Opt-out would foil the intended benefit.

According to the ToS, 1 minor can use the account that is created in the adults name.

You represent that you are an adult in your country of residence. You agree to these Terms of Use on behalf of yourself and, at your discretion, for one (1) minor child for whom you are a parent or guardian and whom you have authorized to use the account you create on the Service.

Awesome. The completely autonomous Blizzard can make even the most draconian changes, and gamers will give them a free pass by blaming Activision.

Blizzard runs Blizzard.

Man, I apologize for making you read their terms of service. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

I’m not, actually. I bought this account on eBay.