Users Revolt Over Blizzard's Requirement Of 'Real Names' In Forum Comments

from the not-everyone-wants-to-be-known-as-a-gamer dept

Wasn't sure if this story was worth discussing here, but everyone keeps submitting it, so here goes. Blizzard, once again showing how little it seems to actually understand its own users, has decided that to curb annoying commenters in its forums, it's now going to require everyone post with their real first and last names. Anonymity be damned. I've always supported allowing some form of anonymous commenters in certain forums, though I can see why some sites prefer to require real names. But a World of Warcraft forum seems like a very odd place for such a requirement -- especially since it involves worlds where people rarely, if ever, use their real names.

There are some legitimate privacy concerns here as well, as some note that there is a stigma attached to people who play such games in certain areas, and that it could scare off lots of people who would like to partake in the forums, but would prefer Google searches on their names don't reveal to the world their WoW obsession. Others worry that in the heated world of online gaming, it really might not be such a good thing for people to know the real names of others that they play with.

I can understand the desire to bring about more civility to a forum (though, let's face it, we're talking about a game where civility is not exactly the main goal), but it seems like this step goes far beyond the comfort level of many participants.

Update: Well, it looks like with enough user complaints, Blizzard has backed down.

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  1. identicon
    athe, 8 Jul 2010 @ 4:38pm

    Not a big deal...

    I don't see this as a big deal. First and foremost, it's Blizzard's (or Activision's) private playground. If you don't like the rules, don't come to play.

    Also, you don't have to link your real name to your in-game name, that is optional. So long as there's no way of getting to gameplay statistics from your real name, how can a Google search reveal an "obsession"? All it might reveal is that you play the game...

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