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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. icon
    Nick Coghlan (profile), 9 Jul 2010 @ 4:26pm

    Re:

    And this comment just indicates you have been paying absolutely *zero* attention to the debate that has been playing out over the last few days.

    Blizzard's idea is an interesting one, but it almost certainly won't work and has significant negative side effects on the diversity of their forum population. I can see why it seemed like a good idea when they discussed it internally, but the discussion with the wider audience has made those two points quite clear.

    Fortunately, as the AC above posted, Blizzard were convinced to change their minds by those discussions and have now dropped the idea of requiring the use of real names on the updated forums (one of the forums announcements from Blizzard: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25968987278&sid=1&pageNo=1.

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