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
    Lolpenis Roflnuts, 8 Jul 2010 @ 6:00pm

    Wall of Text Machine GO!

    - What if my name actually IS Lolpenis Roflnuts and I use "normal" names like Steve_Adams for my characters to hide this embarrassing fact?
    - What if knowing that someone is actually male helps prevent dirty old men from living out their fantasies on slow teenage boys?
    - Why should I be ashamed of playing WoW or Starcraft or any other video game in the first place?
    - What if I steal someone's loot and they Face Axe me in the face in real life?
    - What about all of the other Lolpenis Roflnuts' that exist in the world. How will their actions affect peoples' perceptions of me?
    - What if my dad pays for my account, since I'm too irresponsible for a credit card, will my actions be reflected in his name?
    - What about all the stalking and "Hai sxi pics or gtfo" that I'll be bombarded with when people learn I'm a girl?
    - What about making it more difficult to anonymously stalk people when they know my real name too?
    - What about all the stalking and "Hai sxi pics or gtfo" that I'll be bombarded with when people learn I'm a boy?
    - What's forcing me to participate in the first place? I hear Sims 8 is coming anyways...
    - What if I already share my identity with the people I feel should know it. What does letting everyone else see my identity accomplish?
    - What if sharing my identity makes it harder to troll forums?
    - What if sharing my identity doesn't change my trolling actions at all?
    - What if sharing my identity makes it harder to state opinions, regardless of what they are?
    - What if this is an awesome experiment just to mess with the natural state of things? Forum rage is more entertaining than the game itself!

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