The Washington Post

Would you steer away from this post if you had to use your real name to leave a comment here?

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision Blizzard just put that question to many of its customers. In a post earlier this week on its Battle.net forums, the game developer informed players of its popular Starcraft and World of Warcraft games, among others, that they would soon have to use their legal monikers when chatting about their in-game exploits on its forums.

Blizzard defended the change as a necessary move to stop spamming and trash-talking:

Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before.

As of this morning, 74 pages of comments follow that post. The ones I’ve read don’t seem too positive about Blizzard’s move. Typical reply, from “Marine71”: “What an awful idea. Who comes up with this trash? Seriously. What happened to you, Blizzard?”

Hmmmm… would you comment on Dvorak Uncensored if you had to use your real name?

  1. ArianeB says:

    I predict that Real ID will be dropped by Blizzard before they have an opportunity to release it, and the whole incident will go down in internet history as a bad idea for all other sites considering something similar.

    Blizzard employees personal information is being dug up and posted by various players as evidence that all you need is a name to get tons of information on people. While I don’t condone such actions, I bet it is scaring the crap out of employees and their families. The negative publicity that this is drumming up is probably scaring shareholders too.

    I bet the Real ID thing gets dropped before the end of the month.

  2. nunyac says:

    Looks like about 13 out of 60 cementers felt like using a real looking name when they signed up.
    The next question would seem to be, how to enforce a requirement for real name use.
    Them one wonders, why do they “really” want your true ID.

  3. Uncle Patso says:

    Probably not.
    – – – – –
    “Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before.”

    And it will suddenly be a LOT less crowded!

  4. Smartalix says:

    So what if registration scares off lameboys? Fewer assholes. Their “contribution” to the discourse is minimal.

    I have a username, but it is linked to me and anyone can contact me if desired. I support allowing people to have an anonymous identity in the game, but it should be registered to a real person so action can be taken to rein in the idiots.

  5. Melanie1001 says:

    And with this move, Pedobear is definitely smiling….

  6. OvenMaster says:

    The only time I use my real name online is in private, where goods or services are purchased. Never in any publicly-accesible location such as a forum or blogpost. Google has too long and deep a memory.

    Apparently people are becoming too easily swayed or convinced into giving up their personal privacy in the name of kowtowing to Big Government.

  7. Cardinalcyn says:

    Couple points : Blizz DOES ( ok, so they did. they backed off “for now’) require RealID to post on the forums.

    WoW Forums are an active place, and one of the best compeilations of info on a single topic ever made, anywhere. people DO use them a lot. Most just read – because the info there that is deemed worthy is Stickied, and that’s a MUCH faster way of figuring an answer to whatever dilemme you have then waiting on in-game support. that literally can take 3-4 days.

    Posting a simple question usually gets 4-6 answers in a matter of minutes. Sure 3 of those answers will tell you to read the stickies, u Bleeping Noob, but the others will be helpful. And you should have read the stickies 😛

    The real ID is plan has been talked about in bits and pieces for a while now. I don’t have alll the supporting links, so reasearch it yourself, mmk?

    It starts with Kottle’s expressed vision that internet anonymity is and should be a thing of the past ( I stronngly disagree with this idea).

    So, what he is driving at is that ALL battle.net games use this realD.. Also, the Facebook database is somehow tied in there as well.

    IF he gets his way he now has a unique ID for tens of millions of people across several social websites, with various interests. That database will be easily searchable. And indexable, too.

    How will that help him? Easy! He now has taken the concept of target marketing to new heights ( or lows, depending on how you feel about being the target).

    And because he controls the database, he gets PAID to allow access to it by other marketers.

    Not to mention that he can more easily tailor his “purchasing opportunities” to the Users.

    All of this is great for Activision.

    It’s really crappy for the uniquely American notion that we have a right to be left the hell alone.

    I fully expect Activision to implement this anyway. Kottle has already indicated that he firmly beleives he has a vision and a mandate, and that makes him very dangerous indeed. While the concepts may appear benign, and the implementation may be acceptable in the small parcels being doled out now, the over-all program is scary as all Hell.

    Doesn’t Activision have an independant Ethicist on staff anywhere? Or even a Court Jester to poke fun at the project while relaying the real concerns?

    They damned welll should.

  8. Somebody says:

    “[Award for longest name ever used on DU. – ed.]”

    Jesus! Don’t encourage him!

  9. Somebody says:

    Besides, it should be:

    bobbo, to promote Hell on earth we must misrepresent libertarianism, blathered on,

  10. bobbo, telling shit from shinola says:

    Somebody–no appreciation for the difference between libertarianism and LIEberTARDism? Well, thats your problem right there!

  11. Somebody says:

    Oh, so you are going to pretend that it was not your intention to call all libertarians liars?


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