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World of Warcraft maker to end anonymous forum logins

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posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:07 AM

World of Warcraft maker to end anonymous forum logins

"I work in a charity and deal with governments officials. If they do a search and see I am a gamer, it could affect my employment prospects," he added.


Mr Brand said that one Blizzard employee posted his real name on the forums, saying that there was no risk to users, and the experiment went drastically wrong.

"Within five minutes, users had got hold of his telephone number, home address, photographs of him and a ton of other information," said Mr Brand
(visit the link for the full news article)

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posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:07 AM
When comparing to social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, where a user volunteers their information onto public domain, this becomes quite harrowing. Such sites are used as a digital connect between real world personalities. Online video games are often used as an escape from the real world.

I've been playing WoW (World of Warcraft) since launch in 2004. I've met hundreds of people. Almost none of them know who I am in real life. I've been quite comfortable with that since anonymity offers me an easy option to distance myself from players should I choose to. Perhaps it is anti-social of me, but it should be that simple when playing a damn video game.

Blizzard claims to be fighting against this specific internet culture model, linked above (pennyarcade).

There is a great deal of complaining on the official WoW forums concerning this announcement. From privacy concerns to tech support concerns. My suspicions are directed at Activision, having merged with Blizzard last year. I'm going to try and dig up more meaning to this and add it to this discussion.
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 9-7-2010 by Durrilll]

[edit on 9-7-2010 by Durrilll]

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:15 AM
Maybe they finally killed the goose that laid the golden egg. Good job Blizzard. Of course most gamers don't post on the forums unless the game servers are down. It's probably a small percentage that actually post while the rest are busy actually playing. Now it will be almost zero.

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:22 AM
I myself used to play Everquest, and then WoW. i quit WoW and online games altogether about 6 months ago(besides the occasional chess game). after playing MMORPG's for almos 10 years it just got boring, it felt more and more like the huge waste of time that it is.
that said i do not look down my nose at those who do still play, its your time do with it as you wish.

but i am curious about one thing. will the armory pages link real ID as well or just the forums?

because if its the armory as well thats a Huge database...
and even though my account is innactive my characters can still be found there..

Also I foresee Alot of Lawsuits when in game drama leads to real life violence..

this is not a good move for Blizzard, or the gaming industry
as a whole...


posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:26 AM
reply to post by Mike Stivic

I haven't played WoW in 5 years. I'm hoping like hell my characters and account have been purged from the system. If not, maybe I'll get lucky and get some coin from the lawsuit that's going to be coming. Good thing Blizzard made all that money, they might need it.

[edit on 7/9/2010 by minute2midnight]

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:29 AM
I've opted out of RealId.

There are other forums one can frequent to discuss wow related issues which are not owned and operated by Blizzard. I suspect they will enjoy the increased traffic.

Gamers are some of the most forward thinking, libertarian leaning people I know, thus it stands to reason this would be an issue for a lot of them. It seems Blizzard hasn't done much research on their demographics, despite the stereotype, most of us are NOT basement dwelling and chronically broke.

I know quite a few wow players, and they are all 30s, with decent jobs and disposable income to spend on other MMOS, and it's just possible that they this may be their reason to do so.

Will I stop playing wow? Not yet, realID IS still optional, but should they change that, I would take my money elsewhere.

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:31 AM
Maybe I'm just crazy but I had always thought, growing up, that one was considered for employment based mostly on their merits, education, experience and ability. Now that I'm older and have applied for my share of jobs, some of which I was hired for, I've come to learn that one's education and abilities have rather little to do with their chances of being hired.

I've seen resumes rejected because the applicant had "a stupid name", or someone didn't like the way it was formatted. I'd really like to say that I don't think people would reject an applicant because he happens to play WoW but I know that they will. Thats the problem with availability of information on the net, you could possibly screw things up for yourself just because you play a certain game or listen to a certain type of music.

I wish there was some way to remove the human bias from the application process and make it fair but I don't think that will ever happen. People will continure to discriminate against other people based upon their own personal biases, even if they seem rather trivial.

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:52 AM
This is the original discussion on the official WoW forums. Update: Upcoming Changes to Forums

It is at 50000 replies so far. Even my concerns are buried in there. They are biting the hand that feeds them with this decision. Since its the subscribers that pay for it all.

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 11:01 AM
The most solid rumors of Blizzard's new mmo that I've heard indicate it will be a free to play game focusing on social networking. Facebook, but within a game setting. I think it'd be pretty genius. There are really no solid reasons as to why Blizzard is doing this from what I've read but my theory is that they might be testing the waters for when their new mmorpg comes out. You can't really have an open, social networking game when people have names like Zenababa! or whatever

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 12:10 PM
It looks like this debacle has ended.

Regarding Real Names in Forums

With all the media attention and tens of thousands of complaints on the forums, Blizzard has folded to the whims of their subscribers. The Real ID system will not be implemented on the forums, or any other product slated to use it (Starcraft 2).

To fully understand the nature of this issue, think about your account on ATS here. Imagine that they implemented a system that identified your avatar to your real life name. Imagine your family, friends, coworkers, bosses, and future employers all discovering that connection. I wouldn't put it side by side of the consequences of being identified on a gaming forum. Since being labeled a conspiracy theorist has further repercussions than being labeled a gamer. But, the scenarios share a common ground of wanting to maintain your anonymity.

* Edit for Clarity *
There is still the Real ID system, which allows people to communicate to each other across different gaming platforms produced by Blizzard and connected to Much like the Steam system. They however will not be implementing a connect to ones real name. Anonymity will remain intact.

[edit on 9-7-2010 by Durrilll]

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 12:12 PM
in my opinion they have every right to do so ...
WOW is not air and You can live w/o it
so if You do not agree to forum policy then do not speak there or stop playng all toogather .. its good i know i did stop few years back and i do not look back ..

do not treat it as anti privacy aggresion.

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 12:17 PM
Like i said before i dont play anymore, But i do give a
to Blizzard for actually listening to its customers for once.

thanks for the update durrilll.

perhaps this whole thing was just a test to see the reaction?


posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 01:08 PM
i don't know if we are allowed to post direct quotes from other sites in here ... so ill just say it

blizzard have stepped back and announced that they will no longer be doing this after a thread with almost 50,000 posters revolted at the news

ty blizzard for listening to the people

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 01:37 PM
Too bad SOE didn't listen to its player base when they wanted to go ahead with the NGE!!

Sorry...couldn't resist! I think these gaming companies totally live in some other strange-world than the rest of us, some of the stuff they come up with lol. I'm glad the backlash was strong and swift enough to put a halt to this. I'm sure the lawyers in their legal department were all having seizures

I've played MMO's myself for years, vanguard, wow, swg, just started EQII...and I"m looking forward to the new star wars thats coming out as well.

Like an above poster stated, most of the people I know that play MMO's are older like myself, have decent jobs..ect.. I see it as more of a hobby than just playing a game. And it keeps me home instead of out spending money on much worse things!!

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