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Reader Comments (88)

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 5:40PM breezer said

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Exactly!

Great article but I was surprised Sera didn't touch on this.

The community building schtick is a ruse. Their real motivation is to cash in on the social networking fad.
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:18PM Keen and Graev said

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It's no different from the Massively writers using their names. I've gone down the list and found private details on 13 out of the 20 listed on the front page. A few are even so exposed that there are pictures of their children.

Are the writers at this website aware of just how much information is available on them and that Massively is already doing what Blizzard is proposing to do?

There is way too much angst and overreacting over this issue. Some of it is most definitely warranted and there are individual cases that I can say "you know what, these people have a reason to hide their name" but not to the degree people have escalated it.

Is it a big deal? No.

Is it worth Blizzard pushing hard and going against the grain? No.

Conclusion: Not a big deal but Blizzard should realize it pisses enough people off that it's not worth the effort.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:44PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Oh, certainly you can find information on us, but that's a decision we make.

When the decision is taken out of everyone's hands and punishes those who may want to use the forums for good intents but aren't comfortable giving out their name... that's where the problem lies.

You and I may be ok with it, but there are people out there who are not.

And, by the way Keen, who are you, exactly? Do you care to share your real name?
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:49PM Brianna Royce said

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"I've gone down the list and found private details on 13 out of the 20 listed on the front page"

More importantly, you didn't find much at all on 7 of the 20. Just because some people either don't care about their privacy, or are uneducated about how to keep that privacy, doesn't mean everyone feels that way.

When I Google myself, aside from my work at Massively, I mostly find people who are not me. My husband, according to Google, is a really cute amateur rugby player in England (hehe). My Facebook is locked up tight, so that even the FB scrape sites have me listed completely wrong (wrong state, marital status, income, and so on). Similarly, many of your guesses on the staff are probably wrong. Which is just one more reason this is a bad idea. Being mistaken for some gaming troll (by virtue of having a very common or very uncommon name) has the same consequences as actually being one, and Blizzard is putting more than just opt-in gamers at risk.
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:52PM Its Utakata stupid said

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I will concure with Sera, Keen...this is not the issue of showing you're real name if you chose to do so. The problem with Real ID is that your are forced to show your name if you want to post on their Forums. Perhaps eventually to post anything using WoW's ingame chat (which is much more racier, trolling and spamming than it's Forum counterpart currently; thus, in severe need of moderation as Blizz's Real ID stated argument goes). So there in lies the problem with all this... the question of being forced/coerced to reveal who you are that is against your expressed will.

Is the game paying us enough to do that? No.
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:18PM Innocentte said

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Well, I think this is the dumbest move by any company in a long, long time.

Quite frankly, I am very supportive of publishing ALL of Blizzard's Employee's personal information in the Forums.

What do they think is going to happen to their customers when their real names are posted? A hell of a lot worse than having just their info exposed on a forum, you can be sure.

As I said in another post, I don't think we will be seeing Blizzard Employee's 'Real Names' when this goes live. It will only take one sociopath that lost his gold, or toon, or got banned, to hunt down a Blue or Green poster, put a cap in him, and that would be all she wrote for Blizzard.

Negligence by default.

So, no, we will not be seeing Blizzard Employee's real info. They will come up with some lame excuse for hiding their names. Or they will use fake ones.

Which will leave their customers as the only people at risk.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:22PM Arkanaloth said

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some very strong points made here and I agree with them all. I don't think this will do anything for the blizzard forums. I don't play WoW anymore but more than a few developers take their direction for the actions of the current 800lb gorilla. This is one action that needs to fail and fail hard so that others don't follow it. If the perspective on how little it will stop trolling turns out to be true this Real ID thing will flop hard.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:20PM drunkenpandaren said

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Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! You went to AC? Why didn't anyone tell me? :(

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:03PM Seraphina Brennan said

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I have no clue. XD Mostly because it was off-the-cuff and I did it because all my friends went. :D
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Posted: Jul 10th 2010 3:02PM drunkenpandaren said

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It's nice to hear that you had a great time at AC! :D
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:26PM Daverator said

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I think that you prove in numerous ways how and why the RealID system for forums is foolish at best, and irresponsibly dangerous at worst.

I LOATHE the repeated comments by blizzard that "RealID is completely optional, you just have to not use features of the game." I suppose if all in game chat used your Real ID it would still be optional, you could choose just not to chat in game.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:29PM Arkanaloth said

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agreed.. add to that, just how long will it be "optional"?
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:30PM (Unverified) said

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I've had an active account for the past 4 years or so since I started playing WoW but I cancelled it today. RealId is a fiasco dreamed up by the suits at Activision, it has nothing to do with cleaning up trolls on the forums and everything to do with turning WoW into the next farmville. We are looked at as commodities to be traded with other social networks.

Don't believe for a second this is about creating some squeaky clean forums, this is simply the next step in Activison 's lust for total control over our online presence.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:32PM (Unverified) said

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This will not make the community any tighter now will it stop trolls. Completely agree with the article. The privacy issue alone should put the kybosh on this nonsense. Every change blizz has made during LK and now Cata has left a bad taste in my mouth. This game is becoming fantasy farmville.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:45PM (Unverified) said

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I am disappointed Sera. You had a chance to do some hard hitting commentary and you went soft on it. This has nothing to do with names on forums, it has to do with Blizzard selling out its end users for third party cash. Facebook integration, in game adverts and all of the most unsavory marketing practices you can think of. Has anyone read the newly minted EULA and TOS? Blizzard wants to sell you and your friends to advertisers like Facebook does. The deal is already done. Activision wants to be Facebook and if you can't beat them you join them right? I realize that with your new found position of authority you may not want to bite the Blizzard hand. Still, I expected more from you.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 4:50PM jealouspirate said

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Kosmo has hit the nail on the head here. There has been a fundamental paradigm shift in their business model.

We're no longer the customer, we're the product.
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 5:05PM Seraphina Brennan said

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O.o I'm... kinda... confused? To be quite honest?

I like to think my commentary was, well, insightful and to the point. I may not have lashed out at the company's business model, but I have lashed out at the dangerous this system will pose to users, the strike against our culture, and other numerous issues which make the system completely... well... stupid.

Furthermore, I spoke on what I can prove. I can prove all of what I said, while I cannot prove any sinister link between their real ID system and their wish for more money.

But... that's not the point... the point is that we agree that this system sucks and it needs to not happen. Isn't that enough?
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:06PM (Unverified) said

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Sera you make an excellent point about speaking only on what you can prove and I understand and respect that. Don't get me wrong the article was great as always, but there is another story under this one that I felt sure you would touch on. Maybe next time eh?
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 7:03PM Its Utakata stupid said

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Perhaps you want to PM Sera, Kosmo (or how ever they do it get a hold of Massively personalities personally) about the deal between Battle.net and Facebook, where Blizz maybe legally bound to expand Real ID in this and other ways. Not a lot of peeps are aware of that, even brilliant writers. So any new info sent to her on that for future articles will be good. Just saying... :)
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 11:39PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Yeah, you can always email me. My address is at the end of the post.
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