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Reader Comments (88)

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 4:48AM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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They do indeed.

A number of issues have come to mind recently, including the change to the ToS where they announced they will be using Microsoft technology to display targetted advertisements in game.

This becomes easier when you have a list of friends on facebook and all those interests can be correlated.

So, as you walk down the streets of Orgrimmar some time in the future there will be advertisements for things your friends and your profiles, mined, think will have a high possibility of a click through.

This is massive advertising revenue, and with the comment the other day Blizz are considering Free to Play; a strong focussed advertising stream in an addictive game played by an impressionable market is win-win for Blizzard, especially when they say to all your facebook friends "Come play WoW with John Smith for free".

That's where I see this going, the new forum will be very facebook like, posts you make will go on your wall, your armoury will go on your wall and you will no longer pay $15 a month to play, instead you and your friend MUST have a facebook account and must accept billboards and advretising objects in game.
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 10:28PM (Unverified) said

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If I have to prove my identity to everyone else in a video game in order to play it, or to ask a question on a forum, then I'll go play some other game. If Blizzard implements this, then my plans to enter Starcraft 2 when it comes out will be over with, dead and gone. If I wanted trolls to hassle me in RL, I'd give them my name and address myself.

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 10:01AM Sleep Marshal said

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Its hard to believe that a game that doesn't even let you create a cap sensitive password takes security seriously. End of the day the issue is blizzard wants Real ID to moderate is forum so they don't have to hire more forum mods. Blizzard has terrible customer support and this just proves that point.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:09PM Liltawen said

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Either it's a Game or it's Real Life. If I wanted to be my 'real' self why would I be playing an MMO?

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:12PM (Unverified) said

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I think this article hit most (if not all) of the key problems with this system. Personally, I'm expecting Blizzard to adjust the system in light of all this backlash (they've already hinted that Blue Poster's real names won't be included). If Blizzard doesn't adjust the system to allow people to "opt-out" of showing their real names, I honestly see a lawsuit coming, from _somebody_ about how they got "outed" in real life about _something_.

This is an extremely poor business move from Blizzard. I hope the "genius" behind this executive decision is never responsible for a feature this big again.

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 4:51AM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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They have clarified that rumour and it was false, Blue's will be required to post their full names.
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:12PM (Unverified) said

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I usually find your articles pretty thoughtless and kneejerk when writing about sparkle ponies and the like, so it's a shock to find me agreeing with your well-written post against the use of real names on the forums.

Thanks for posting such a great summary of both sides of this issue.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:12PM Psychotic Storm said

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First of all a nicely written article.

But it speculates on things that already have happened, as links on the other article concerning this awful idea, from personal experience one co-worker was heavily criticised because her facebook account was active and she had called in sick, from the news people have gone to great lengths in finding emails bank information, ids and even in more serious occasions real addresses and physically going to other peoples places with bad intentions and this with just IP and searching, giving away personal information makes it even worse and potentially even more dangerous because it makes it even easier.

I personally believe disclosure of personal information is illegal in Europe and probably to most of the world, beyond that the denial of voice is a violation of personal rights and that is what Blizzard enforces, beyond forum users and psychos other fishing and malign individuals can use anyone's personal information to find bank accounts, blackmail and many more acts, a user tying to protect himself from this would end up giving many of his rights as a user, raising publicly his concerns or even joining a conversation with other users.

What really concerns me more is how much will this thing devolve, will it stay in forums or it will go even further and in the end we get it everywhere, I value my personal information enough to stay away from facebook, why should I have it enforced to me?

moreover, the main issue this move has "theoretically" been enforced for not only isn't resolved, but in my opinion will make the regular users abandon the forums increasing the troll ratio even more.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:27PM (Unverified) said

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The 'wild west' days of the internet are ending.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:38PM (Unverified) said

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Indeed. And the age of robber barons is well on it's way.
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 7:08PM Its Utakata stupid said

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Lol, Slaphead! :)
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:27PM dudes said

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Ha Blizzard, so not only are you trying to alter my personality into a choir boys but I have to pay you for the privilege? Bye Bye Blizzard. I'll spend elsewhere how I want when I want and as nicely or as nastily as I want. Farewell Warcraft, your masters have well and truly gone nuts.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 6:55PM (Unverified) said

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What a brilliant article that puts into words my fears as a transgendered Wow player much better than I could manage.

Being someone who isn't 'out' I can't begin to describe what the last 48 hours have been like. Trying to understand what this 'RealID' system will mean, panicking and wondering if my previous post history around LGBT issues is suddenly going to appear with my RL Name next to them. Wondering if people will be able to tie characters I have in LGBT friendly guilds to the real life me, and worst of all trying to work out how easy this change would make it for friends, family, work colleagues and even ingame 'enemies' to 'out' me with a bit of research.

If this whole thing has taught me anything, it's that I have probably become a little bit too used to the veil the internet can provide. Maybe I had become a little too eager to speak up on forums when it came to issues that I felt I could contribute on. Of course I will not be posting on the WoW forums, infact I'm looking to have my account literally wiped.

It does make me wonder how many people from certain minorities will now also feel they can no longer contribute on the forums though. Does it really make it a more social experience when people from various minorities may become too frightened to contribute. And I think this is an important point, I've heard many people take the 'Oh, you must have something to hide / be ashamed if you don't want to use your name'. It's not about whether some people want to hide or feel shame, it's about whether they can post without fear. For those unfortunate people who know what it is like to be picked out, beat on, spat at because of their sexual preference, religous views, political viewpoint etc, being asked to use your real name suddenly makes things seem a whole lot more real.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 7:13PM (Unverified) said

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I will be surprised if this goes live. I think the lawsuits they are looking at, not to mention giving out this personal info is actually illegal in quite a few countries, and all the bad PR, plus sites that are displaying all the personal info about Blizzard and Activision staff, adding in that this will lead to stalking, and quite possibly physical harm to people and huge lawsuits. It was a horrible move, an even worse idea, and if it goes live, expect the rolling in of lawsuits and even worse mainstream press. How long do you think it will take before someone gets really harmed from this? Not long at all.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 7:37PM Evy said

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I really, really hope you're right. But I'm afraid you're not. :(
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Posted: Jul 8th 2010 7:50PM Brianna Royce said

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@Keen -- Quite a lot of our writers have played and do play WoW, and several are quite accomplished there as well as in other Blizzard games. Battlenet affects more than just MMO players, after all.

Moreover, Blizzard's choices have an impact on the rest of the industry at large. So Massively's participation in this debate is more than relevant. In fact, one might argue that our wider experience makes us even more qualified to talk at length about these sorts of systems and how they affect communities than someone who plays but one game alone.

-Bree

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 8:04PM TheJackman said

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This is only the start soon they will add male and female icons to the forum and you can filter male/female posts. Also they will have a fly out menu on the icon to see of they are single or married and so on.

Also Blizzard will add fields to there battle.net where you have to tell what is your type and a field to tell more about your self!

The addons that display all this info all really come build in the next beta you role your mouse over a toon and it will display his name, his sex, his relationship status and of he/she is looking for love.

Its blizzard new way to make meaningful relationships and get players to getter to make baby's and make the baby's sign up for a other WoW sub :)

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 8:19PM (Unverified) said

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This is a truly bizarre decision from blizzard. I can't believe that they think this real ID thing addresses the problem of forum trolling... either they really are stupid... or something else is going on... I have no idea what else they think they could accomplish with this but the logic just does not compute. There are so many obvious side effects, ones with quite possible lawsuit type consequences, that the stated problem of "forum trolls" and "community building" just doesn't make sense to me. And as others have already pointed out there are very simple ways of dealing with trolls that don't negatively affect every players personal privacy.... what the cuss are they thinking?

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 8:25PM Nadril said

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I honestly don't know if this is the work of Activision or if Blizzard is simply becoming too large for their own good.

Posted: Jul 8th 2010 8:43PM Carolina said

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Love the suggestion at the end. Would add to it for them to only let people with game keys to post, and exclude all the trial people to a separate section of the boards, or none at all. That should help more then this whole real name thing.

I wonder though, would this help at all to fight the gold farmers? Maybe it is a stronger concern with that, and not all those weird excuses Blizzard gave such as community strength?

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