If I Won't Tell You People My Real Name, I'm Sure As Hell Not Sharing It With Azzblastah, The Level 85 Orc Warlock And Registered Sex Offender

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17 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I think the key mistake was in typing their cross-game RealID(?) to actual names. I'm assuming the forums being tied to real names is an implication of them being tied to this new cross-platform ID, and then they convinced themselves that it was a feature, not a bug.

  2. Patrick says:

    Real names tied to invitation-only networking is one thing, and that's the way I understand it to work now. That's Facebook. It's the public display on a forum widely known for being just a step above /b/ that seems bizarre.

    Perhaps they just want to kill their forums. But if that's the case it would seem easier and cheaper simply to pull the plug than to go through this dangerous Rube Goldberg roundabout method.

  3. Chris says:

    Yeah, that's my point. I don't think they carried through the analysis through from their original RealID implementation. So they build a system where people who know each other outside their games can set up an integrated friend system. Real names there make sense.

    And then someone thought "hey, we have this cross platform authentication system, let's use it for the new forums".

    I would bet you money that they didn't think through the forum consequences (realid = real name = forum display name) until after they were far enough along the development for the new forums to make yanking out RealID a pain. I'd give reasonable odds that the forum team may not have even known that these IDs would be real names until they started registration for RealID. I can almost write you the minutes from the tech meeting where they talked themselves into thinking this was a good idea.

    I work in software – this is not a new plot.

  4. Chris says:

    If I had to guess what the end result of this would be, it's that they'll let you use a handle for realid.

  5. Fret says:

    I can't imagine a scenario in which the rumored publication of Blizzard employees' names on the forums actually goes through. As Patrick has noted, these people are policing a cess pit. Their job is to discipline people that have already proven themselves to be malicious . . . and Blizzard may tell those evil people the names of those that have wronged them? That's wildly reckless.

    If I were a CS Rep, I'd be frothing at the mouth right now.

  6. matt says:

    can i get sexxinas phone number ( im sorry i had too lol)

  7. Jag says:

    Well this Blizz CM found out what can happen the hard way when he posted his real name on the forums.

    http://www.coffeedrunk.com/2010/07/07/micah-whipple-aka-bashiok-soars-in-google-popularity/

    His real name is now 59th in popularity in Google search trends.

  8. Windypundit says:

    Geez, that's dumb. I've never played WoW, but I play EVE Online (it's a massive multiplayer roll-playing game with spaceships). It would be insane to make players disclose their real names.

    In Eve, it's not just the smack talking and social conflict in the forums — heck, I don't even read the forums — but the game itself. There's a substantial player v.s. player component, and it gets pretty nasty. I'm a nube, but players who've been in the game for several years will accumulate substantial assets, and they can even join alliances and conquer territory.

    There have been wars between alliances with over 1000 members each. If these people knew how to find each other in the real world, there would be blood. Or at least severed internet connections and power lines.

  9. Grandy says:

    Hmmm, when I first heard of this I wasn't familiar with the RealID thing. In light of that, I vote for Chris' answer.

    If Blizzard was just concerned about cleaning up the forums (it's obvious that's one issue), they should have just contacted me (except, they can't afford me, so don't).

  10. Patrick says:

    I've played Eve Windy, and agree on how weird the rivalries get.

    Those who enjoy stories of touching innocence should read the Keen & Graev link above. I already have enough information about him that I'd stand a fair chance of getting a credit card in his name if I cared to try, and I'm hardly a great internet detective.

  11. Joe says:

    It looks like the guys at Penny Arcade came to the same conclusion you did.

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/

    Direct link for those who look after the comic is updated again:
    http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/928101530_dfXDB-L.jpg

  12. Joe says:

    Ha, that didn't take long.

  13. matt says:

    its good that they are listening to the customers!

  14. CTrees says:

    Update! http://consumerist.com/2010/07/gamers-who-complained-about-blizzards-about-forum-privacy-see-email-addresses-leaked.html

    Everyone who sent emails to Blizzard complaining about this plan, presumably out of privacy concerns… had their email addresses leaked. Whoo!

  15. Rich Rostrom says:

    I remember reading a few years ago about some MMORG where one could generate game-$ by on-line drudgery, and there was an actual cash-$ market for the game-$.

    This led to people in South Korea forming crews of game-peasants who camped out in Internet cafés, accumulating game-$. This activity was largely under the control of gangs – who fought over the take, and occasionally shot up the cafés used by rival gangs.

  16. Chris says:

    @CTrees – that's everyone who sent email to the ESRB complaining about Blizzard. I have no idea why you would complain to the ESRB over this.