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Dear_Gnome: An open letter community for WoW

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Dear Gnome [Jul. 6th, 2010|05:26 pm]
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dear_gnome

[epiphling]
In case none of you have seen it or heard about it yet, RealID is becoming mandatory for posting on the official forums. From what I gather, a whole new system will be in place that will mandate displaying your Battle.net account real name, first and last, to each post you make.

I'm not intending to spark a discussion here (though I might end up doing just that anyway, such is the way of things), but as a ... warning? I guess that's the right word. For my part, I'll be containing my opinion on the matter to various discussion threads on the forums.

Blue posters are assuring people that the changes will NOT be retroactive, and that there'll be ample warning provided that you're letting people see your real first and last names on posts once the changes go into effect.  And also that blue posters, Blizzard employees, will be subject to the same process.

Official Announcement: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25712374700&sid=1
WoW Insider Article: http://www.wow.com/2010/07/06/official-forum-changes-real-life-names-to-be-displayed/
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: darksteele
2010-07-06 08:33 pm (UTC)

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I'm still on the fence about this. I rarely post on the official forums and I am in a profession that has my name available on web pages that can be Googled rather easily. So to me, someone knowing my name (a fairly common one at that, thankfully) doesn't bother me much.

Still, it seems like they are asking for a ton of problems. For example, a lot of kids play WoW and their parents' names are on their accounts. So these players (who make up a good portion of the troll population on the forums) are going to be smearing their parents' names all over the web. And isn't one of the first rules of the internet to never give out your personal identity?

It just seems like too much of a mess and something Blizz is not thinking all the way through.
[User Picture]From: megabitch
2010-07-06 08:51 pm (UTC)

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I see it as less about your real name being on the web as whether your professional life could be affected by your real name being searchable in various forums that are related to social activities and not professional. I've worked to keep my professional and private lives as separate as possible since I first got "on the 'net". Like it or not, you could very well be in a position one day where a potential employer does a search on your name and decides that they'd rather not employ you because you play computer games and they have an inbuilt prejudice against people who are into such things; or that based on comments you have made elsewhere, you wouldn't "fit in".

I'd rather not take the chance. My private life is my business and not Blizzard's to decide who gets to know about it.
[User Picture]From: darksteele
2010-07-06 10:20 pm (UTC)

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Oh, absolutely. You put what I'm trying to say in focus pretty well. Thanks for that.

This really has me weary about the future of WoW and the MMO market in general. I can only sit back and hope they see that this is not a very smart move as they are alienating their player base and quite possibly making it easier for identity theft to take place.
[User Picture]From: daamian
2010-07-07 12:37 am (UTC)

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It's also the other way around unfortunately.

As a high profile project manager overseeing many projects for many companies, my name gets put onto the Internet far more than I'd like, including my work contact information.

I really wouldn't want some shmuck on the forums bombarding my work e-mail address or some nonsense because he happened to dislike something I said on the forums.
From: manicdee
2010-07-07 04:09 am (UTC)

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This scenario is more troubling to me than the "colleagues dont' like the game I play" scenario.
From: salimyter
2010-07-06 08:43 pm (UTC)

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Well, as I mentioned in another comment, all it took for someone to find my doorstep was my first and last name combined with the state where I live. I wasn't harmed, but my parents and the police were involved. I don't use the forums, but if I did this would absolutely terrify me. I can't even comprehend the comments made by people who don't think this is a problem.
[User Picture]From: reikah
2010-07-06 08:48 pm (UTC)

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I work with high school kids. I could lose my job if I'm considered too "friendly" with them outside of school; just the other day a whole-school email was sent out with dire, dire threats about what would happen to us if we were caught chatting to the kids on facebook (not that any of us would - the kids seek us out because they think it's funny). I know some of them play WoW, and I know they already know my (uncommon) first name to go with my common second name. I cannot express the degree of omg do not want here.
[User Picture]From: wsujc210
2010-07-06 09:14 pm (UTC)

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This exactly is my situation too.
[User Picture]From: darksteele
2010-07-06 10:21 pm (UTC)

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Same here as well. This does not bode well.
[User Picture]From: icelore
2010-07-06 08:57 pm (UTC)

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No. No, no no. I'm hoping to become an elementary school teacher in the near future, and you an imagine the amount of Do Not Want that goes along with this. Not only would me personal name be linked to a video game site (and let's face it, some people have prejudices) but it's against so many rules to have contact with the kids outside the classroom. The off chance that I could be connected in *any way* with potential students is a huge no no.
[User Picture]From: wsujc210
2010-07-06 09:15 pm (UTC)

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I'm more worried about over-reacting parents. "OMG SHE PLAYS A VIDEO GAME AND WE ALL KNOW THAT VIDEO GAMES ARE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL FIRE HER NOW OR GET MY KID OUT OF HER CLASS LOUD NOISES!"
[User Picture]From: the_belling_cat
2010-07-07 06:12 am (UTC)

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I'm a high school teacher. I talk WoW with my students who play, though I tell them, even after they graduate, that I will never tell them what server I play or my characters' names. All they know are I play Horde on an RP server. Period. And I will not have one post, to promote an event, a guild, etc, "out" me to anyone who cares to google my name in relation to WoW.

WoW is an escape, not a social networking site. When Blizz gets that through their heads, hopefully this will go away.


Perhaps their losing 10% of their stock price is clue enough.
[User Picture]From: korenwolf
2010-07-07 08:28 am (UTC)

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"Monetizing their userbase", the money trail is clear here the suits are seeing even more dollars / euros / pounds / whatever spinning past their eyes.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2010/05/blizzard-and-facebooks-friendly-social-networking-deal-launches-with-starcraft-ii-/1
[User Picture]From: iscari0t
2010-07-06 09:26 pm (UTC)

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http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25712374700&postId=256239551271&sid=1#4692

check that one out. Someone said "I can't be found, here's my name" and the challenge was taken.
[User Picture]From: foolishtyphron
2010-07-07 12:09 am (UTC)

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This person probably wasn't even trying.
[User Picture]From: iscari0t
2010-07-07 02:00 am (UTC)

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Trying to what? Which person?
[User Picture]From: foolishtyphron
2010-07-07 02:41 am (UTC)

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The person you linked, finding the person they quoted.

Said they took them four minutes.
[User Picture]From: iscari0t
2010-07-07 04:25 am (UTC)

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I was the finder.

It took me maybe 20; I'm actually on vent with him right now. =D
[User Picture]From: amarafox
2010-07-06 10:18 pm (UTC)

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Augh, no. I'm totally not into this.

I don't need employers googling me and seeing I play WoW.
[User Picture]From: amarafox
2010-07-06 10:18 pm (UTC)

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Or having crazy fans stalk me.
[User Picture]From: foolishtyphron
2010-07-07 12:11 am (UTC)

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Just reminded me of a startling thing.

Those stars, or people who might be featured somewhere, would get namedox'd the moment they posted on the forums. That's bad for those who play the game to get away from that reality.

Eesh.
[User Picture]From: kyidyl
2010-07-07 12:35 am (UTC)

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Hm, this was posted towards the end of the thread, and I kinda think it might be a good idea:

https://www.esrb.org/privacy/contact.jsp
[User Picture]From: sylva_rerum
2010-07-07 12:55 am (UTC)

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Since I hardly ever post on the forums to begin with, I don't feel particularly bothered by it personally. However, I don't think it would be a very wise idea for Blizzard to simply ignore how much of an uproar this is causing. I mean, people were upset when RealID was implemented, sure, but I don't think that protest was anywhere near as big as the current one seems to be.

I hope they'll decide to listen to the complaints and come up with a different way of implementing their system. Or, if they're really that concerned about trolls on the forums, they could try and come up with a way to prevent people from posting on low level alts at all. I'm not really sure why they feel using real names is strictly necessary for a social experience...
[User Picture]From: the_belling_cat
2010-07-07 05:51 am (UTC)

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You KNOW they can't ignore how they lost 10% of their stock value today after the announcement.
[User Picture]From: aj_hyena
2010-07-07 01:21 am (UTC)

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I believe my icon says it best here. This is a boneheaded move and something tells me they know it, but are going to let the "experiment" go on... if this goes as bad as it could, it'd show what NOT to do to your fanbase to future companies.
[User Picture]From: silvers_shadows
2010-07-07 02:19 am (UTC)

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What. The. Fuck.

I just...

What. The. Fuck.
[User Picture]From: easiertobe
2010-07-07 04:50 am (UTC)

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Mmm. Guess who won't be posting on forums anymore? I was okay with RealID in game, but mandatory on forums? Fuck that. I don't get to choose who sees my name there. I get to choose in game. That's too far.
[User Picture]From: megabitch
2010-07-07 10:59 am (UTC)

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I was ok with the _idea_ of RealID in-game until I realised that people I didn't know at all, people who were NOT added to my RealID friends list, would be able to see my real name if they were friends of someone I was friends with. NO. Simply put, NO.
[User Picture]From: easiertobe
2010-07-07 05:39 pm (UTC)

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The difference there is they can see your name, but not your character. It is still kinda ehh but I don't mind it all that much.