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Blizzard Demands Your Real Name for Forums

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 123 comments

Would you like to see the same policy in effect for Tom's Hardware?

Last month Blizzard revealed a new feature for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and other games that will utilize Battle.net. Called Real ID, this voluntary service creates a "friends list" of sorts that provides the real names of players, their army of characters, and the ability to see what they're currently doing on Battle.net. Real ID even provides a cross-game, cross-realm chat client.

Now Blizzard has revealed that it will also be requiring those who post on the forums to use his or her real name – no more screen names to hide behind for those who find trolling a pleasing pastime.

The official forums have always been a great place to discuss the latest info on our games, offer ideas and suggestions, and share experiences with other players -- however, the forums have also earned a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild. Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before. With this change, you’ll see blue posters (i.e. Blizzard employees) posting by their real first and last names on our forums as well.

We also plan to add a number of other features designed to make reading the forums more enjoyable and to empower players with tools to improve the quality of forum discussions. Players will have the ability to rate up or rate down posts so that great topics and replies stand out from the not-so-great; low-rated posts will appear dimmer to show that the community feels that they don’t contribute effectively to the conversation, and Blizzard’s community team will be able to quickly and easily locate highly rated posts to participate in or to highlight discussions that players find worthwhile.

Check out the full post here.

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Top Comments
  • 40 Hide
    tat2demon , July 7, 2010 5:08 PM
    I cant wait for the first story about someone flipping out over a post, tracking that person down and murdering their family.
  • 25 Hide
    TunaSoda , July 7, 2010 5:13 PM
    This is great news for Steam ;) 
  • 23 Hide
    hellwig , July 7, 2010 5:26 PM
    zorky9Nobody would really do that if the game forum is used properly like sharing of ideas, troubleshooting help, etc.. not trashtalking, trolling, and bashing other players.

    There was a story about someone playing an online game. They didn't like that fact that the other person was continuously killing them (using a hack they claimed). Therefore, using the person's in-game ID, they tracked the person down in real life and killed them. This was in Germany or something.

    Anyway, point is, this has nothing to do with your intended actions (i.e. you don't have to be flaming/trolling). This has everything to do with how some lunatic on the internet interprets your actions. Imagine pissing off the wrong person with your zergling rushes. They can tie your character to your account, which will have your real name. Then bam, goodbye cruel world. There are many unstable people in the world, and the last thing I want is some Diablo-playing psychopath to hunt down my family because I looted the awesome shield before he could.
Other Comments
    Display all 123 comments.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , July 7, 2010 5:07 PM
    Which will be the reason that I will never use the service / post on forums. I find it an invasion of privacy that I cannot use an alias ID like I can on every other chat based service. If i wanted my real name out there, that would be my charachter name.
  • 40 Hide
    tat2demon , July 7, 2010 5:08 PM
    I cant wait for the first story about someone flipping out over a post, tracking that person down and murdering their family.
  • 2 Hide
    xophaser , July 7, 2010 5:09 PM
    you'll be hearing cricket now, very few people will troll and cause havoc without an alias. So you got to use your credit card name, I am guessing.
  • 25 Hide
    TunaSoda , July 7, 2010 5:13 PM
    This is great news for Steam ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    leo2kp , July 7, 2010 5:15 PM
    Interesting. It might work, but that kind of sucks at the same time. Why not have the user ID displayed by default, and then have their real name in their profile for those who care to see who someone really is? This allows creativity, individuality, and an increased effort to keep one's name good ;) 
  • 9 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , July 7, 2010 5:16 PM
    http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20100707
  • -7 Hide
    zorky9 , July 7, 2010 5:16 PM
    tat2demonI cant wait for the first story about someone flipping out over a post, tracking that person down and murdering their family.

    Nobody would really do that if the game forum is used properly like sharing of ideas, troubleshooting help, etc.. not trashtalking, trolling, and bashing other players.
  • 17 Hide
    mgoblue3296 , July 7, 2010 5:18 PM
    So does that mean I can make my name Obama or Chuck Norris? I mean, they'll never know.

    Just more ways to Facebook stalk people. I believe Newton's fourth law was: "Regardless of the forces of inertia or gravity, trollers will troll."
  • 14 Hide
    Christopher1 , July 7, 2010 5:21 PM
    chriskrumI actually wish more forums insisted on real names. Generally the opinions expressed by those who don't want to be associated with the opinion are worthless.(maybe all forums should have a filter where you can simply turn off anyone who uses an alias and never see their comments)

    Apparently, you forget that some people are THREATENED when they post opinions that other people don't like. Personally, I've been threatened with death more than 10 times when talking about 'touchy' subjects on the internet.
  • 2 Hide
    magruder13 , July 7, 2010 5:22 PM
    I really liked how Tabula Raza was for names. You picked one and all your characters shared the same last name and friend lists.
    I would prefer if they made it so you had one forum name instead of your real name. In the end this will help out alot though.
  • 9 Hide
    Tmanishere , July 7, 2010 5:23 PM
    It's like going to a bar and putting your name card smack dab in the middle of your forehead. I'm sure Blizzard did this to have more control over what people say on the forum. On the other hand, I could see this only causing problems for the users...

    Blizzard 1 - Blizzard Forum Posters 0
  • 23 Hide
    hellwig , July 7, 2010 5:26 PM
    zorky9Nobody would really do that if the game forum is used properly like sharing of ideas, troubleshooting help, etc.. not trashtalking, trolling, and bashing other players.

    There was a story about someone playing an online game. They didn't like that fact that the other person was continuously killing them (using a hack they claimed). Therefore, using the person's in-game ID, they tracked the person down in real life and killed them. This was in Germany or something.

    Anyway, point is, this has nothing to do with your intended actions (i.e. you don't have to be flaming/trolling). This has everything to do with how some lunatic on the internet interprets your actions. Imagine pissing off the wrong person with your zergling rushes. They can tie your character to your account, which will have your real name. Then bam, goodbye cruel world. There are many unstable people in the world, and the last thing I want is some Diablo-playing psychopath to hunt down my family because I looted the awesome shield before he could.
  • 14 Hide
    pacostrano , July 7, 2010 5:28 PM
    So now what's gonna happen is that people will receive lots of friend request from Chinese WoW gold seller on Facebook.
  • -5 Hide
    Richeemxx , July 7, 2010 5:29 PM
    xophaseryou'll be hearing cricket now, very few people will troll and cause havoc without an alias. So you got to use your credit card name, I am guessing.


    Oddly all I hear are people whining about their names being used. I see very few people actually asking how usernames are going to be verified. I wasn't actually thinking about it until just now but yeah I'm guessing a CC would be mandated. I can't say as I really support that but I do (at least in some ways) support the RealID approach.

    Maybe it will cut back on some of the hazing, false bravado and other BS that goes along with some forums or at least it might make people think twice about some of the stuff they post...then again (looking at my FB page) maybe not.
  • -6 Hide
    Gulli , July 7, 2010 5:32 PM
    How will they know it's your real name?
  • 3 Hide
    leo2kp , July 7, 2010 5:35 PM
    Better yet, why not make people work for the information? Have a Get Info button in which they need to type in the words they see in a displayed picture, then they can see the person's information. What's more, though, is that the user who is being "spied" on will get notification that so-and-so has looked up your information, which will also reveal THEIR real name. It can also help keep a record of who is interested in your identity ;)  Just a thought.
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