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Blizzard Demands Your Real Name for Forums

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • zorky9
    kudos! more benefits than risks imo.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • tat2demon
    I cant wait for the first story about someone flipping out over a post, tracking that person down and murdering their family.
    Reply
  • chriskrum
    I 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)
    Reply
  • xophaser
    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.
    Reply
  • TunaSoda
    This is great news for Steam ;)
    Reply
  • leo2kp
    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 ;)
    Reply
  • JasonAkkerman
    http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20100707
    Reply
  • zorky9
    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.
    Reply
  • mgoblue3296
    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."
    Reply