Blizzard and Real ID

Blizzard is under fire for their announcement that starting with the release of Starcraft 2 on July 27, the only way to post on the offical Blizzard forums is with your REAL NAME. They have a new thing called “Real ID” that’s tied to your real name (which is part of your account+billing information and not changeable once you’ve made your account already). You can add someone as a “Real ID friend” ingame, using their account email address, and if they accept, you can see them if they’re online on ANY character associated to their account in world of warcraft (allowing for cross-server, cross-faction whispering), as well as other blizzard games (cross-game whispering). That’s pretty cool, since it’s turning into a chat client, and I don’t mind doing that with people I know in real life. The only reservation is that I’ll never be able to “hide” from anyone (sometimes, I just feel like playing by myself for a while or something, but this way, my Real ID friends will see that I’m online no matter what I do) but I’m pretty much just OK with that since it’s a multiplayer game anyway, and I have to learn to just say no if I don’t feel like doing something at that moment or have to leave or something. So that’s pretty ok.

However, tying real names to a public forum and making it not a choice seems like a pretty bad breach of privacy.

Original post here:

Right now, there are reports that you can mine someone’s real name out of their character name in WoW. I’m sure that they’ll close this security hole eventually, but what if they don’t? What if people find more holes in the future? I don’t even want to think about wow spam on all kinds of different networks, or people stalking each other, or people finding out that I’m a girl this way and harassment…

It’s really highlighting how important it is to get all your personal information off of facebook. You can really get a lot from someone’s first and last name. We’re living in exciting times, I guess, since things are changing so fast and we’re watching companies fumble with privacy concerns (facebook, blizzard, google).

What is blizzard thinking? Seriously? I think it’s such a bad idea that they’re going to roll it all back and be like “just kidding, we got full of hubris and forgot what it was like down on the ground. Sorry guys” but that’s what I keep hoping they’ll do about the lack of chat channels in starcraft 2 and the horrible custom map system. They seem to have no idea what makes the community successful and have all these ideas about how to “discourage spammers and rudeness” but all their measures just turn off regular people. Spammers and assholes WILL find their way past these restrictions, EASILY. But now if someone posts something in a forum, it’ll be really easy for random assholes on the internet to find them on facebook and insult them via fbook message. You know? It’ll be really horrible.

In non-Blizzard video gaming news, I must have this Taric skin:
It is fabulous. Those are pink leg warmers.
It is a reference to WoW paladin t5 armor. Warning: the following link is a ymtnd, which means there’s annoying sound and a tiled picture, but it’s all sfw.
I guess this was Blizzard-related anyway. haha.

1 comment

  1. Alan told me Blizzard is dropping the real name in forums thing just like you predicted. Also in terms of privacy, yeah, facebook is not private. Only put stuff there you don’t mind others seeing. It surprises me that some people put their addresses in there. You’d think it’d be a no-brainer.

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