"I'm just an average man
With an average life
I work from nine to five,
Hey hell I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone
In my average home
But why do I always feel like
I'm in the twilight zone?
I always feel like
somebody's watching meeee
and I have no privacy..."
Ah yes, Blizzard's newest announcement has their forum community singing a new tune these days. Soon, you will be required to disclose your Real ID (first and last name) in order to post on the offical forums.
My first reaction... "-_-"
To be honest, I am not an active poster on the offical forums (or any forums for that matter) so the change has little effect on me personally. Thinking ahead, should I ever feel the need to post on the forums (e.g. Blizz decides to rock my world with another "ToL on cooldown" type announcement) this Real ID news would do very little to deter me.
Do I have a common name? No. I've only been able to find one other person in the US who shares my first and last name, so it would not be too difficult to locate me (or him for that matter).
Am I an exhibitionist? No more so than most I suppose. I have a facebook profile. I have a blog that links to it. Clearly I must crave some attention / enjoy exhibiting my RL.
Do I fear the repercussions of connecting my character to my real life self? No. There's nothing I would say in "character" that I would not in person. There is nothing I do game related that would jeopardize my job/life/reputation. The golden rule doesn't stop at login screens. There's little doubt that anybody who had desired to find me/my info would have already done so even before this change takes effect.
So, do I agree with Blizzards announcement? Absolutely not.
I'm not "upset" about this news, because I'm detached from its effects, but it's blatantly obvious to me how terrible a decision this is for those who will be very much affected by it. The logic behind it is shaky at best...
"Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment"
Perhaps. But, if that's all Blizzard has in the "Pros" column, they've obviously neglected to weigh the negatives.
A very one sided debate rages (see here, here, and elsewhere) across the online community, and if there's any justice left on the net, WoWaholics will not be forced to choose between their hobby and their privacy.
The masses are speaking. Let's find out if anybody at Blizzard is listening.