Blizzard forums to require real names

WoW, Starcraft and Diablo developer (don’t forget The Lost Vikings either!) Blizzard is causing a stir by announcing that their official forums will soon require posters to use their real names when contributing.

The idea behind this move is on the surface a noble one, by cutting out the anonymity of forum posting, they hope to create a more mature and sociable space for communication amongst their legions of fans. Internet forums can often be harsh and cruel places, with people hiding behind amusing nicknames such as xxDeathSLAYERx and venting bile all over their fellow users. Blizzard obviously hopes that people who are representing themselves in a more personal manner will create a more mature attitude for discussion and debate.

However, while their motives may be noble, the change is already proving to be controversial and seemingly unpopular. One of the celebrated facts of the internet is that it allows you anonymity, it allows people to craft their own identity and represent themselves however they please, much in the same way that a game like WoW offers you the chance to craft an avatar.

Personal security and privacy is also an issue, whilst currently if a few forum trolls start a flame war and threaten to burn down each others houses, no-one will bat an eyelid, with personal information being available for all to see, there are concerns about how easily forum users would be able to track each other down, or E-stalk each other. With perhaps the largest gaming community in the world present on, there are bound to be a few weirdos or troublemakers in the mix and this change could provide them with an opportunity for mischief.

The official forum thread detailing the changes currently runs at 1138 pages long and 22740 posts. We pity the person whose job it is to read through all that.

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Written by Michael J

Michael is a self proclaimed PC gaming fanatic and is equally at home with all genres, bar platformers and puzzle games. Except Bejeweled, he's awesome at that. Seriously, he is totally like second on his Facebook Bejeweled leaderboard. And they said he'd never amount to anything...

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