People who use the Blizzard Forums are not too happy about Blizzards most recent announcement. The update will require players to show their real first and last names. Tagged along with their name will be their username. You can read the full announcement at the very bottom of this post, after some words from me.
A lot of people are not too happy about this announcement, but I never really understood why. Parents have put the idea into us that sharing our real name on the internet is dangerous, and that their are perverts out their that will track us down. Giving your real name isn’t actually as dangerous as you might think. Giving away other information on the other hand is a completely different matter.
In order to track a person down based only on their first and last name would require a lot of research and some major hacking powers. Hackers aren’t interested in some kid, and perverts don’t have the ability to hack anything. Those people that you hear about that got in trouble because they met someone online and then stuff happened is true, but the stuff only happens because the stupid kid gives out too much information. You can do a lot with a person’s Address, Social Security Number, and other things that you definitely should not give out or announce on the internet.
So what if I went to these forums and signed up. We will see my name, plus my username. Dylan Radcliffe — Radical Dylan. That is pretty straight forward, I’ve been using my first name in my username for a very long time. Now let us do a basic google search on both of my names.
Googled Dylan Radcliffe
We get my Twitter account straight off the bat, and then 2 myspace accounts and 2 facebook accounts which aren’t even mine. Followed by a whole bunch of junk that has absolutely no relevance to me. Continue on to page 2 and you get some more stupid stuff (supposedly I have made a game) and then Capsule Computers information and posts. Go to images, and Dylan Sprouse, Bob Dylan and Daniel Radcliffe fill the images. There is my Twitter Image up their though. WOO!
Now We google Radical Dylan:
Again we have some twitter stuff, and some posts I’ve made on other sites. In the images we have my Xbox Live info image and my twitter image again.
Very little of anything that has to do with me, and this is coming from a person who has attempted to make himself extremely famous on the internet. Did it work? No! But all this goes to show, that their are 6billion people in the world, most of which use the internet. There is no way, that your name alone will ever be a dangerous thing to give out online.
Recently, we introduced our new Real ID feature, a new way to stay connected with your friends on the new Battle.net. Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about our plans for Real ID on our official forums, discuss the design philosophy behind the changes we’re making, and give you a first look at some of the new features we’re adding to the forums to help improve the quality of conversations and make the forums an even more enjoyable place for players to visit.
The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.
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.
In addition, individual topics will be threaded by context, meaning replies to specific posts will be grouped together, making it easier for players to keep track of multiple conversations within a thread. We’re also adding a way for Blizzard posters to “broadcast” important messages forums-wide , to help communicate breaking news to the community in a clear and timely fashion. Beyond that, we’re improving our forum search function to make locating interesting topics easier and help lower the number of redundant threads, and we have more planned as well.
With the launch of the new Battle.net, it’s important to us to create a new and different kind of online gaming environment — one that’s highly social, and which provides an ideal place for gamers to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships. All of our design decisions surrounding Real ID — including these forum changes — have been made with this goal in mind.
We’ve given a great deal of consideration to the design of Real ID as a company, as gamers, and as enthusiastic users of the various online-gaming, communication, and social-networking services that have become available in recent years. As these services have become more and more popular, gamers have become part of an increasingly connected and intimate global community – friendships are much more easily forged across long distances, and at conventions like PAX or our own BlizzCon, we’ve seen first-hand how gamers who may have never actually met in person have formed meaningful real-life relationships across borders and oceans. As the way gamers interact with one another continues to evolve, our goal is to ensure Battle.net is equipped to handle the ever-changing social-gaming experience for years to come.