Blizzard to require users to use their real name on official forums

Written by Luke Ponio    Tuesday, 06 July 2010 15:22 2 Logo

In a decision that will have large implications on future Blizzard forum activity, Blizzard has announced that they will require anyone posting or replying on an official Blizzard forum to use their Real ID (first and last name) with an option to display their in-game name alongside it. This will affect the StarCraft II forums prior to the July 27th release of the game and the World of Warcraft forums near the launch of the Cataclysm expansion. The classic will be unchanged.

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 is equipped to handle the ever-changing social-gaming experience for years to come.

I'm sorry Blizzard but I don't want potential employers to know that I have 12 level 80 WoW characters (I don't) or how much time I spend playing online games. There is still a stigma that video game players are anti-social and lazy. I also don't need that 13 year old I've been ganking all day to find my name and address with a simple Google search. Who knows what vile havoc children (and adults) will be able to carry out with that information.

The good news is that fan sites like Team Liquid for StarCraft and ArenaJunkies for WoW will see more activity. Hopefully this change will backfire on Blizzard and they will be forced to find another way to deal with the common internet troll.