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Earlier this week, Blizzard announced they would be changing their forums to display people’s actual names instead of their avatar handle when posting.  After a huge backlash from their fans and the gaming community, it appears the popular PC game company has changed its stance on the issue and will not be making this modification to the forums after all.

I for one never had a problem with the change, as I think using a person’s real name makes them more accountable for the crap that comes out of their mouth.  Unfortunately I’m in the vocal minority, meaning things will go back to the status quo as the majority demands it.  For more information regarding why Blizzard changed their minds, hit the jump.

Blizzard staffer Nethaera, on behalf of Blizzard CEO and president Mike Morhaime, had the following to say on the issue:

“I’d like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.”

The fact that the Blizzard CEO got involved proves this was an issue the company took very seriously.  While I’m disappointed that they changed their stance, it is always nice to see the voice of the community being heard and understood by a big developer.

Maybe one day the gaming community will be ready and mature enough to use their actual names when talking online, but that day is not today.

Source: Kotaku

  1. Seriously? You’re disappointed? Removing anonymity would create more harm than good. You would still have trolls, forum activity would decrease, and you can quickly turn online disagreements into real life problems. I see no benefit out of enforcing real ID. Very glad Blizzard listened to the community on this one.

    • I do believe I’m being serious when I say I’m disappointed. You see, I completely agree with you that all the bad things you mentioned will happen if Blizzard removed anonymity on their forums. It’s simply disappointing to know that they would happen at all, and that it would create more harm than good.

  2. LOVE the GG image. Good movie.

  3. I’m also extremely disappointed. I’ve just about had it with internet anonymity. Notice how polite John Marston is to everyone in Red Dead Redemption, or on Deadwood? Know why? Because you could get SHOT if you disrespected someone in the Wild West.

    Not that I want to live in anarchy, but there’s something to be said for people being accountable for their words as well as their actions.

  4. My problem isn’t the forums. If you could just never post on them and avoid it fine. That makes your forums a ghost town and creates the aforementioned issues but so be it. The real problem is the massive security holes in RealID and the fact that certain mods can already pull up a persons RealID even now. My account information should not be tied to my in game character EVER. If they are my real life friend then they already know who my toons are, they don’t need RealID to help them figure it out.

    Cryptic has had a account system that works exactly like RealID since the launch of Champions Online but they had the foresight to tie it to an account name, not your real name. If a developer that much smaller and less popular than Blizzard can do it right on the first try why can’t they?

  5. Had they done away with anonymity gamers would think twice before being a dick. As for having bigots use your name to stalk you, well you can only blame yourself for not being able to outwit an internet bully.

  6. avatar djaxis

    Ferahtsu, that is an utter load of bull, similar to saying the only reason someone got shot was because they didn’t move out of the way of the bullet

    the fact of the matter, is that people, not just gamers, tend to the stupid thing way too often. i personally, do think twice about being a dick online, but would that stop some idiot from using my name to stalk me up? nope. just cause i yield getting onto a highway, does that mean soccer mom in the larger-than-me van is going to yield? prolly not

    there’s a million things a person can do to “outwit” an internet bully, but there’s a billion things the same bully could do to you, your family, or your life BEFORE you can even try to “outwit” them

    i grew up being on the reciving end of bullying in more ways than just online, and i promise you, lack of internet anonymity would do nothing to help people. console ban and perma ban hasn’t stopped people, even when they’re paying for online, adding real names to the mix would just make it easier for the bad seeds to really cause harm instead of just net rampages

  7. avatar NoFuneral

    There is no reason that players can’t be held accountable if they all have the same name on the forums. All they need to do is tie your ability to post to your battlenet account and they can take actions against negative posters as needed.

    Internet anonymity is something we likely won’t be able to avoid while also respecting the privacy of mature internet citizens.

    In general I agree with you but as someone that has followed this story very closely from the beginning, I can tell you it can be quite dangerous to reveal your real name online, and a few people went so far as to prove that when a Blizzard employee posted with their real name as a show of good faith. They found out a lot of detailed information about the employee, including where they live.

  8. avatar Llort

    im disappointed too. i was looking forward to seeing 4chan harrass the crap out of some kid that posted on the forums with a funny name.

  9. Too bad. Might have made them more accountable for their mouths.

    • avatar LeKa

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