MMOs,  Social Networking & Media

Pass the Popcorn

No, I’m not dead. There have been quite a few mornings when mortality almost seemed preferable to going into the much-hated job (the damned coin never seemed to fall the right way up!) but in the end I’m still here.

I’ve been quite cheered up by the whole RealID fiasco – I haven’t seen drama of this level in years. Soooo juicy! I’m horrified over the whole idea of RealID, obviously – I refuse to accent RealID friends, and I will no longer post on the forums once that goes into effect – but the drama itself is so entertaining. The “outing” of Blizz CM Bashiok was hilarious. Horrifying for him personally, of course, and I’m not unfeeling about that, but quite a good illustration of how disastrously this can go wrong. For him it was unwanted pizza deliveries, calls to his home number, and a public posting of past legal transgressions that I’m sure he would have preferred to not be public for the whole world to know. For someone else, it could be fatal. It has happened before.

Although Blizzard seems set on rolling out our real names to everyone connected to us in game, I can’t help but think that they have to be at least a little bit nervous about this. It’s not as though they can’t afford to lose a few subscriptions here and there, granted. But no company wants something of this magnitude rocking the gaming world.

It would be hilariously ironic if the much-discussed WoW Killer was, in the end, Blizzard themselves.

EDIT: I had to link to a seriously great post on the subject from Righteous Orbs: Seriously Not Okay. Also check out the tip on disabling your addon’s ability to post your info. I was aware that this was a problem, but I didn’t know how to prevent it. Thanks!

Forcing people to post using their real names is going to open up anybody with a “foreign” sounding name to racist or xenophobic abuse. It is going to open up people with female-identifying names to misogynist abuse and sexual harassment. And even if we ignore the out-and-out bigots who make up a vocal part of the online community, the fact is that even otherwise sensible people can and will make judgments about you based on your gender or perceoved background – your guide to DK DPS in patch 4.3 will be better received if you post it as David Williamson instead of Jalpa Patel or Helen Roberts.

Nicely put! Go and read that post.

EDIT: And this, from Hardcore Casual – another good post. See?  I’m not the only one who finds this whole thing supremely amusing.  :D

LAST EDIT: And here it is, the source of it all: Blizzard and Facebook’s friendly social networking deal launches with ‘StarCraft II. Our measly subscriptions and pricey sparkle ponies weren’t enough to feed the greed. We wuz sold out, friends and raiders…we wuz sold out.

One Comment

  • TFM

    Yeah, drama is getting juicy.

    I am sad over all this, thou. I have few friends (you included) I would love to be able to chat with cross-realm (shame it is, but my play patterns rarely match with people I genuinely like). Thing is, I won’t support RealID by using it “as is” without handles instead of rl names and option for flagging characters/play sessions as “hidden”.

    And forums won’t see me again. I am in luxury situation, that I can alert the world about my gaming hobby, and I won’t suffer any professional backlash, but so far I managed to keep almost all non-professional info about me off www and I intend to continue this good practice.

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