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Where Everybody Knows Your Name  
02:01pm 09/07/2010
You know, I can't help but derive a certain amount of satisfaction from this thing Blizzard is doing. The Real ID thing, where all of your forum posts will now be linked to your real life first and last name. It's not that I don't think there are potential identity theft issues. Some of the concerns being raised are valid ones and honestly, I hate this sort of thing when it's mandated by a government, the way it is in China. But when it's a private company choosing to do it, and it's an environment like the message boards of the most popular MMO in the world, I have to admit to grinning in slightly sadistic glee at all the smug little forum trolls who won't be able to hide behind their anonymity anymore.

Despite the identity theft concerns I think that they're not as big a deal as people are making them out to be. It isn't like Blizzard is giving out social security numbers or credit card info. Out of curiosity, I visited the boards and looked up the posting history of some of the loudest protesters. Just as I suspected, many of the people most upset about this are also the biggest douche bags. Their real beef with the system is that it won't let them act like little shits without everyone knowing who they are anymore. The fact that there are perceived security risks is just a convenient excuse for them to hide behind.

Of course, there are many people who simply don't provide Blizzard with their real names to begin with. I think enough do, though, that this will make a difference on the forums. Many are kids whose parents signed them up, for instance. Do I really care that much? No. I don't do WoW and I definitely don't do its community. But seeing the types of people who tend to post there have to deal with this still makes me snicker a little.
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03:47am 11/07/2010 (UTC)
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