Wow.Com is reporting that Blizzard is changing their forum posting system so that your real name will now be displayed when you post.
This is a bad idea.
A bad, bad idea.
If your name is John Smith, you may not think this is so bad. The chance of anyone connecting the Blizzard forum posting John Smith to you is pretty low.
But if your name is Dena Anschwelter, or Lyndon Frellingham, you might see the problem. I used to be a lot less concerned about my real name online; my name was basically the same level of common as, say, Jennifer Brown. But then I got married and it changed to being an absolutely unique id; nobody else has the same first and last name as me. Nobody has the same first and last name as my husband. 50% of online references to [our last name] are us or our immediate family. All of a sudden I got a lot more paranoid.
I have my facebook settings locked so nobody but my friends can see my stuff, and I don’t post things I don’t want getting out. So this change really bothers me. Not that I troll on forums, but that there is a gaming stigma in real life, and I don’t really want people like prospective employers (I am working on being a freelance programmer) seeing that I’m into WoW. I’m just not ok with that, and Blizzard should be more sensitive to me.
There’s a lot of ways to get their stated desires – less trolling, less anonymous idiocy – without using real names.
This had better not be retroactive. I won’t be posting on Blizzard’s forums ever again.
Which means the next time something happens like, say, an official discussion of whether I like Tree Form or not, that affects my class later on, my voice won’t be heard.
I know Blizzard won’t care, but I do.