At first, I didn’t really mind RealID. What with the not sleeping or eating, we deathknights have time to kill (to coin a phrase) and firing up a WoW client on the steam-powered gnomish computing device lets me see what the World is like to those outside it. And RealID gives me the chance to keep a line of communication open with my raid leader no matter what server or faction I’m alting on.
So, when I heard that the official forums were going to go to RealID, and display the poster’s real first and last names, I thought that the answer was simple – just don’t use the forums.
Then I thought about it. And I talked it over with my guild. And one of my guildies, Kaels, had this to say:
They’re basically cutting off the following populations from forum access:
– All women
– People who have reason not to use their legal name socially (trans people, people with embarrassing or intolerable names)
– All stalking victims
– All victims of abuse, past or present
– All public figures
– Anyone with reason to think a current or prospective employer may Google them
– Anyone who’s financially dependent on someone who disapproves of WoW (college students, etc)
– Anyone who is or may ever be in a divorce or custody dispute
– Anyone who’s ever let information slip in game that could endanger them (LGBT identity, age, certain jobs)
– Anyone who has concerns about the mental/emotional stability of anyone they’ve interacted with in the game
– And anyone with privacy concerns who just doesn’t want their real name linked with WoW.
But still, you don’t have to use the forums, right? Unless, of course, you’re beta testing or you have a technical issue or something. And the Blizzard employees have the same exposure…only maybe not.
And what’s this about RealID integration with Facebook? That would make me sick to my stomach, if I had one.
Apparently Bashiok has already had his privacy violated when he posted his real name in an effort to show that it was all okay. Maybe the experience will teach them something.
Or, maybe, we’ve found the real WoW killer – RealID. I know if the Facebook integration shakes out like it’s sounding it will then, well, I’ll miss you all terribly.
And don’t you have some Federal law – COPA – about sharing children’s identities? I know that a lot of my guildies have or *are* kids. How is that going to work, again?
I can’t believe that Blizzard hasn’t put thought into this. I’m forced to conclude that they have, and they either don’t understand the issues (likely) or don’t care.
A lot of people claim that they’re already public and that it’s no big deal. I note that very few of these people are – or think they are – on Kaels’ list.
[UPDATE] I think I’ll portray this as “came to their senses” rather than “backed down”, okay? Still keeping RealID disabled, though. Looks like all the concerns I had when I was agonizing to sign up in the first place had some justification.