- I’ve always said employees should be using their real names to provide transparency and accountability. If you can’t handle being the public face of a company and all that implies, get another job. It’s that easy. It is not always that FUN, mind you.
- My customers are not public citizens. Making them public citizens against their will is crappy. I can think of half a dozen reasons why someone should be allowed to be anonymous, and I’m not going to list them because any one of them is good enough. Want people to stop acting like asshats on the boards? Suspend in game accounts for out of game behavior. Hire more mods. Close the board. Whatever. This is just chickenshit.
- This will not kill WoW. Remember, the percentage of WoW customers who read [WoW's] forums is in the single digits. The number of people who post is even smaller. If this does anything major to their sub numbers, I’ll be very surprised.
- I am working for a number of companies right now and three of them were advised by their legal departments to… not do what Blizzard is doing. One does not allow me to use my real name despite my case for doing so. Another allowed me to use my real name after giving them something in writing that stated I absolved them of responsibility in the event of harassment or worse. And a third company doesn’t let ANYONE use any handle, in game or out, that Googles up as a real name lest the real owner of that name get harassed. As I said on Scott’s blog, Blizzard clearly doesn’t think they are liable. These three other MMO companies clearly think they could be. We won’t know the legal truth until Blizzard gets sued for wrongful death.
- Yes, I said death, and no, I’m not overreacting. Someone is going to get stalked through this tool because some whackadoodle fell in love with an avatar. Maybe the victim did a little roleplay and the stalker took it too seriously. Maybe the victim hurt the stalker’s widdle feewings during a message board discussion. Who knows. Marriages break up (and reform) every day thanks to MMO drama leaking out into the real world. Blizzard should know this better than anyone. Good lord, you can’t go a week without an international advice column posting some complaint about a spouse or a kid that is too involved in WoW. That’s not Blizzard’s fault.
But “Here’s the real name of the person who sexxored you and then changed her mind/called you an idiot in front of all your friends/won’t talk to you because you’re creepy” will lead to something disastrous. Unfortunately, the person to whom the disaster occurs will be one of the people who is sitting here today scoffing at the “scare-mongerers” and “alarmists.” Because the scare-mongerers and the alarmists won’t be posting.