The Aftermath of Real ID

The Aftermath of Real ID

It’s not going away as it’s already been integrated into the game. At least we won’t get our real identities attached to the forums. Personally, I don’t post on the forums that often. When I do post on forums, it’s usually to advertise that my guild is recruiting players (an absolute, shameless plug I might add).

I can’t pretend to know what the full storyline was behind the closed doors of Blizzard. I am a little worried about the direction that this network is going. I don’t have an issue with the idea of Real ID. I think the ability to communicate across platforms and servers is a great idea. But greater control over who can and cannot be on a friend’s list is needed.

Now as for the forums, that idea has been shelved (at least temporarily). That’s not to say that one day it isn’t possible for that to thrive. In order for that to happen though, we need to exist in some super utopian society where stalking and harassment simply cannot occur at all. That day is a long time away. We probably won’t ever live to see it.

A compromise

I do think Blizzard might’ve been on to something though when they set off on implementing a united ID of sorts for players. I might have different characters on my World of Warcraft account, a Starcraft 2 account and potentially a Diablo 3 account. Perhaps I don’t want to go through the hassle of logging in and out everytime I want to switch game forums. Having the forums display first and last name is (obviously) a very bad idea.

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But what about a handle that’s universal? That would work. For example, I could apply Matticus as my universal handle and whenever I’d post something, it could attach my chosen character name (like Matticus [Mallet] or something). Haven’t quite thought of all the negatives yet and there’s bound to be some, but I know it won’t generate such an uproar across the entire forums blogosphere community internet.

realid-bbc realid-msnbc

But most importantly…

 realid-reddit

(High five to anyone who reads this blog who is also a Reddit reader)

Posting employee info was wrong though

One thing I did not agree with at all was when certain individuals took it upon themselves to just publically post information about their names, their jobs, their addresses, pictures of their family and so forth. Personally, I felt that action crossed some line. I don’t know, maybe it’s my idea of ethics and my time in school which taught me better. Actual implementation (if it happened) wouldn’t have been for a couple of weeks. Many arguments across the internet already raised the privacy issues. I just don’t think it was the right thing to do. I mean these guys are developers and people who work on the game in some aspect of it too. They’re the architects of the world we love. Do we really want to threaten them and run them out of a job (or possibly worse than that)?

Like, I don’t need to see a nuke go off to know it’ll level a city.

I do know that a number of players voted with immediately cancelling their subscriptions (and some closed their accounts). That’s probably the better way to go especially if it’s something that affects you on such a personal level like this.

Did anyone really like the change? I mean really?

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Those are most likely not the official numbers, but I generated them purely based off of Twitter, blogs, opinion pieces and people I spoke with. For sure, a solid majority of the community was strongly against it. There were some individuals who felt indifferent or gave off the “doesn’t bother me, I don’t care vibe”. But, I was hard pressed to really find anyone who was seriously gung ho and all for it.

Or maybe I just didn’t look hard enough.

Anyway, my point does sort of stand. You were either against it or felt indifferent. Not many (if any) truly embraced it.

Why the UFM policy doesn’t work

“I don’t like that you’re clogging up my twitter timeline with your junk”

“I don’t want to get spoiled by <some upcoming expansion>”

“You don’t talk enough about warriors” <- (Yeah, I know. I actually had someone tell me this.)

UFM basically means Unfollow Me. I have a twitter policy in place simply because I’ve had former followers who disapproved or disliked aspects of my tweets or personality. Following is a volunteer action. If you don’t like someone on twitter, you do not have to follow them.

And this was the logic provided by players who weren’t really affected by the ramifications of Real ID.

“If you don’t want your name shown on the forums, then don’t post”

For the most part, that was the exact solution I was going to use.

Ultimately though, the carpet bombing solution would lock out a lot of productive individuals who contribute guides, advice, or other beneficial things to the forums. The cost-benefit ratio is greatly skewed where it becomes way too costly. The rewards did not even come close to exceeding the risk. Players who troll are going to troll anyway.

For the vast majority of us, I like to think that we’re all level headed, reasonable individuals. Looking someone up, tracing their location or phone number, and making menacing phone calls or threats? Hey, you just crossed over to criminal territory. Yeah that guy you’re calling up may be the biggest douche bag on the forums, but right now, you’d be the one that’d face jail time or fines or some other form of punishment.

It’s something I learned (and somehow still remember) from my criminology courses. Someone who is going to shoplift a product is probably going to do it anyway regardless of the consequences. The main reason that stores have cameras, store personnel, bars on windows and so forth is to act as a form of deterrence for the rest of us normal, civilized people.

In any case, it’s all over with. It’s done.

At least for now.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

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  1. […] to RealID topic. As I said or didn’t say, I was enraged about the RealID on forums change. While I appreciated the effort to make forums troll-less, I was quite sure this is wrong way to go. Yes, it could quite possibly lead to lowering the number […]