Blizzard’s New Real ID System
I am pretty pumped about the Real ID system. Blizzard’s latest brilliant idea is to allow you to associate your name with your battle.net account and, therefore, hang out with your IRL friends online. Sounds good, right?
Well, then, let’s look at this missive from the World of Warcraft forums:
The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID—that is, their real-life first and last name—with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it.
I heard a million trolls cry out in suffering and, then, silence. Well, silence—with the sound of a billion keystrokes—as they flipped out on the WoW forums.
The World of Warcraft forums are scenes of some of the worst sexist, homophobic, and just downright nasty crap that I have ever seen. They are a cesspool of every stereotype known to gaming—and a few new ones that you hadn’t thought of yet.
The women whom I play Warcraft with don’t post there. The few men who will admit to me that they have posted there say that it’s a dark and scary place. I think that it’s a brilliant idea to unmask the trolls—especially in a game where one measures their worth on their gear score.
I do suspect that the Real ID system is open to tampering—already, players are discussing how to register with fake names. But I hope that it stops most of the anonymous, sexist, homophobic vitriol that’s posted there.
I’m going to put in a little stereotype of my own—$50 says that every dude who writes “your a fag” in the forums would never say that in real life—and probably has a gay friend or two. Time to own up to it, and let go of your inner douchebag.