Today In “Yay For Common Sense” News…
Blizzard, the company that owns the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft, has decided after three days that you don’t need to have your real name made public, after all.
They were attempting to “stop flame wars” on their forums, and decided that the quickest and cheapest solution was to remove the anonymity of the commenters. The other two solutions that I can think of offhand (more moderators; no forums) didn’t seem to be considered. But you know what else they didn’t consider? That sometimes people have good reasons for not wanting their real names posted on the internet. And that, what with all the flame wars and so on, their online environment wasn’t exactly a safe one to have your real name shared in.
Still, common sense – and, probably, the knowledge that a fair proportion of their income would suddenly disappear if they persisted – has meant that they dropped the idea. For now. It’s still not brilliant, and I don’t think I’ll ever play there again (I played WoW for a while before I went to uni), but at least the people who are playing can remain anonymous. Incidentally, this Shakesville thread has some perninent comments, and some useful links.