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Blizzard forum goers will soon no longer have to fear the dreaded internet troll.  (Source: Amazon.com)
Changes will first go into effect on Starcraft II forums, WoW forums likely next

Internet trolling charitably could be referred to as a pop culture phenomena.  People online seem often to develop proclivities for trying to get under each others' skin and in the most extreme cases a troll is born.

But trolls days of lurking around internet message boards may be limited -- at least if Activision Blizzard can help it.  The company, which makes the best-selling
 World of Warcraft and Starcraft franchise has announced that it will be forcing players to use their real names on online message boards.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
, will be the first game to enact the new rules when it releases on July 27.  Those changes will quickly be rolled out to other games -- likely including World of Warcraft, the world's most popular paid MMORPG, with over 11.5 million subscribers.

The company is offering players the option of putting their in-game handle next to their real world name.  However, it will not currently force players to do this.  It says that players choosing to do so will be helping to create a more positive environment.

It says the changes in generally should cut down on trolling and nasty behavior in the forums.  

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says such erasures of privacy are nothing new.  He points out that the world's largest social networking site, Facebook, recently switched to requiring real names, and that businesses are typically well within their rights to demand such provisions.  

That said, he said such moves are disappointing as part of the magic of the internet is anonymity and alter-egos.  He states, "Part of the fun of the online gaming would was the sense that you could construct a character different form who you were in the real world."



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Maybe go down to the courthouse
By JakLee on 7/7/2010 7:50:58 PM , Rating: 1
I don't play WOW, DDO player here (F2P option rules).
BUT, if you really are that worried about your real name being posted on a website, try going down to the courthouse and changing your name to something more "internet friendly" like: Jose Madre (or just Joe Mama if you must); Mike Hunt; Ben Dover; or as mentioned above Fish Taco.
You can always use AKA on any "legal" forms if you want.




RE: Maybe go down to the courthouse
By Bateluer on 7/8/2010 4:54:19 AM , Rating: 3
You'd be willing to go down to the courthouse, change your name, update all financial records, legal records, medical records, etc, just to continue playing WoW/posting on Blizzard's forums and be forever known as Mike Hunt?

I'd just stop playing the game.


By JakLee on 8/3/2010 5:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
Riiiight, because if you changed it once, you could never change it again (and anyways, who WOULDN"T want to be known as Kickass McAwesome AKA Mike Hunt, AKA Bill Murphy


"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton














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