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Blizzard forum goers will soon no longer have to fear the dreaded internet troll.  (Source:
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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RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By BruceLeet on 7/7/2010 11:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
and now our real names are being used. This is NOT the path to more security. Now with a simple Google search after reading a forum post, someone can find your Facebook page, your Myspace, possibly your Email address and much much more.

Not to step on anyones feelings....well, here we go.

If you were so determined for anonymity on the Internet you wouldn't be posting your real information, Facebook is okay, there are Privacy settings. You can make yourself invisible on that website (but who wants that right). It's all these websites that you registered at, facebook games that you have clicked ALLOW on to play to pull your PERSONAL INFORMATION and all the countless Terms of Service from all over the web that you have agreed to let them give out/sell your email information to 'partners' (why do you think that website was free to register at) and hey you even agreed to BLIZZARDS TOS.

It all boils down to people like you, who want to believe that their information is...."safe".

By Reclaimer77 on 7/8/2010 4:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see any logic in your argument Bruce. For one thing, if you go to my Facebook page, it's completely locked down. The only thing my Facebook page let's a non-friend know is that I have a Facebook page. And no, I did not click ALLOW on Facebook apps. Stupid accusation.

But how would you get to my page? You would HAVE TO KNOW MY NAME first.

It all boils down to people like you, who want to believe that their information is...."safe".

LOL right, I'm the bad guy here. Where did I ever say true safety was a guarantee? I didn't. But there's a difference between a comfortable level of risk and an outright endangerment.

By ZachDontScare on 7/8/2010 4:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
Thats a nonsense argument. The question is not whether your info is out there ... its whether psychos and stalkers on WoW can connect the name of the guy who killed their character online with a real person.

You obviously have to watch what personal information you put online, particularly to prevent identity theft. But that does not follow then that if you put some information on facebook, you must therefore allow any psycho who wants to hunt you down and knife you for killing his character to know who you are. Even without a Facebook or other Social Networking account, you can find information about people online. If someone intends to do you harm, its not a picture of your dog thats important, its where you live, and that can be found out easily enough via many sources.

People need to think of this as a physical security issue, not an identity theft issue.

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