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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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Would need more info
By Aloonatic on 7/8/2010 2:36:47 AM , Rating: 2
So your real name is John Smith. Well guess what, there are freakin thousands of John Smiths out there. Middles names? Yep, lots of John Philip Smiths too I'm sure.

So unless you have a strange/rare name then you are still going to be pretty anonymous.

Still, it'll be "fun" to see them get sued when 2 people have a big argument and one of them uses the information to track the other down and beat them with their rubber night-elf death-mace or something.

RE: Would need more info
By kd9280 on 7/8/2010 8:53:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah - it's funny when people use rubber weapons.

It'll be tragic when John Smith is murdered by some crazy knife-wielding psychopath because he dared to say something bad about said psychopath's character's gearscore.

Oh, and even worse when that John Smith who is murdered by crazy knife-wielding psychopath is not the John Smith from the WoW forums anyway.

It's happened.

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