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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 Myg on 7/8/2010 4:47:40 AM , Rating: 0
Finally people will have to take responsibility for their actions online out of fear of reprocussions.

This can only be a good change.

RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By Suntan on 7/8/2010 11:13:36 AM , Rating: 4
This can only be a good change.

Not really. Because it is entirely too easy for anyone with an index finger and the ability to spell “google” to see a large portion of your private life. Even parts of your private life that you may have no shame of, but you just do not want certain people to be aware of every detail.

My boss is close to 60. He likes to shoot animals and pull heavy loads with his oversized SUV. He has no understanding why anyone would ever want to play a video game, let alone talk about them on the internet, and if he knew I played video games, or did anything that wasn’t considered “manly”, I would receive less respect in the workplace and it could “unofficially” hurt my career, even though it occurs in my personal life and has no bearing on my professional life.

Now it’s easy to sit in your parent’s basement and think the world doesn’t work that way, or that my boss “sounds like a jerk” and I should just get a new boos. But the reality is that you portray different parts of yourself to acquaintances based on the relationship you have with them. Web archiving+easy searching of all that online data+easy way to link it to your real life relationships circumvent this social norm that has been around for centuries.

I think anyone posting anything on the internet that can easily be pulled up on google and linked to them is just asking for it to be unfairly used against them at some point in their life.


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