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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 omnicronx on 7/8/2010 12:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
The password is only one of two tihngs you need to hack an account. The other part is the username. Before linkage, WoW accounts had an arbitrary username that you never had to type if you checked the "remember username" checkbox. This made it impossible for keylogging viruses to find out your username!
If a keylogger/virus is logging everything on your machine, then your security is bound to be compromised at some point anyways, regardless of whether or not one application has the 'remember username' checkbox on.

If its a virus designed to say specifically go after certain things in certain conditions, (such as a login screen), a virus for example could just as easily know what to log, including the username your are submitting, regardless of whether you've typed it or not.

So in reality good security practice should solve your problems, which chances are, you have not been doing if you have key loggers or viruses on your machine.. Seems like a Chicken and Egg non problem to me.. You can't really be compromised unless you are already compromised ;)

If someone can take your name and email address or name and figure out how to access your machine, you've done something wrong..

Now of course there are real life issues such as someone trying to find someone in real life that they have a grudge with, but thats a different issue ;)

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