Blizzard recently announced a really stupid but probably necessary idea; namely forcing everybody on their forums to go by their real name, and only their real name. There were reasonable objections, such as the problems it would create for women or the fact that the entire idea of World of Warcraft is about creating a fantasy persona in the first place, and that some people take these games just a little too seriously.
Then there were unreasonable, overly dramatic objections, which is generally what we expect from people who take Internet forums seriously, and most of which basically centered around people being too ashamed to admit they play video games to their friends. Our personal favorite was the idiot who gave his real name to BBC News in order to complain that if the government or the charities he worked with discover he played a computer game in his spare time, you know, they might not hire him, as if it were a shameful thing that nobody did except for a special few. What, does he work for the Israelis or something? The drama about “I don’t want anybody to know I’m a gamer” is ridiculous since gamers aren’t exactly an oppressed minority: 40% of American adults were playing video games as of 2006, and that number has probably doubled by now thanks to the millions of Wiis Nintendo stamped out.
Either way, Blizzard partially gave in: you can still be an obnoxious jerk on the WoW forums, but they’re going full steam ahead on Battle.net. Blizzard fans cheered for their partial victory, although we’re surprised Blizzard didn’t just say “fine, first inital and full last name. Also, whiners? We’re deleting your characters. ALL OF THEM. What are you going to do? Play ‘Age of Conan’? MUHUHAHAHA! PAY! PAY US MORE, SLAVES!” C’mon, you know Bobby Kotick was thinking it.
[ via Kotaku ]