In case you haven't heard, Blizzard was planning, with the launch of Starcraft 2
later this month, to have your actual, legal name show up in all of your postings on their official forum. All of the internetz lost their minds with this news. Showing your real name was supposed to lead to decreased trolling and generally bring down people acting like douchebags.
Tuesday night, I asked the Wife of Thunder about this, as she is a female gamer and has a very different outlook on things then I do. For example, when she first saw the Tzeentch Lord of Change model for Warhammer, she commented that it looked like he was wearing one of Elvis' jumpsuits:
Her first thought was that now women would stay away from World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2 out of fear of being targeted. Both online and offline, it's a major issue for female gamers. Exactly how much of an issue was unknown to me then, but after a few more days of uproar, oh boy do I see how much it means for a female gamer to be anonymous. Stalking, both on and offline, is a major issue that well how to put this nicely....ummm....hmmm...well the sort of World of Warcraft player that gets REALLY REALLY into it is exactly the sort of guy that would stalk a female. See Guild, The. Episode 1.
Penny Arcade today brought to light a connection, just hours before Blizzard pulled the plug on RealID, of a business deal with Blizzard and Facebook: Well, from May, but I never noticed it...which is what Blizzard wanted!
No wonder they wanted to use real names for their games.
Considering I do everything under the name "Dog of Thunder" I'm not exactly on board with the whole "real name" concept, though it's not a huge secret either (just "like" me on Facebook!). ARGH! See what I did there? Facebook has wormed its way into every aspect of the internet, but for now, its evil tentacles are leaving our internet forums alone.
Give it time. This issue will come up again, and again and again. In a few generations, the whole concept of anonymity will be a historical relic. Like the Wii or the 8 track.