Blizzard has announced on Battle.net
that all official forum users will soon be required to post under their real names.
As reported on Eurogamer
, this will come into effect first for the Starcraft II
forums before the game's release on July 27th. The WoW
forums will make the transition closer to the launch of Cataclysm
. The other Battle.net forums will also make the change "with the release of the Starcraft II community site
". Existing posts will remain as they are, however.
This comes after Blizzard's recent introduction of an optional Real ID
feature, essentially a social network for fans of Blizzard games. Using Real ID, players share their real names with their friends, enabling them to communicate cross-game and see all the characters of their friends.
Community manager Nethaera was the one to break the news to the forums, stating that the forums have "earned a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild
"Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before
," he said.
The announcement has rumbled the community, with the North American WoW thread
on the issue reaching almost 1,000 pages in less than 24 hours. Nethaera announced that the aim of the change was to create a gaming environment "that’s highly social, and which provides an ideal place for gamers to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships
Though social networking sites like Facebook have removed much of the anonymity of the internet, such a move has not been made in gaming before. What do you think of the change? Is forcing people to use their real name in the forums a breach of privacy, or could this move be a catalyst in making online interactions a more pleasant experience? Let us know your thoughts in the forums