I can Faciliate My Own Meaningful Relationships

I will be honest and say if not for the ability to post under a pseudonym then this blog wouldn’t exist, and besides Z  or Pugnacious priest is a much more exciting and exotic then my real name.

For the purpose of my writing  – I am am just some chick that plays  a computer game that lives in Australia.  Struth.  Z or PP is a Shadow Priest of the Moon,  born and bred in Azeroth.

I would never have felt the freedom to express myself  – especially in the beginning so publicly,  if I could not have ‘hidden’ under a blogging name. I state opinions,  I make mistakes,  I have a sence of humor which may not be  the same as other people, I like playing with new things, like the audio post, mucking around creatively with Gimp – 600 public posts are readable. Commentable,  copy and pastable,  linkable, googleable. 

Blogging is different to a forum, but there is still self expression, still opinions,  still mistakes, and still humor, people go to forums for information, advice and they are also very much public.

I have a very common name,  it’s not going to tell you much, and has low googleability. However it shows my gender  quite clear, but do I really want people who call girls  F’n ‘w*ores ( in vent) to know my real name? Because that player exists.

Blizzard will argue that anything that breeches T&C’s are moderated.  If I had been called a F*cken W*ore in a forum – then it would have eventually been moderated, but this was done in Vent.

Not every person is mean and nasty,  not everyone is sexist, racist, bigoted, annoying, out to fraud us, steal our names,  blackmail or use the information to judge us.  But those people exist and  thus we have become more protective of our personal Identity.

The biggest issues I have ever had with people I have interacted gaming wise have occurred on services outside Blizzards control. A Guild Website, and the guild troll, and the Pug  in vent that called another female player a F*cken W*ore – and I could say nothing because I had already been muted, we use these services because Blizzard have not been able to develop ones with good useability, and they are essential to our playing.

Blizzard may control what happens under their sphere of influence,  but they cannot control or moderate  any interaction that happens outside their domain, and the information obtainable from their domain will be useable outside.

We are in a social media age – information we post publically gets indexed, and is searchable, and is accessible  by services which, for example, with someone’s email  can pull up any public information on any email address – social media crawlers extract information from everywhere, and create a single profile  that often for a minimal membership fee  will tell you their twitter / linked in / any blogs / email addresses/ IP addresses / – If you have even a drop of   ‘Google Fu’ you will find a lot of information.

While Blizzards vision is a nice ideal,  in their  announcement  they said

“it’s important to us to create a new and different kind of online gaming environment — one that’s highly social, and which provides an ideal place for gamers to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships”

Will this sharing make us realise that we do actually play with real people,  and make us nicer players?  Nicer forum posters? Make you more likely to form a better relationship?

Highly unlikely – because there are people who just do not care enough – or do not  have good intent.

Funnily enough – Blizzard probably already have a list of people who are more likely to cause trouble for the majority.  These are the people who have already received forums bans, game bans ,  they get punished by Blizzard, and get let back in the game to do it all over again.  How many people get repeatedly banned from forums or the game? Why aren’t they permi banned?  Maybe because they are the ones paying for name changes and server transfers the most.

Blizzard is trying to make the  connections we make while playing  “long lasting, meaningful relationships”  When often all it requires is for me to maintain this relationship is a hi! – or exchange on external contact information. 

I don’t need facilitation from Blizzard in deciding what personal  information to share.  

All of those other social media tools allow you to hide your webpresence, or use an alternate name publically. Any privacy concerns get addressed publically,  and encouraged to change in international media.   Blizzard by trying to facilitate meaningful relationships through Real ID  and this recent change to forums,  but will be opening up personally identifiable information on a publically accessable forum – which will be available to all untill the internet dies.

Is Blizzard saying we can’t form real relationships unless we use our real identity? What have I been doing already?  The choices towards the people I choose to stay in contact with,  and their choice to stay in contact with me have already been made. 

When it comes to our reluctance to share – do you really blame us?  Will Blizzard staff be following the same example?

The question shouldn’t be ” What do you have to hide?”   but ” Why is it any of your business to know?”

So It’s a  No to Real Names on forums.  What would make it more user friendly?

Lock it down so you need to be logged in to read anything with anyones real names.

Turn off google indexing

Permanently Ban people from the game who have shown that by their own actions in game, or on forums that they are of questionable character – and have proven by their actions that they have no intent on making the game a friendly place to be.  

Then we can talk.


21 Responses to “I can Faciliate My Own Meaningful Relationships”

  1. 1 Narx July 8, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Real names on the forums scares me for a number of reasons.

    I have emailed you, so you have my full name and I have yours. But I am pretty sure a google search will yield heaps for you (You have a very common name) and next to nothing for me.

    I like that. Anonymity on the internet is important because ultimately we are all strangers to each other. We don’t teach stranger danger to kids in schools for nothing.

    I won’t lie. I do occasionally troll the official forums. But I also give helpful advice and other things too. I don’t exist as far as the internet is really concerned, and I like that. I like because once someone pissed me off and because they are stupid, whilst all I had was a name, an email address and a suburb I managed to find their home, and other information.

    It’s very much like what happened to one of the dev team. He posted his name, and his parents, phone numbers and other information was able to be sourced. Given the problems concerning identity theft, is it really worth it?

    I know that I will stop posting on the forums when this change comes into effect. A blog is one thing. You can create anonymity on a blog. But forcing people to use their names to try and create a more socially acceptable atmosphere…

    I can understand the merit of it. But I don’t use Facebook, and I don’t use Myspace, or anything else that gives away who I am for a reason. I only real ID people I have met face to face… call me paranoid but I have a fairly unique name in that it shows up exactly once in a google search from something I did when I was a naive kid, and I don’t particularly want that number of results to expand.

    • 2 Pugnacious Priest July 8, 2010 at 2:20 am

      I promise not to google you – I would not gain anything from it, and the information available voluntarily is enough for our purpose. Even then with the blogging Anonymity – I can’t be too precious about it because the blog is very public , and I feel perhaps that if called on it, I need to be at least somewhat accountable for anything I have said, but I have been happy with my little wall so far.

      • 3 Narx July 8, 2010 at 2:27 am

        You could if you wanted. Like I said, there is I think just the 1 hit for me. And I have worked to make it that way.

        The thing is as well, whilst you have your toon names, and its out in the open and so forth, when you step back from the game and the blog, you are an entirely ‘separate’ person. What Sarah says and what Zahraah say are two separate things, inasmuch as the PP is a combination of both.

        For all we know, Sarah has a separate blog that is entirely away from WoW. We don’t know as readers of you blog unless you tell us, and even then, that’s just Blog Sarah and not PP or even Sarah away from the PC.

        Until you get someone stalking you for real (ie as in shady emails, text messages, letters, something tangible) you can be pretty sure that the wall is working :D.

        • 4 Pugnacious Priest July 8, 2010 at 4:07 am

          There was a email sent to my non public addy, but it wasn’t shady – was kind of funny – but it all depends on intent, and in that case no bad intent was intended.

      • 5 Narx July 8, 2010 at 2:28 am

        I meant shady emails to non-public email addresses.

  2. 6 Shiva July 8, 2010 at 4:52 am

    I am screwed so hard. While my first name is common (it is, believe me, even if it sounds foreign) my last name is somewhat unique. I know of only two families having the name.

    Anyone googling my last name could absolutely find out where either I or my family lives. Things from when I was in high school 6 years ago show up. I don’t actually care if anyone here knows I am from Florida; but Google my name and I bet everyone will know where I live as well.

    • 7 Pugnacious Priest July 8, 2010 at 7:01 am

      its also kinda funny how much information people reveal about themselves in comments – and that sorta thing is what adds up. Hunting down someone on the internet doesnt always mean that every thing your after is in one source – but it can confirm various other pieces of information eg 6 years ago, makes you around 24.. which is backed up by what seems to be your year of birth in your email ad?

  3. 8 Pewter July 8, 2010 at 8:33 am

    My name also has low google-risk, but all the ramifications of this change make me angry. Because other people are misogynists and I don’t want to be harassed for being female, I can no longer participate on the game forums. Names are not neutral.

  4. 9 Impa July 8, 2010 at 8:34 am

    I so agree with you on this. Like the other ppl replying here, I also have a unique name. Its not like I hide it completly from public, not in the blogging sphere. And also have a facebook profile. But they are not linked togheter.

    I kind of like to have my personal web stuff on one side and my wow gaming on another.
    As we all know ppl in games can tend to rage out over small things, cant see why that should come to my other side as well.

    Good to have each thing in its own, imo.

  5. 10 Cassaberee July 8, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Unfortunately for me the real ID system coming to the WoW forums will make me not post. I like my annonimity to much and don’t need stalkers and weirdos finding my e-mail if they don’t like something i say.

    I do like the in-game system as it allows me to stay in touch with real-life friends and the few WoW players i talk to outside of the game.

    Not that i act as an “a$$hat” to people, but i like being able to have an identity solely for the game. And i feel for the real-life females who get insulted by jerks who feel their sex is superior or those who needs to hurle profanity in chat/vent to us. Its a game if your that fustrated with it, then your doing it wrong. Play nice, be social, have fun! Is all pretty simple.

    BTW nice to meet you Sarah, i am James one of your fateful readers. 🙂

  6. 11 Shiva July 9, 2010 at 2:20 am

    This is a huge warning to your readers.

    Know I don’t approve of GearScore, but the new version of the mod allows ANYONE to see your RealID name.

  7. 13 Dyre42 July 9, 2010 at 5:52 am

    I’m in the same boat as Narx. My full name is uncommon to the point that any google search for it points directly at me. I had the foresight to realize this back before the intertubes were around and I’ve made a point of never using my full name on the net for anything. I’ve enabled parental controls on my account and opted out of Real ID. Not going to be an issue for me.

    However the wow forums have gotten so bad that you can’t even post a well worded and concise LFM 4 Weekly ICC10hm post on the realm forums without attracting trolls. Blizzard had to do something. Although I admit wasn’t expecting them to swat flies with a bazooka.

  8. 14 Cassandri July 10, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Unfortunately for me my first name+last name is unique (in the world to my knowledge) so there’s absolutely no way that I’d go around arguing on the forums under my real name.

    I believe that the law in Australia has different rules for personal and sensitive information (can’t remember the exact terms). Any piece of information about you that, taken alone, can describe you but doesn’t identify you as an individual is personal – your eye colour for instance. Any piece of information that is unique to you alone – and can be used to identify you – credit card number etc – is handled under the law, and by employees, with utmost care.

    For most people their name is personal information. For me my name is sensitive information.

    What do I think Blizzard could do to improve the forums? How about scaling back and improving the UI and loading speed? The forums are horrid and slow atm – I usually try and read them via blue.mmo-champion or the like.

    How about fixing the fact that half the time my Battle.net details are rejected by the login? How about fixing the loss of messages by posters through time-outs and having to login *after* you’ve carefully written 5 paragraphs?

    • 15 Cassandri July 10, 2010 at 12:49 am

      How about giving us an /ignore feature that works on their forums? Then we can simply add repeat troll offends (realm forums… yuck) and never ever see their replies again.

      How about allowing us to down or up rank posts? Let the community moderate ignorant or antagonistic messages.

  9. 16 Narx July 10, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Notice: Mike Morhaime, CEO and one of the founders left at Blizzard, has enforced a moratorium and this will no longer be going ahead 🙂

    • 17 Pugnacious Priest July 10, 2010 at 5:31 am

      i saw.. very interesting.. i would have thought that a test group of players.. these so called game testers would have produced a much similar reaction, and there would have been no need for it to have gone so far as it did. Was waiting for the privacy commissions to step in..

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