Gamers have been in an uproar ever since Blizzard, developer of popular MMORPG World of Warcraft and the upcoming Starcraft II, decided to switch their forums over to a Real-ID system, which forces players to be identified by both their first and last name when they comment.
Most gamers argue that this switch is unnecessary and invites unintended invasion of privacy to the user if they chose to participate in forum discussion — and I’m hard pressed to agree. [NOTE: Having retired my pen name TechGOnzo almost a year ago, World of Warcraft is pretty much the only place I don’t use my real name on the Internet. The thought that immature gamer-rage comments could theoretically pop up in Google results when people search for me just never seemed all that appealing.]
At least one irate gamer is retaliating against the Real-ID change by publishing the personal information of Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision, of which Blizzard is a part.
Here’s the information the gamer posted [via ASnowStormByAnyOtherName]:
The big man at Activision. CEO. The source of all Blizzard’s community problems of the last few years. Here’s his facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobby-Kotick/63 7011873
He’s not very open, but his friends and family are.
Big donations to the GOP ($28,000 in 2007, and raised over $200k for Bush!) but makes $1.5 million a year and just dumped a huge amount of his company’s stock at the beginning of this year. You know, I’d be selling my Blizzard stock right now too.
A few things to note: To our non-U.S. readers… Both political affiliations and how much money a person makes are considered blasphemous to disclose to strangers in our country. (I realize some people will disagree with that, but I’m only listing it for context.)
Also worth noting before you consider contacting/harassing anyone at Activision-Blizzard (including Kotick): The information the anonymous blogger posts about Kotick’s family is below the belt.
Blizzard has stated that the Real-ID switch only affects players who choose to participate in the *new* Starcraft II forum and *new* WoW Expansion Cataclysm forum. All forum comments on the old boards aren’t changing over to real names, meaning there isn’t a breach of privacy.
So, if you don’t want your real name associated with your recreational gaming activity, then don’t use the official Blizzard message boards.
It does not, however, mean Blizzard is off the hook with their new “Real-ID” push. People play video games to escape from reality. Making them accountable for everything they say when communicating with other players is contrary to escaping reality, and thus, it’s really fucking stupid.
Anyone else think Blizzard is wrong?