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Gamer Retaliates Over ‘Blizzard Real-ID’ By Posting Personal Information Of Activision’s CEO
Tom Cheredar   |  

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/637011873

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?

  • John Smith

    Think Blizzard is wrong? I KNOW Blizzard is wrong. This idea is just plain stupid. They have already lost hundreds of WOW accounts and Starcraft II pre-orders over this. The new forums may be “optional”, up to the point when our accounts are hacked and someone posts on the forums with it. I can see my voice machine now. “You have fifty new messages. New message one: Ten thousand gold starting as low as thirty dollars at wow-goldnow.com”

  • Jeff Brunner

    I couldn’t disagree with you more. I think that a little bit of transparency is exactly what is needed not only on the Blizzard forums but on the web generally. I predict a 99% drop in antisocial, hateful, demeaning and overly dramatic posts on those forums simply because posters will not want to own up to their own childish behavior.

    The anonymity of the web has reduced the level of discourse so much that it’s hardly worth joining or following any web forum. I’d love to see more companies do something similar. I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to hold people accountable for what they say in public.

  • cde

    The easist solution for Blizzard is to have two forums. One general discussion, with realid, the other a support only forum, without realid, since people are forced to go there for game support. The telephone and email support lines are pretty much useless with overuse.

  • cde

    Furthermore, political donations of that amount, as well as the CE* level salaries, are by law, public information. Hell, CEOs often have to include their SSN in SEC filings. He canlt get mad at someone for decidingto point out public information. That’s like blizzard getting mad about people reporting this whole RealID issue.

  • Tollendyr

    Granted I was no longer raiding (quit that back in BC) and really only playing intermittently, and casually, but this was just the kick in the pants I needed to cancel my account. I realize that isn’t a viable option to those people still loving WoW, but when I canceled I did make sure to fill out the comment box to let them know that Real ID was a deciding factor in my decision.

  • Schutzenegger

    Like Jeff Brunner (real name, Jeff Brunner?) said, it will help reduce the amount of disparaging remarks made online.
    Anonymity online has been a bane, as people don’t care who they are saying what too, since gamrguy2331 doesn’t have any feelings anyway…

  • AguaMyst

    Two things that concern me the most are that (1) being a female, I do not want people trying to hunt me down for any stupid reason and (2) disclosing information about minors who play the game is illegal in this country without parental consent. I believe that if the account holders are the parents, the parents will most likely want to file a privacy lawsuit as they will not have wanted their own information public either.

    I say this is only being imposed on the user because Blizzard does not have a handle on their own forums.

  • http://ventureondath.guildomatic.com Malfurion

    I think non of this has anything to do with Blizzard Entertainment Themselves, But much Rather The Puppet master Parent Company Actinvasion… cwutidithar ! :) anywhoo dont get all up in Blizzards Grill Tbh Its Activision that need a kick in the bloody head

  • http://reddit the voice of reason

    you guys crack me up..
    i came on to reddit to read some stuff about the news and a decent portion of what is on here is all about world of warcraft. like a biiiig portion.. i’m from australia and we dont have the antisocial culture that seems to be crankin in the states. so i find it bizarre that so many people would chuck on their “intellectual warrior” hat and go for the big words when talking about this god forsaken game. seriously, who gives a sh!t about this game at all??? has anyone ever gone bananas over a slight change to a crossword puzzle? its the same damn thing. all i can say is i feel really awkward reading this stuff you guys are talking about… personally i dont care that this is how you want to spend ur time.. but it’s real sad y’know? to illlustrate my point, i live in australia, i work, i’m young, i vote, etc.. regular dude… when i was in my teens all that september 11 stuff was going on and a few people i knew started getting really upset and depressed that the world was in for another massive sh!t fight. but i realised recently, that apart from whats on tv and the net – not one aspect of my life at all has been effected by what happened. not one. if media didnt exist i wouldn’t know. full stop. i haven’t wathced tv or anything like that for over a year now – our prime minister was sacked and the 1st ever female was brought in. i only found out from someone at work. otherwise i wouldnt have known..
    my point is, that if you get involved in all this media, be it tv, news papers, web games whatever… you will invariably end up upset. reason being, you are confronted with stuff you whould care about but its too far removed from you life for you to do anything about it.

    all i’m suggesting to all you dudes is you need to escape that stuff.. you’ll feel better.. you wouldnt know about this unless you were on the net checking it out. and now ur mad coz there’s nothing you can do.

    just focus on the things that are actually in your life instead of trying to reach out to the entire world and you’ll find yourselves a lot happier. you may even get laid.

    finally, stop bloggin about this ridiculously pointless waste of time on the internet!!! ur draggin other people down with ya.

    peace hippies

  • Brad

    So many people miss the point in this argument. The real point is that Blizzard is playing up the accountability point, but you would achieve just as much accountability with global handles (that you are not allowed to change) without going all the way to real names. If accountability was their true goal, they would never have skipped all the way to something this stupidly intrusive.

    This is just a push to get your real name so they can integrate your battle.net account with your facebook account (http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/press/pressreleases.html?100505). They see the money in it and it’s clouding their judgement as far as I’m concerned.

    This change is wrong and unnecessary, and talk about a slippery slope. Imagine this: “We changed the forums to real names to handle trolls and flamers, and now we have decided that in order to keep control over ninjas and griefers we will also be implementing real names within the game for all players.” It’s not a big logical jump and we all know it.

  • codewar

    What about the celebs that play WoW. Would they want everyone to know who they really are in rl? I don’t think so. I’m sure they have their hands full with paparazzi out of game.

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