|Gathering herbs in World of Warcraft, Burning Crusade|
Fine, but, the next step in the still-unrevealed plan was to institute something called Real ID in the WoW game. What this new coding allowed: players could designate other people as real life friends and thus, see and communicate with all the characters their friends played on any Blizzard game, and be seen and contacted by them as well. It went further -- friends of friends could also see the real name of anyone who made a neighbor or relative a Real ID friend. A good friend that I know and trust in real life is one thing, but I do not know who he has friended!
|Sentinel Hill at night|
As a result of the announcement, several thousand players expressed their astonishment, dismay, and rejection of this idea in a huge thread -- nearly 2,500 pages and nearly 50,000 posts. Most everyone said No - as did I.
For background, I have respected Blizzard for a dozen years or more. One reason is they have always made a Mac version of their games, and I refuse to buy a PC just so I can game. Another reason is their products have been great! Yet another reason is they have always been relatively responsive to their customer base. I played the original Warcraft series, the Diablo series and the Starcraft series. I own collector's editions of the original WoW game and the first two expansions. I played in the original WoW beta back in 2004. I have several characters at max level (currently 80), who are fully trained in their professions. Want a jewelcrafter, blacksmith, alchemist, inscriber, tailor, enchanter, engineer, or leatherworker who can craft any item possible? I've got one. Most of my characters are also fully skilled in the lesser professions of cooking, fishing and first aid.
|Fourth of July Fireworks outside Ironforge|
I can't speak for everyone who plays WoW, but I will assert, with as much might as I can muster, that I do NOT play wow to network socially. I play WoW to enjoy a pastime that my non-gamer family and non-gamer friends and non-gamer co-workers don't know about and cannot begin to appreciate. My sister and my fellow employees don't want to know the names of my characters across all the games and even if they did, I don't care to share that information with them. I don't necessarily want my closest friends to know that I've started a brand new character on a different server just so I can immerse myself in the role-playing aspect of the game without interruption.
|Death Knights can be beautiful, and they can walk on water too|
I post on numerous forums, and I blog under a pseudonym. Nowhere (aside from logging in to my employer's online time sheet) is my real name a requirement.
I am Ennealogic. I am Ennealogic here, and on Palingates, The Mudflats, Immoral Minority, Washington Post, Huffington Post, NY Times and even on the Wall Street Journal. I am Ennealogic on Think Progress and Gawker and Daily Kos, and countless other sites. What I say becomes part of my cred as Ennealogic. I do not need to be known as my real name for the same cred to apply. A rose by any other name… I am Ennealogic when it comes to my political thoughts and opinions. You can Google Ennealogic and find out what I think. I do not need to reveal my real name in order to express my thoughts and opinions about anything.
I am reminded of the time when Mike Doogan outed AKM from The Mudflats. We had this discussion then, and his excuse was that AKM had no right to express her opinion and also remain anonymous. I will never forgive that oaf for crudely and gratuitously attempting to damage a real person who provided a real service to so many readers. AKM's words and stories have not grown better (or worse) now that we know the name that goes with the acronym. AKM is now and always has been a reliable, responsible, creative, investigative, and indomitable voice ringing out across the country (and the world!). She neither lost nor gained any credibility with the outing, but she certainly lost the protection of her anonymity. She does not speak to the question of whether her business ventures were adversely affected or her family threatened.
|Flying over Northrend is an incredible experience|
Anyway -- my recent absence from all things politics and Sarah Palin in particular is a result of time spent opposing this recent scheme brought to us by yet one more corporatist who thinks selling customer identities is the path to even more financial rewards.
I have one thing to say in closing: measure carefully any request/demand to surrender privacy. Make sure that you can trust those who ask or require it, and make sure that such disclosure is indeed warranted and needed. In the case of Activision-Blizzard, nobody needs to know that my character name belongs to my real name. Nobody but those who bill my credit card. And if they insist on linking that real information with my avatar and character names, I will surely turn my back on their games. It will pain me immensely to do so, but I will not abide by such a violation of trust. They promised me they would keep my personal information inviolate. I expect no less.