I think I better understand the different positions people have, for and against, on the Real ID.
So, I’m moving on, letting the topic go.
I’m left holding the position that I agree with the idea of making the Official WoW forums a place where a player, whether brand new or long time and knowledgeable, can go and feel comfortable asking questions, posting suggestions, look for help or request technical support.
I disagree with the steps Blizzard is taking, in making the forums a place where direct interaction requires the publication of a player’s legal first and last names.
That being said, I personally have not posted anything in the Official WoW Forums in years. Literally years. I have also not felt the desire to do so. I have my blog, and while I’ll admit the Official forums are the best choice to get suggestions and guides for new players in front of their eyes when they need help, I just don’t have any interest in going there. Generally, if someone does a search for Druid Tank info on the internet, they can find me.
Gnomer makes a great point in a recent post about slippery slopes of privacy intrusion. Today Real ID in the game, tomorrow Real ID on the forums, next year, who knows? Maybe Real ID on the WoW Armory to track what players are doing today, live as they do it, regardless of character. Who knows? We’ve got Achievements there already to track what individual characters have been up to, so it’s really not the stretch of imagination you might think.
Still. There’s been enough talk about it for me. Blizzard knows how we feel, and what they do, they do.
All I can do is decide for myself what I’m going to do. I wasn’t posting in the forums before, so not posting in the future is no big deal. My real name is already out there thanks to my website, so it doesn’t stop me from asking Technical Support questions on the Official WoW forums if I ever need to, either.
I’m not going to quit the game, even to send some kind of message, because I still like the game. The game is fine. I keep finding more fun things to do in the game, increasingly with Cassie, and I’m looking forward to what the future may bring in Cataclysm.
I reserve the right, however, to change my mind if and when Blizzard continues to show a lack of respect for the privacy of it’s customers.
WoW.com has been reporting that Blizzard has changed it’s mind about revealing their CM real names publicly. Why? In consideration for the privacy and safety of their employees.
If they do go ahead with Real ID for customers but not for the CMs, then I’d have no choice but to interpret that as Blizzard caring for the safety and privacy of the employees that work for them, but not of their customers.
At that point, yes, I’d likely quit the game. I love the game, but a company that shows they’re aware of safety concerns for their employees but are fine exposing their customers to the same hazards isn’t a company I’d want to continue to do business with.
Time will certainly tell. For now, I’m going to drop it, and enjoy the game.