Real ID

Blizzard Says the Process Worked (A RealID Spin)

If you’re wondering what process I’m referring to, it’s the process of getting feedback from consumers and adjusting to the feedback given.

If you’re wondering what the process was about, specifically, they’re going to say it’s about RealID.

Says Blizzard executive Michael Ryder in an interview with Eurogamer:

So we always go out to the players and give them a heads up on what we’re thinking about doing, and we look for their feedback.

In this case we got feedback.

We were able to then take that feedback, reconsider, consider all the factors, of which that feedback was one. Ultimately we decided we would not go in that direction for the time being, and see if there were other ways we could address the objective we had, which was to improve the forums generally.

So, all in all, the process worked. We put the word out. We got the feedback. We reconsidered. We made a change. We appreciate the fact that we have such passionate fans.

They got a heck of a lot of feedback. From irate customers to pensive bloggers to trolls ruining Blizzard employee privacy, they certainly got feedback.

And in the end, they still want to consider trying to sway gamers again at a later point in time.

It all seems like spin to me, and while there is a certain truth to what Ryder is saying, they should not be able to look good because of the RealID fiasco.

Additional credits go to Kotaku for my finding this.

ESRB Shows Email Addresses of People Complaining About RealID

This is ironic and somewhat annoying in and of itself, so I’ll just leave the gist here and a link to’s coverage.

The ESRB apparently exposed the email addresses of nearly 1000 complainants against Blizzard’s RealID system recently. How was it done? Through an email that was supposed to update the complainants on the status of their complaint. Namely, that Blizzard recanted their RealID decision.

I’m sure this was a mistake, of course, but I wonder what happened to made this breach occur.


The ESRB has since apologized for the error.

Blizzard Recants RealID Implementation Plans… for Now

It’s nearly four thirty in the morning here in the Philippines, and I woke up all of a sudden because of a bad dream about a dragon swallowing me whole after promising not to because I helped it grow into the dragon it was today. I remember this gist of my dream because I decided to write it down on pen and paper just to see what it would remind me of when I was fully awake.

Two things there. First, my dreams have this bad tendency of being subconsciously based on my fears. Second, when the dreams are messed up, they’re really messed up, leaving me crying uncontrollably upon waking.

In a nutshell, I was planning to post something on my personal blog for once talking about my dream, but after checking my feed reader, it seems my subconscious fears have been allayed… somewhat.

You see, Blizzard has recanted (I love that word… recant) on its earlier decision to make people posting on their forums use their first and last names based on feedback from the gaming public. Normally, this would be the end of it, but I was reading the post on the forums, and I noticed that they added three words that I really dislike: “…at this time…”

For those of you who require an explanation, the phrase “at this time” allows for the possibility of RealID getting added into the game in a similar fashion at a later date, or in a different incarnation altogether. I dislike that possibility immensely and feel that, should they wish to implement something new and potentially problematic like this, they should poll their populace before thinking of doing something similar.

That said, while I am pleased with the current outcome, I will remain cautious regarding how Activision Blizzard handles their business from hereon out.

Now for some links!

Drew of The Beast Within puts a rather good commentary on the recanting here.

Scott Jennings of Broken Toys also has a wonderful post!’s report, and the subsequent comment storm, here.

What’s in a (Activision Blizzard Employee) Name?

I imagine this to be an illustration of just how powerful knowing someone’s full name is on the internet, but it’s also a little creepy, so those with privacy issues, I’m warning you now: you may not like this post.

I checked my feed reader this morning and found that one of those “Like” thingies people note as part of the blog entries that interest them leads to Broken Toys. The Broken Toys post is essentially a link the author found to a new, potentially short-lived blogspot site that features readily available personal information on certain Activision Blizzard employees, including Robert Kotick, discovered just by searching for information based on the person’s first and last name.

There’s a part of me that’s rooting for the people who want the whole Real ID system to go away, but there’s also another part of me that respects the privacy of other people. While the site proves a point on the potential dangers/creepiness/stalker-iness of having your first and last name visible to the greater public via Real ID, I really don’t think it was good form to expose even more people to potential harassment just because you wanted to prove a point.

Of course, the fact that I’m even posting the link sorta makes me hypocritical, as I’m now exposing the information to tons more folks, but I wasn’t sure how to report this startling bit of info to people.

Again, if you have any shred of decency in you, please do not troll the people listed on that site. There are better ways to go about changing a system you disagree with, and that’s by voting with your wallet and not supporting Activision Blizzard products, and making your displeasure known via official channels:
Snail mail address:

Blizzard Entertainment
P.O. Box 18979
Irvine, CA 92612

Information from their ESRB policy:

If you have any questions or wish to file a complaint, please feel free to e-mail us at, call us at (949) 955-1382 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (949) 955-1382      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or send a letter addressed to Blizzard Entertainment Privacy Policy, Attention: Privacy Policy Administrator, at 16215 Alton Pkwy. Irvine CA 92618-3616.

Blizzard, through its parent company, is a licensee of the ESRB’s Privacy Online Program. If you believe that we have not responded to your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactory addressed, please contact ESRB directly at or:

ESRB Privacy Online
Attn: Director, Privacy Online
317 Madison Avenue, 22 Floor
New York, NY 10017

Official Channels information taken from the WoW_Ladies Livejournal Community

Sorta Like Blizzard’s Real ID? China to Require Real Name Registration in Forums

I found this on the first page of’s poll asking people if the current Real ID system is a good idea or not. It’s not 100% related to Blizzard’s Real ID system, but I found a couple of parallels in this article worth discussing, if anyone has further thoughts on the matter of privacy, accountability, and similar thoughts.

Otherwise, I’m just letting this stand as a late June post that got backed up in the intertubes or something like that.

China: Real-name registration required in online bulletins

—- Text follows —-

Last month, in a speech to China’s top legislature, Wang Chen, director of State Council Information Office of China, introduced that “we are also exploring an identity authentication system for users of online bulletin board systems”. Identity authentication, or real-name registration in China’s online environment has been discussed intensively in the past few years, however, Wang Chen’s speech is regarded as the first official announcement of the government enforcement to disable anonymity in popular news portals and business websites.

Officials believe that real-name registration could develop a better Internet culture where every Internet user has to be responsible for his/her online presence and inappropriate online behavior, such as Internet violence, will be decreased. However, as China’s traditional media is tightly controlled, for a lot of Chinese people, Internet is the easiest and might be the only way that they can turn for help when they have encountered social problems to publicize their grievance. Internet is also the place that most people feel free to criticize the government.

According to Hong Kong Takungpao, the State Council Information Office issued a notice in July 2009 “requiring all news websites to cancel their current follow-up message-posting function and implement a real-name registry system. Registrants would not only have to register their real names, but also their personal identification numbers and other information before posting on a news website. Only after confirmation of the identification could he or she send feedback or post information.” Currently, most news portals require Internet users to log in to post comments and identification information is required through their registration. However, fake information will be accepted.

No technical detail is now available regarding the real-name registration. In addition, Wang Chen is also advocating real-name registration system in mobile network and online shopping environment.

Opinions on Blizzard’s Real ID: A Link List

I’m not the intended audience of Blizzard’s Real ID system, as I’m not a paying customer of Blizzard and don’t really have any plans of coming back to the game, barring some insatiable primal need to play a Worgen. As such, feedback from myself would be largely ineffectual.

There are, however, other people who have made their stance known, and whether or not they are paying customers, their ideas ought to be read, understood and respected.

In other words, here are a set of links to various communities and sites discussing the Real ID forum system news in some detail.

News Tidbits:’s coverage of the news, which also includes word of a security flaw that exposes your Real ID without your permission, as well as some clarifications on the Real ID Forum system.

From the Blogroll:

Hellmode’s take on the subject, which pretty much encompasses all the sentiments I currently have regarding the system.

MMO Gamer Chick’s ideas on the matter.

Tobold’s thoughts.

A short post on Kill Ten Rats which, while funny, may be a portent of the future.

Outside the Blogroll:

Hunter’s Insight has some ideas, as well as a joke about Mike Hawk, whoever that is.

Scott Jennings of Broken Toys has a seemingly calm post that has tons of information.

Empowered Fire has more thoughts on this issue.

The Big Bear Butt Blog has some questions and thoughts that are currently answered by the news posts.

The WoW_Ladies LJ Community is abuzz with their own musings on the subject.

Headline: Blizzard and Facebook’s friendly social networking deal launches with ‘Starcraft 2’

A post on Metafilter sums it all up (link goes directly to specific comment in question).

And lastly, The Stoppable Force wants the righteous indignation to stop.

Blizzard to Display Real Names on Official Forum

I basically have no words, so I’ll just post the words below, which came from at 12:40 a.m., Philippine time. Note: Bolded words are my emphasis, and this whole post is a knee-jerk reaction of WTF-ery.

“Recently, we introduced our new Real ID feature <>, a new way to stay connected with your friends on the new Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about our plans for Real ID on our official forums, discuss the design philosophy behind the changes we’re making, and give you a first look at some of the new features we’re adding to the forums to help improve the quality of conversations and make the forums an even more enjoyable place for players to visit.

The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic forums, will remain unchanged.

The official forums have always been a great place to discuss the latest info on our games, offer ideas and suggestions, and share experiences with other players — however, the forums have also earned a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild. Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before. With this change, you’ll see blue posters (i.e. Blizzard employees) posting by their real first and last names on our forums as well.

We also plan to add a number of other features designed to make reading the forums more enjoyable and to empower players with tools to improve the quality of forum discussions. Players will have the ability to rate up or rate down posts so that great topics and replies stand out from the not-so-great; low-rated posts will appear dimmer to show that the community feels that they don’t contribute effectively to the conversation, and Blizzard’s community team will be able to quickly and easily locate highly rated posts to participate in or to highlight discussions that players find worthwhile.

In addition, individual topics will be threaded by context, meaning replies to specific posts will be grouped together, making it easier for players to keep track of multiple conversations within a thread. We’re also adding a way for Blizzard posters to “broadcast” important messages forums-wide , to help communicate breaking news to the community in a clear and timely fashion. Beyond that, we’re improving our forum search function to make locating interesting topics easier and help lower the number of redundant threads, and we have more planned as well.

With the launch of the new, 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. All of our design decisions surrounding Real ID — including these forum changes — have been made with this goal in mind.

We’ve given a great deal of consideration to the design of Real ID as a company, as gamers, and as enthusiastic users of the various online-gaming, communication, and social-networking services that have become available in recent years. As these services have become more and more popular, gamers have become part of an increasingly connected and intimate global community – friendships are much more easily forged across long distances, and at events like DreamHack, GamesCom or our own BlizzCon, we’ve seen first-hand how gamers who may have never actually met in person have formed meaningful real-life relationships across borders and oceans. As the way gamers interact with one another continues to evolve, our goal is to ensure is equipped to handle the ever-changing social-gaming experience for years to come.

For more info on Real ID, check out our Real ID page and FAQ located at We look forward to answering your questions about these upcoming forum changes in the thread below.” – Posted by Vaneras.