On the 7th I posted about Blizzard’s desire to make users of their products use their real names when posting to their forums (Gaming/Internet Anonymity). Although I didn’t necessarily agree with it, I do understand their reasoning for attempting to introduce it.
However, the backlash and community furore that followed the announcement has made them rethink their plans. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8806623.stm
Mike Mourhaime, founder and chief executive of Blizzard: “We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums […] As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be needed for posting on official Blizzard forums.”
I think that Blizzard made their plan with the best intentions, but had lost touch with what being a gamer means to a lot of people. Although gaming is now a multimillion $/£/€/¥ industry with various companies looking for ways to make it more accessible and lucrative there is still a certain stigma to admitting to being a gamer from a lot of people. Especially if you are over the age of 25. Gamers should sort out some sort of secret handshake or wink so that they can identify each other in the pub for when the talk about the World Cup dries up they can bring up the topic of the best way to get the Pin Cushion Achievement on Crackdown 2 without drawing blank stares.
I think Blizzard deserve double kudos here. Firstly for attempting (if a little bit shortsightedly) to reduce the amount of douchery in the community, but secondly for having the balls to turn around and say ‘fair enough, we hear you – it’s not appropriate at this time…”.
Gaming, and the gaming community is changing and evolving. It’s certainly changed a lot in the past ten years. In five years time if Blizzard or some other company tried it again there will probably be more acceptance and general uptake.
Peas and loaves
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