« Going Meta: Web Reputation Building for Building Web Reputation Systems | Main | Bryce tonight at UX Book Club in Columbus »

RealID and WoW Forums: Classic Identity Design Mistake

Over on Habitat Chronicles I've posted a rant explaining why Blizzard's new policy on using users' real names on forum posts is lose-lose. It's not just a rant, I actually propose a solution.

Here's a short excerpt to whet your appetite:


The idea Blizzard has is a common initial misconception - that people will "play nice" if they have to show their real names to each other [...] and the community is responding with the longest threads in WoW history, and blog posts everywhere.
[...]
The Facebook-analogy of Real Identity = Quality Contributions falls apart when applied Gaming. Google + Friends + Foes + Bosses + My Real Name + The fact I have 6 80th Level Characters = Too Much Information.

Facebook does NOT leak this much information, and the US Senate is looking into their privacy practices.
[...]
In short:


  • The trolls now get more information to harass

  • The best players will leave

  • The casual players will panic when they realize that their private-time activity is now public.


Read the full post for my suggested solution.