If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

The gaming at my house hasn’t been all that great at my house in the last month or so — we’ve been a little pressed with home repair, dealing with insurance, firing our insurance agent and starting the hunt for another insurance agent, and oh, researching a good breeder to buy a dog.

But the last week, we decided we’d get a new game. Or rather, I decided that the husband and I were getting a new game, because it was on sale on Steam; $40 bucks got us both the game, and all the DLC available for Borderlands. It was a clumsy game, but honestly, the weekend of the fourth of July was the happiest we’d been in weeks.

It’d been hard to face facts, but now we broke down and handled things. I ordered a new — bigger and better! — laptop from Dell. We are making a game plan on how to replace the electronics and in what order of priority. (Camera, PS3, Wii, games, etc.) As well as what we’re not replacing, and instead putting the money ito a Puppy Fund. Tabletop gaming is getting back to normal as well — we’d not exactly been shining there, either as hosts or as players — and so life seems to be returning to it’s pre-burglary state slowly.

But then Blizzard came and crapped on my pancakes.

RealID. It’s a bad idea. 4chan, bless it’s soul, easily illustrated why it’s a bad idea– especially for women who game. The general idea is to strip away the veil of anonymity, face John Gabriel’s Internet Fuckwad Theory head on and strip away the anonymity that trolls use to protect themselves.

Only we know that’s not the case. Trolls are going to be trolls no matter what light you shine under their bridge. What they are opening us up to is new levels of harassment, especially for women, transsexual and other ‘unprotected’ classes of people… and even the average dominant white male who didn’t’ know the douche bag who he denied entrance to his guild was mentally unstable enough to hit Spokeo and see what info they could dig up to hurt someone with later. People do crazy things. Gamers, sadly, attract more then their fair share of people who cannot cope with reality and use games to escape it. It’s simply a fact of the fandom, as it were.

It’s pretty scary what you can dig up with a name and an email. I’m not saying how much of my information is in that thing, but it was enough to make me squirm a bit. One of the Blizzard blues found out the hard way when he put out his name to prove it was ‘safe’ and then had his phone number, home address, parent’s home address, Facebook, and other pertinent information all linked within seconds.

So, ladies: What are we going to do about it? Take it passively as our rights to privacy are stripped? Walk with our money to a new game? Scream into the void until something is done? I’m honestly not sure yet — I really like my game, and the people I play with. I don’t want to try and build the relationships I’ve made OR endure the learning curve. I’ve played WoW for 5 years and never, ever missed a payment or taken a break.

But there might be a time for it. This might be that time.

3 responses

  1. I’m glad things are getting back to normal for you after the burglary. 🙂

    I’ve never played WoW or any MMORPG. This has more to do with the fact that I don’t have the computer or the time to devote to it rather than not being interested. I’ve gazed longingly at City of Heroes many a time. I totally understand why it is so popular.

    I would definitely be put off by being required to expose my name. I’ve got a pretty common first and last name. Even so, I appear on the first page of a Google search for my name. I don’t mind that so much but would I want to reveal my name to an entire forum full of gamers? Hell no. There is a reason I keep my mic off about 90% of the time I play on Xbox Live. Some gamers do not take kindly to women. It’s sad, but true. Revealing of real names would do nothing to diminish the action of trolls. It would only encourage them to take their trolling off the online environment and into real life. I mean, has Blizzard never heard any of the antics of the /b/ board on 4chan?

    It’s not just the risk of being exposed to misogyny. Those with names that don’t sound white and christian will probably have to worry about an increase in racist attacks.

    I wish that the online environment wasn’t populated by sexist, racist and homophobic scum but unfortunately they do tend to be quite loud. A lot of gamers already have to be careful about who they play with and what they let be known about themselves for their own emotional (and sometimes physical when it comes to stalking!) well-being. The fact that Blizzard doesn’t seem to have considered this at all makes me think that they must either be blind to the necessity of anoninmity or that they just don’t care. If I had to put money on it I’d say it’s the former.


    July 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm

  2. I don’t play WoW, but hubby does. He has opted out of the RealID. If one of the MMOs that I play implemented that though I’d be out the door pretty fast. I really don’t think they have a right to force me to use my real name. Gaming is an escape and I want to have a choice for when my real name is revealed.

    As a writer I rely on my anonymity for when I’m reviewing a game. Last think I want is some jackass harassing me in the game I’m playing because of something I wrote or people knowing I’m a writer when I’m in a game. Not that I don’t stand by what I write, but honesty comes from people not knowing who I am sometimes.

    There is no choice in what Blizzard are doing.


    July 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm

  3. Good news though, eh? Blizzard have decided not to implement Real ID! I think they still have plans to reduce trolling but plan on discussing it with the WoW community to find a better solution.


    July 12, 2010 at 8:53 am

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