Online game outfit Blizzard has come up with a wizard idea which it thinks will protect users from fraud.
It is forcing them to use their real names while playing games.
The rationalisation is that spammers and their ilk will have problems if they are forced to use their real names.
This is true but spammers will also be able to take the real names that they see and target users much better for spam and hack attacks.
Needless to say the Blizzard forums are packed with complaints about the stupid idea. Apparently it is OKish if you have a name like John Smith. But if you are known by something less common such as Randy Warmbottom or Mike Hunt you are going to be identified and harassed.
Women are less likely to play if they are going to be targeted by gamer boys who would like a date with a real girl.
There are also gamers who are completely barking and the last thing you want is for them to have your real name. Such types get so cross if you kill their character that they are likely to track you down and show up at your place with a real gun.
There are also fears that employers might do searches on real names to find out how much you spend online. All up it is being considered truly daft and will cause more trouble than it is worth.
Blizzard, however, does not seem to see the problem.
“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,” the outfit said.