OK I will admit that I wasn’t bothered by the whole Real ID situation in-game. My only gripe was that “friends of friends” could see my name but overall considering I am in a social guild the whole Real ID thing is more of a boon then a bane. Yesterday though Blizzard stated that they wanted to bring Real ID to the forums, here though I do have a problem.

You see there are very few people in the world with my name and while that doesn’t bother me too much the fact is that my real name is heavily associated with my business, so when people are searching for my name now the chances are that in the top 100 results there will be a 70 – 80% chance that most pages will come up with my current contact details for them.

As I am a fairly regular forum browser though this could change with the new Real ID system if it becomes live. When people look up my name they will no longer be finding my business (which I want them to do) but will find themselves looking at a mass of Warcraft posts .. which doesn’t help them either. For me Real ID on the forums is bad because it interferes with my business .. for others it could get much worse, just look at the ruckus caused by people finding out a Blues Real ID.

Frankly in Game Real ID is all voluntary .. the forums though are where the community go to voice their concerns and problems, and while I understand that Blizzard is concerned about trolls, some people need a certain anonymity to be able to speak up or to retain their privacy. By rote most people register with their real names, now what will happen if there is a celebrity playing who registered under their real name? or a rape victim who plays wow and all of a sudden everyone can see they play and now have a new target to harass? or what if the poster was a former criminal who doesn’t want everyone know that he was?

Anonymity has its place with the Forums because it still allows people to say what they want without getting overly personal over topics .. or being biased about topics. Having said that my suggestion would be for Blizzard to implement and Account Name. So for example you register the product (real name is used), for all your Blizzard Accounts a 2 part Account Name is then used for communication purposes such as the forums (for example lets say Jodrath.Stormhoof woudl be an Account Name example), and then there are all the individual toon/character/avatar names that are only viewable in game.

I’m not sure how hard it would be for Blizzard to implement that but surely it would calm the fears of those against Real ID and would still have some effect on controlling trolling.