If you want to use certain official World of Warcraft forums, you’re going to have to come out. That is, you’re going to have to make your real full name visible on forums. No, not your character name: your real name. No, it’s not a severely delayed April Fool’s joke. And no, Blizzard, the company behind the game, doesn’t seem to care that their players like to post on forums but also might have problems with stalkers or identity theft, and also occasionally seek gainful employment.
The reason for the change is good old-fashioned trolling. Oh, Internet. From the official announcement:
The official forums have always been a great place to discuss the latest
info on our games, offer ideas and suggestions, and share experiences
with other players — however, the forums have also earned a reputation
as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run
wild. 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. With this change, you’ll see blue posters (i.e.
Blizzard employees) posting by their real first and last names on our
forums as well.
On one blog (which we won’t link to) fans made their point by taking the real name of a Blizzard employee, revealed on the forums, and uncovering every bit of information they could about him, including his age, relatives’ names and ages, phone number, home address, and that he apparently lives with his mom.
The change will not affect posts that have already been made, on the “classic” forums. So at least there’s that.
Battle.net Update: Upcoming Changes to Forums [Battle.net]