Because terrorists may be secretly chatting with each other while also trying to level-up their paladins and warlocks, the National Security Agency thought it was a good idea to eavesdrop on online games like World of Warcraft and Second Life, and on gamers who used Xbox Live. [More]
world of warcraft
The Chinese may have been the first to invent gunpowder and delicious pork-filled fried dumplings, but they have not caught up to the rest of the world when it comes to respecting intellectual property rights. Case in point, the recent opening of an entire themepark dedicated to World of Warcraft and Starcraft, two of the most popular online games in the world, in the Changzhou, Jiangsu province. It’s a sprawling $30 million megaplex spanning 600,000 square meters that aspires to compete with Disney and Universal Studios as a global theme park destination. And it’s a total knockoff. They didn’t pay Blizzard, the company behind those two games, a dime.
To get ahead in online games like the popular World of Warcraft, sometimes people will turn to the black market and purchase in-game gold from other gamers using real world dollars. It sounds relatively harmless, except the person you’re buying it from could be a prisoner in a Chinese labor camp under threat of cruel physical punishment.
Reader A was minding his own business, raiding orcs and hording alliances or whatever it is World of Warcraft players do, when he says a hacker started selling in-game items for real cash, spurring Blizzard to cancel his account. A says Blizzard is aware that the nefarious activity wasn’t his fault, but stopped him cold anyway, bringing out his wrath of the Lich King.
Let’s go ahead and assume that people who complain about having to use their true identities in forums care about their privacy. From there it’s no small leap to imagine that the 1,000 or so folks who sent angry emails about World of Warcraft-maker Blizzard’s policy were nonplussed that the Entertainment Software Rating Board has gone and leaked their addresses.
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.
Anonymous writes about his friend who subscribes to World of Warcraft and had his account hacked. He says publisher Activision Blizzard has frozen the account because its rightful owner is in dispute, and thus the friend has now been separated from the virtual hammer he slaughtered many an orc to attain.
WoW.com reports that instead of restoring hacked accounts, Blizzard employees have been instructed to push “care packages.” If you accept the care package, your case gets closed and no restoration of items will occur on the account, although you still get to play your character. The care package contains 2,500 gold, 2 Emblems of Frost and 10 Emblems of Triumph for every day you’ve waited.
Peoples’ World of Warcraft accounts are getting canceled because of some random payment processor they’ve never heard of is filing unauthorized chargebacks on their behalf, against their will. Their name is PaymentOne. What’s their deal? Ars Technica notes that this isn’t the first time allegations of fraud have arisen about the company. I guess this means a bunch of affected customers are left uninentionally doing re-enactments of this famous video:
If you’re lacking for addictions in your life, you may as well download the free new PC game, Peggle: World of Warcraft Edition.
One of the bloggers at BoingBoing attempted to install World of Warcraft on his Ubuntu Linux laptop, but first he had to agree to… something. Full picture inside.
If you have a problem with Blizzard Entertainment, makers of World of Warcraft, among other diversions, and contacting regular customer doesn’t help, try some of the contact info inside…
Jeff Simmermon, the Digital Communications Director for Time Warner Cable, has responded to the charges that TWC is responsible for the lags and disconnections plaguing East Coast World of Warcraft players. He took a look at the traceroutes posted on Blizzard’s user forums and sent the response.
We don’t play World of Warcraft, but if we did, it looks like we’d have to cancel Time Warner Cable and install FIOS in order to guarantee a connection to Blizzard’s servers. That’s what some East Coast WoW players are saying—they’ve been suffering disconnections and game-killing lags for months now, and Time Warner Cable seems unable to solve the problem. They swear they’re not doing anything to disrupt or throttle gamers, and say that “customers who are having problems on the local level should contact customer service.” Based on the 24-page thread on Blizzard’s forums, TWC’s customer service has yet to resolve the issue.
Speaking of virtual sex, Lambda Legal has gotten involved in the Blizzard debate over whether or not gay and lesbian friendly guilds (clubs of players who enjoy playing with one another in online games, for those unfamiliar with the jargon) are allowed to advertise in their wildly popular game, World of Warcraft. Lambda Legal is an activist group aimed at protecting the civic rights of gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans, and they’ve sent Blizzard a friendly letter, asking them to cave on their current policy: citing gay and lesbian players for mentioning their sexual preference, ostensibly because it makes them targets of bigotry.