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Posts with tag anonymity

The pros and cons of Battle.net


Well it's finally happened -- as of next month, you'll be required to have a Battle.net login to get into the game, so you might as well head over and merge your account up right now. It's not like we have a choice in the matter any more, but that doesn't mean lots of players still have apprehensions about the process. Naissa puts some of the concerns together clearly over on her blog -- putting all of her accounts under one username scares her, and that's a legit point. Not only can Blizzard presumably cut access to all of their games for just one (or even one false positive) ToS violation, but presumably, one hacker could now gain access to all of your Blizzard games with one hack. The online profile is another concern -- Bungie already has something like this running with Halo, and from my online profile, you can see clearly just how bad I am. With the Armory, there's a level of anonymity (you can't see your account name, just character names), but if Blizzard starts posting profiles under account names -- or even worse, "Real IDs," which are apparently real names -- that's one more layer of separation lost. Surely, they'll have to have a way to opt out of that.
Of course, the changeover isn't all bad.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Bugs, Virtual selves, Blizzard

GLAAD fights homophobia in online communities like WoW

We've talked here on the site before about this issue -- the anonymity in online communities like World of Warcraft often leads to people throwing out offensive statements that they usually wouldn't in normal company. Most people shrug these off as just what happens in online games ("kids will be kids, and idiots will be idiots"), but this type of undercurrent behavior still signifies and perpetuates prejudices and hatreds that affect society at large.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has recently started up a campaign to try and stamp out hatred and homophobia in communities like World of Warcraft, and they've published an op-ed on exactly why this is such a problem and what we can do to stop it. They don't mention WoW specifically, but we're one of the biggest online communities out there, and if nothing else, here's a chance to show just how tolerant we as a community can be.

The good news is that as the practice of online gaming grows, both players and policymakers are becoming more and more aware of the problem -- Microsoft met earlier this year with representatives from GLAAD to determine how better to combat offensive statements on Xbox Live, and the organization held a panel recently to discuss exactly this issue.

Thanks, Joshua!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, News items

Breakfast Topic: Your WoW personality

I have a friend who doesn't play WoW, but his roommate does. As a psychologist, my friend is a more astute observer of individual behavior than I am. At lunch one day, he theorized that we tend to play World of Warcraft with the same attitude that have in the real world. On this surface this statement seemed to be correct. People in game and in life vary from kind, helpful souls to nasty boorish trolls.

I like to think of myself as WYSIWYG (what you see what you get). I try to portray myself online with the same values that I feel define me as a person. I set goals and work hard to achieve them. I consider myself a good friend. Every once in a while I go too far and take on the role of martyr in both game and in life. This is something I'm proud of; on the contrary, I wish I could stop myself from doing it.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics, Forums

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