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Posts with tag visa

First pro-gamer recognized as an athlete by U.S. Government

A huge step forward has been taken for eSports as StarCraft II pro Kim "viOLet" Dong Hwan has been recognized as an athlete by the U.S. Government. As his sponsors, CSA, and TheDailyDot report, viOLet was one of the first to apply for the P-1A visa when it was opened to pro gamers five months ago. The visa doesn't allow him to permanently reside in the U.S., but does permit him to enter temporarily to participate in tournaments and the like, and is the same as is awarded to other athletes.

While this is undoubtedly a fantastic turn of events for a StarCraft II player whose career has been fraught with mishaps, it is the bigger picture that's really important here. This sets a precedent for eSports' recognition as something on a level footing with traditional sports. It allows pro-gamers to be categorized with traditional athletes, and will only serve to further the reach of eSports and gaming. The normalization of a historically stigmatized industry is nothing but good for gaming and gamers alike. Congratulations, viOLet!

Filed under: News items, StarCraft 2

World of Warcraft Rewards Visa is getting a rewards upgrade

WoW Visa
Fans of free stuff -- and who isn't? -- will appreciate the news that the World of Warcraft Rewards Visa is getting an upgrade. Currently the program offers game time rewards, but the new Blizzard Maximum Rewards program will offer more standard credit card rewards (such as gift cards, merchandise, cash back, and travel rewards) and also "additional Blizzard merchandise," which we're hoping means you can redeem points for pets, server transfers, and the like. While Blizzard's own information hasn't been updated yet, we received this straight from account-holder Orkchop, who received a letter explaining the upgraded program.

The program is due to start May 10th, so if you haven't signed up for your own World of Warcraft Rewards Visa, there's still plenty of time to get in on the action: head to Blizzard's website to apply. As is only fitting, you can choose from a number of geeky, Warcraft-themed card designs and even choose to immortalize your own character on your card. Any other questions? Check Blizzard's FAQ.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

An Authenticator in your Visa

This is only slightly WoW-related, but it's worth a mention, I think, considering that when it happens, you'll be able to tell all your friends just what these things are. Our good friend Relmstein reports that Visa is planning to put an authenticator, of all things, in their credit cards. We of course all know how the Blizzard Authenticator works: you punch a button on the Authenticator, it gives you a code, and then that code can be used to synch up with the server. The Emue Card that Visa is testing right now works the same way: you punch in a PIN, it'll give you another code to enter on an online shopping site, and thus no one who just gets your card information can actually use your card (much like right now with a Blizzard Authenticator, no one who just gets your password can actually sign in). But it's all built in to the normal credit card.

Very interesting. What Visa's doing with their credit cards might not be completely relevant to WoW, but it is relevant to note that of all of the accounts and passwords in your life that you might like to keep secure, a Blizzard account with an Authenticator attached is probably the most locked-down. Companies have started using Authenticator-like technology to have their employees log in to local networks, and obviously credit card and banking companies are testing things like this. But when it comes down to actual widespread usage, Blizzard is way ahead of the curve. Odds are that your WoW account right now is even more protected than your checking account. We'll likely be using the same authenticator system for other secure connections in the future.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Account Security

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