Blizzard Cracks Down On Anonymity In Official Forums

You won't necessarily get banned from if you don't have a Real ID right now, but you'll need one to communicate in the official forums, according to some new changes posted by Blizzard. After the changes go into effect you may find a few places to converse as normal, but for the most part real names are going to be shown.

"The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it," a Blizzard rep posted to the forums. "These changes will go into effect on all 'StarCraft 2' forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the 'World of Warcraft' site and forums following suit near the launch of 'Cataclysm.' Certain classic forums, including the classic forums, will remain unchanged."

Blizzard hopes the move will help counteract what they refer to as "a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild" for the forums. Predictably, many users responded with doomsday messages and anger. Others embraced the decision, and supported Blizzard's hopes for the future.

"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," the post said.

However you feel about Real ID, the changes are happening and Blizzard didn't start their new thread to ask permission. If you don't like the world knowing your name and do enjoy discussing "StarCraft 2," though, this might be a sad day for you.

What do you think of Blizzard's decision to integrate Real ID into their forums? Are you comfortable posting with your real name on message boards? Share your responses in the comment section below.