WoW_Ladies: Girl Gamers of World of Warcraft

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noabsolutes wrote in wow_ladies
Hi wow_ladies!!



This is the third installment in the our highly-acclaimed Master Post series "How Not to do Internet Privacy," brought to you by Blizzard/Activision. Today we're going to go with FAQ format!

Huh, what? What's going on?

Two days ago, Blizzard EU Community Manager Nethaera posted in the US General Forums about upcoming changes to the official WoW forums. While the majority of the changes range from "who cares" to "that's awesome!", one new feature in particular stands out - your REAL NAME, i.e., the name on your account, will now be displayed on all posts you make on the forums.

Wait, WHAT? Will this be retroactive? Do I need to track down and delete all the posts I've ever made to protect my privacy?

NO. US CM Bashiok posted a clarification of the new forum structure which states an entirely new set of official WoW forums will be launched with Cataclysm that follows these new rules. The current forums will "remain as-is" and will not be capable of displaying your RealID (as they likely won't have the capability of retrieving RealID information). It's unknown how long the current fora will be maintained. If you have RP posts or anything you wish to preserve up there, back them up now.

I heard that Blizzard employees will be exempt from this. Is that true?

No. Blizzard CMs Nethaera (US) and Wryxian (EU) have both posted reaffirming that Blizzard employees will participate in the RealID program as well.

I am really upset about this. How can I tell Blizz how I feel?

Snail mail address:

Blizzard Entertainment
P.O. Box 18979
Irvine, CA 92612

Information from their ESRB policy:

If you have any questions or wish to file a complaint, please feel free to e-mail us at, call us at (949) 955-1382, or send a letter addressed to Blizzard Entertainment Privacy Policy, Attention: Privacy Policy Administrator, at 16215 Alton Pkwy. Irvine CA 92618-3616.

Blizzard, through its parent company, is a licensee of the ESRB's Privacy Online Program. If you believe that we have not responded to your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactory addressed, please contact ESRB directly at or:

ESRB Privacy Online
Attn: Director, Privacy Online
317 Madison Avenue, 22 Floor
New York, NY 10017

Another important way you can let Blizzard know of your displeasure is through your wallet & by canceling your account. what9000 makes a compelling argument for cancellation here. Please note that I make this suggestion with a heavy heart, and not from any lack of love for the game. Blizzard is a great company who makes a great game played by a great community, whose parent company and/or executives made a dangerous decision compromising the personal security of their users, most specifically those who already suffer some degree of oppression. My most fervent wish is that the mass cancelation will cause Blizzard to post a retraction and an apology in the next few days allowing everyone to resubscribe, and those who make the choice not to cancel should in no way feel unwelcome or unsupportive for their decision to continue playing the game we all love.

Finally, ilaniel has made a post asking for responses from the community to pass along to Blizzard employees. I strongly, strongly, strongly encourage you to comment on her post and make your feelings to Blizzard heard on this post.

But...why are they doing this? This makes no sense!

The stated reason is to "clean up the forums." On the forum where this information debuted, US CM Nethaera posted:

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.

As multiple posters here, in the so-called "megathread" where this info debuted on the WoW forums, and on other blogs/forums elsewhere have pointed out, this is an odd choice to go with when alternate solutions - such as heavier penalties for abusive language etc, hiring more moderators, using a Global ID to eliminate level 1 forum trolls - seem as though they'd be better suited to fixing the problem & without the privacy concerns inherent to sharing the legal names of the posters. What seems more likely is that Blizzard is tailoring their forum policies to South Korean and Chinese law which dictate that forums above a certain size must identify their users by full name. Further context - that the Starcraft II forums will debut this policy; that the Starcraft II launch is worldwide; and that Starcraft is ravingly popular in South Korea, hints that Blizz/Activision may be hanging their Western markets out to dry in order to conform to Korean/Chinese law. Further context: this source is old, but back when WoW hit the 10 million subscriber benchmark, the Asian market was larger than the US + European markets combined.


Hey look at this link, this guy posted his real name on the forums and people found all his personal info-

NO. wow_ladies has taken the official stance that the RealID changes are dangerous and unnecessarily dismissive of personal privacy, safety, and security. Please do not post, repost, or otherwise distribute links that contain the real-life information of other players, especially with the intent to harass. The admin team will screen/delete these links or comments as we see them.


List O' Links (Stats, Official Posts, Uncategorizable of this Category)

List O' Links (Blogs)

List O' Links (News)


Psssst - If you have more links, give more links :]


Wow. I guess my husband and I will be canceling our subscriptions tonight...

I totally approve of daily master posts on this, tbh. I bet this issue is going to keep growing and changing wildly.

I'm also going to agree with what9000 in that the best way to show disapproval is to cancel your account. You can reup at anytime if you so choose, and canceling right now sends the biggest message.

I misread this in my inbox and thought you said "disapprove" and went :(

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2 more links to offer:
- another blog and a very well written letter. :)

And also, has posted information on how to opt out of realID. Definitely some helpful information:

Edit because I fail at copy/paste

Edited at 2010-07-08 02:06 pm (UTC)

Good info indeed! I'll add those to the list

I personally won't be cancelling until this goes ingame (which I doubt...unless...)

The way I understand it as it was explained to me by a friend who's friends with an employee, basically, Activision BOUGHT the community section of Blizzard. They OWN it now. The forums are now run by Activision, NOT Blizzard.

The ingame content remains under Blizzard's control.

Reeeeeeeeeeeally......? Now isn't that interesting...?

In OT comments, I am pleased to see at least one journalist weighing in on something more than "just the facts" (PCGamer). I wish more would, rather than a simple, "Isn't that interesting."

Also, "Real Names Rile Online Warlocks and Wizards" LOL? Who came up with that title?!? I might be offended by the tackiness if I wasn't laughing so hysterically.

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Okay, so I know everyone is all up in arms about invasion of privacy with RealID and all that. But, I'm wondering if there is a saving grace with it.

If I know someone's email address and put it on ignore, will it ignore all the characters on that person's account?

Oh that's interesting, I don't know.

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Four Accounts Being PULLED now

My family has four subscriptions that will be cancelled in protest to this.





Security is a huge thing to my family in the online gaming world. This is deal breaker. And I totally see a slippery slope here..first the forums and then trade, etc. Not acceptable.

Way to make the forums completely irrelevant for those who are foolish enough to remain. Another site will just take over and make the "official" forums a bogus wasteland.

From the old master thread:

I have just canceled my account. It's pretty sad in a way - first time I've done it since first signing up at the start of BC, but I really, really don't want to support this madness.

I read the Blizzard/Activision timeline, and there's some scary shit in there:

"Kotick noted that in the past he changed the employee incentive program so that it "really rewards profit and nothing else." He continued, "You have studio heads who five years ago didn't know the difference between a balance sheet and a bed sheet who are now arguing allocations in our CFO's office pretty regularly. ... We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games.

Ultimately, Kotick doesn't want his employees to take anything for granted. They should always be aware of "skepticism, pessimism, and fear" in the midst of the global economic downturn. "We are very good at keeping people focused on the deep depression," he said."

I have always defended Blizzard, and been a big fan. I was worried when Activision took over, but figured that it probably wouldn't mean too much. Boy was I wrong. I don't want to see Blizzard turn into a greedy ghost of themselves, and I definitely do not want to support their change. I'm not sure I'll resub, even if they change Real ID to something less idiotic.


And my comment to Ilaniels thread (thank you for providing this option):

I am extremely concerned about where Blizzard is heading. As a woman with a rather unique name (#1 hit on google), I would feel very unsecured by posting on the forums.

That's not my real fear through. I fear that the Blizzard I used to love is fast disappearing, being overtaken by Activision/Bobby Kotick and his desire to "take all the fun out of making video games". I don't want to play games that have been 100% designed to exploit me.

I have canceled my account, and at this point it's looking extremely doubtful that I will ever reactivate. I want to support good game developers, not greedy corporations who do not even care about 'fun', for themselves or for their customers.

WTB the good ol' Blizzard.


I'm not the most literate person, but I hope it gets the point across.

Yes. I read that timeline and it freaked me out.

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yeah but mine nags at me to go to bed on time and whether or not i've bought my dad's birthday present yet. not actually sure which is worse

Here's my blog post at bibliotech:

ugggh writing the last line made me feel so unhappy

fuck me I actually whimpered when I read that last line

I meant to put Coralie in Theramore, but never did. :[

I love you mods so damn hard!!!

I noticed in the other master posts there were some emotional comments on the influence of WLs on posters' lives, so I'll grab my hanky and add to it :)

This community is 45% pure gaming information, 15% delicious dramasplosions (sorry...I eat that shit up), and the rest is insightful discussion about women's issues that have overwhelmingly educated and influenced my thoughts on feminism. Without you guys I may have continued to float around unhappily on the interbutts, seeing hateful things directed towards women that I couldn't quite explain what bothered me about them. So thanks for the many many commenters that have stimulated my grey matter. And thanks in general to the community for giving us a place to "OMG SEA TURTLE MOUNT" and "WTF Children's Week is ridic!" and "WTF do I do about my asshole GL?"

Bawww /hanky ilugais

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I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for quitting for good. What I really need is a new activity that my husband and I can share together, because WoW was our big thing. We can still watch movies and stuff, but they're so non interactive.

I am also copy-pasting my comment on lani's post, but I've redacted the personal stalker stories for privacy and for triggers:

I am opposed to the RealID changes for a number of reasons. Personal: [redacted]. Political: I care deeply for the rights of all the underprivileged, the ones who struggle to speak up and be heard. For them, the internet has been a great equalizer, where anyone with access to a computer can speak out against injustice and for change. Imagine how the Iran election scandal would've gone differently if people on the twittersphere hadn't been able to change their names and locations to help conceal the Iranians who were in danger of being killed by their own government. Social: I have many friends who are FRIENDS as a result of the game. They're not just guild-mates, but people I have visited in their hometowns, had late night talks with over Vent, shared breakups and house purchases with. It was MY CHOICE to give them my Facebook contact info, and my choice to connect with them in game via RealID when I chose to.

And now that choice is being taken away from the most powerless, while those who had the power all along (white, able-bodied, hetero males) can continue to use and abuse the forums without any thought of the repercussions. The forums have exploded, and in spite of GMs saying you're listening, I've noticed that many angry, justifiably angry posts from women, queer people, transgendered people, have been deleted as spam. Where's the justice?

You're a company. Your goal is to make money. I understand this. Look at Valve. Look at Steam. God help us all, look at XBox Live. I would gladly re-up my subscription tonight, which I cancelled because of this fiasco, if the RealID was changed to reflect a universal handle. I would gladly be held accountable under a universal handle for SCII, Diablo III (another game I was previously very excited for) and Cataclysm. Sorry but the only cataclysm I see here is this giant clusterbomb of anger.

I have cancelled my subscription as a response to the RealID changes proposed for the forums. If these changes go live, I will not re-up when my sub expires. I love my characters, my guild, the titles and mounts I've worked hard on, solo and with a team. I don't want them to go. Please, rethink this.

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Real ID is already in the game as an additional friending feature.

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My post explaining, in depth, why I am leaving. Again, mostly intended for my guild and a sum up of things here, but just in case you want:

(Fixed markup)

It's worth to mention that "we doing this to rid forums from trolls" is a red herring.

From forum annuncement (important parts bolded):

With the launch of the new, it’s important to us to create a new and different kind of online gaming environment -- one that’s highly social, and which provides an ideal place for gamers to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships. All of our design decisions surrounding Real ID -- including these forum changes -- have been made with this goal in mind.

We’ve given a great deal of consideration to the design of Real ID as a company, as gamers, and as enthusiastic users of the various online-gaming, communication, and social-networking services that have become available in recent years. As these services have become more and more popular, gamers have become part of an increasingly connected and intimate global community – friendships are much more easily forged across long distances, and at conventions like PAX or our own BlizzCon, we’ve seen first-hand how gamers who may have never actually met in person have formed meaningful real-life relationships across borders and oceans. As the way gamers interact with one another continues to evolve, our goal is to ensure is equipped to handle the ever-changing social-gaming experience for years to come.

And then there is acebook Armory app.

And then we have and Facebook integration:

I would assume that the Facebook relationship would be used to draw more casual game players to Blizzard's games.
Absolutely. Our goal and vision in this partnership is to really to cross-populate the social networks and to easily find and add your friends from Facebook onto the new service as the first step and extending it to other features in the future. … Later on, of course, we have lots of things we are talking about with Facebook. We haven't announced anything specific, but we have lots of ideas about ways to cross-populate and share data between the two services.

Do you expect any push back from diehard Blizzard fans from the Facebook features?
We don't anticipate any. We are going to be very clear and upfront with the user. Once they log in and create a account for the first time, if they choose to participate in Real ID, it is of course, an optional set of features that you don't have to participate in. Beyond that we are going to notify them upfront their names could be used to populate via Facebook and how their names could be used via this Facebook feature.

"We don't anticipate any", my ass! "an optional set of features that you don't have to participate in"!

If they had left it fully optional in all aspects, there would have been no trouble about this at all.

I think the commenting on the official post is finally starting to slow down, a full 48 hours after the initial post, and almost that long since any blue poster has commented on the thread.

Since then there's been some word that they intend to go forward with this, even though they are "hearing feedback." I think that means their business losses are acceptable to them and they are learning how to avoid certain mistakes the next time they announce a massive breach of trust and privacy, but I could be wrong.

They've learned to release the expansion, grab the money, then announce the big change?

I agree with you though. I think the business people are blinded by the dollar signs and insist on implementing this. It's going to take mass cancellations that don't return for Cataclysm or a court case to make them reconsider.

ilaniel, I've already said this elsewhere, but you are an awesome person for doing this. Thank you, not only for being bold enough to take a stand, but for letting us be a part of it. Thank you for giving us the chance to be heard. <3

And to the mod team, y'all ROCK. Seriously, your handling of this mess, giving us a place to post our thoughts on this without completely flooding the community, has been terrific. Thank you for all the master posts and all the effort you've put forth to keep all this stuff together!

Hearts all around.

I canceled both our accounts today. We were leaning that way but last night's raid, with 8/10 members (who are all male and white, I might add) mocking me on vent for being upset about this issue, just sealed the deal. The only person who didn't? The other female in our 10 man who has been stalked by creepy guys, harassed, etc because she has a "sexy voice" on vent.

My rage and disbelief at their dismissal of my concerns as "overreacting" just cemented the fact that while I might know some generally good, decent guys in WoW, they won't ever get what it feels like, they can't ever understand and they have no problem with people knowing their names cause they're big, strong guys. /sarcasm

So yeah. 5 years of playing WoW and I'm done. Cause this? This is bullshit. And I won't put us through it. Our safety is worth more than $30 a month and a "we're trying to stop trolls!", Blizzard.

The general level of civility from other players in WoW has been steadily declining over the last couple of years. And I realized not long ago that most of the people I used to have fun raiding with have slowly filtered out and been replaced, one by one, with people I don't really know or like all that much. And, yeah, I've seen one of my guildies in the megapost openly ridiculing RealID opposers (there's opponents and then there are jeerers, but only a few actual supporters), and it makes me feel that much less welcome among the people I used to call my peers in WoW.

I just wrote my blurb in the "tell your stories" thread. I am seriously tearing up right now. ;_;

*hugs her druid and hunter tightly* I DON'T WANNA GIVE THEM UP D: D: D:

I won't be cancelling my account. For a lot of reasons.

I actually don't feel like justifying them here, nor do I feel like being jumped on by people.

No, I don't think RealID is no big deal, or a good idea.

It seems now like all of the mods and a good chunk of the community won't be playing WoW anymore, so I'm not really sure what's going to happen in the community.

I'll be honest, of all places, right now I don't feel like it's okay to talk about WoW in wow-ladies without a page and a half of excuses first, and that sucks.

Just my 2 copper, whatever, come at me, etc.

Yeah. I still enjoy this game, and I post on the forums perhaps once a year, so this really doesn't bother me that much. I don't get how this is really any different than having a facebook, or having ever done anything notable in life to let you be found through a google search. The price we pay for using the interbutts is an inevitable loss of privacy. If people already have internet stalkers on WoW without (theoretically) giving out their real names, then they must have found you guys SOMEhow.

That said, do I think this is a necessary move on Activision's part? No. Will people still be trollin', even under their real names? Yes. Is it an odd invasion of privacy? Sure. Maybe all the hysterics will cause them to change it, maybe not. I just know that I'll continue playing, and uh, yeah, what exactly will this community be about if y'all are boycotting WoW?

Slightly snarky-sounding (but truly meant) aside, I wish people would get this arsed to do something over the oil spill or LGBT rights or saving animals or whatever you believe in. It's a little sad to watch people get so spun up over this.

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I discovered the downside to my mother's awesome "Pay for Silver's WoW Sub for a year for Christmas!!" awesomeness. If I cancel right now they won't feel it in the pocket until December.


BUT. I did cancel my plans to xfer 2 of my toons, as well as some purchases from the store, and sent a civil e-mail to them explaining how much they'd lost and why.

(I still feel really, really shitty about this mess, poor partner has been on high-cuddle alert and I'm actually losing sleep over it)

Well. They will still receive a statement that you cancelled your account. And you can still put RealID in the reasons.

It'll be another drop in the bucket of numbers of "cancelled accounts," which are piling up. They will see it.

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I feel like that amongst the sea of our responses, this might have already been said, but I'm going to say it anyway:

The gaming industry has been trying to attract women to it, right? Since in the past, the gaming industry has been dominated by men.




derp derp.

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