Blizzard may have a solution to forum flame wars

The Internet is a fascinating thing. Under the cloak of
anonymity, people often toss off societal niceties and gleefully rip into each
other with abandon. No subject is taboo and the most innocent comment (i.e.
“Boy, I’m really enjoying this game…”) can make you the subject of some brutal

Leave it to Blizzard Entertainment, arguably the biggest game developer in the industry, to try to tame the wild,
wild west that is the online forum. The company has announced a new policy to
its forums, informing users that starting July 27, all posts will be made using
a person’s real-life first and last names.

The “Starcraft II” forums will see the change first. “World
of Warcraft” forums will switch over with the launch of the “Cataclysm”
expansion pack later this year.

“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,” said Blizzard in an official posting. “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.”

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