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Is Blizzard's Real ID Safe, Or A Playground For Sexual Deviants?

When Blizzard announced Battle.net's Real ID service my first thought was . o O World of Warcraft + Facebook = Double The Lame. Now that Real ID has actually launched in World of Warcraft, people are starting to weigh in on the service. Could Real ID turn dangerous for some? Quick re-hash on what Real ID features:

  • Your Real ID friends will appear under their real-life names on your friends list, alongside whatever characters they're playing.
  • With Real ID, friends can now chat cross-game, cross-realm, and cross-faction across all supported Blizzard games.
  • See additional information on your friends list about what your Real ID friends are up to.
  • When you agree to become Real ID friends with another player, both of you will automatically see all the other's characters on your friends list.

If that doesn't scream out stalker, don't forget that when you use Real ID it's not just your friends that can see information about you, it's also friends of friends. As Restokin explained it:

"If I invite someone to be my friend, and they have 100 friends, all 100 of those friends can see my RL info, and that makes me very uncomfortable."

So as much as you may trust your "friend" that you've added to Real ID, you have just opened the door to potentially hundreds of freaks (because just like anime fans, 95% of World of Warcraft players are sexual deviants). It's like a condom advert. Whenever you bang a dirty WoW player, you're banging every dirty WoW player they've ever banged, and so on.

Remember that the average IQ of a World of Warcraft player is: Character Level รท Number of Mounts Owned. Not everyone will realize that giving their guild access to their "Real ID" could cause problems down the road. Here's one story of a girl that is already being harassed, taken from an epic thread in the official WoW forums (thanks KellyX):

"It's a nightmare that blizzard even thought this was acceptable on any level... The parental settings are almost nil. I decided it would be okay if my oldest son (16) was able to decided who he added for himself. He added his guild leader and I saw no problem in this matter. He added his older sister (24) and added me.

My daughter is now in the process of opening a ticket (8 day wait minimum) while trade chat runs rampant with her home address (thankfully not correct as she put it...), phone number, and real name.

How did this happen?

The guild leader decided it would be fun to tell people her name because she was a female. From Monica xxxxxxxx and a quick Facebook and or Google search they pulled up her life story and spammed it across trade.

Not 24 hours after it's release and my mistake to allow a 16 year old to add his sister and guild leader on Real ID *Really bull*%!#* already she's getting death threats and "pick up lines" on her cell phone (partly her own fault for having it on facebook...). Whitebooks (phone info), Google, Skype and Facebook. All you need is a name and a potential region to start looking and this happens.

So dig it...

  1. You have to share your World of Warcraft login e-mail address with someone you want to be "friends" with (even though Blizzard has said many times never to share this information with anyone, including friends).
  2. The system shows your legal name (or at least the name that registered the account) to your "friend".
  3. Blizzard says this should only be done with people you trust with this information, however if your "friend" becomes friends with someone you don't know, that person can see your full legal name as well now, something you didn't agree to share (hence why they aren't a friend) - This feature is called Friends of Friend, it is not optional currently.

Has Blizzard opened up a big old can of worms? Will more babies die in Taiwan? Will "Trade Channel" girl have to change her identity and move to a new realm? Will Blizzard get sued every time someone using Real ID gets axe murdered? It's only been two days, give it another week or so and we should have some answers!

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Jun 26 2010, 12:28 PM

1st: If you are like me and have absolutely no intention of using RealID in its current implementation, enable Parental Controls in your Battle.net account. This disables RealID by Default. You don't have to use any Parental Control features when you enable Parental Controls, but it gives you access to several possibly useful controls.
One example posted in the WoW forums was to use the RealID checkbox to enable / disable RealID when you want privacy.

2nd: If you insist on using this serious security and privacy violating utility, make sure you have or get an Authenicator. You are handing out your Battle.net log in email address, that's half your log in info. You Battle.net account controls access to you World of Warcraft account(s), your Starcraft 2 (Beta) accounts and in the future your Diablo 3 accounts(s). You get hacked, and its not just your WoW accounts that may get junked and have no access to till the account issues are resolved, its all your Battle.net / Blizzard linked games.

3rd: Its obvious to me that Blizzard went Live with RealID at the time it did instead of waiting until Ruby Sanctum was ready to be implemented on all servers, was to use the North American public as a test bed for RealID. There is nothing else in the 3.3.5 patch, especially RealID, that couldn't have waited until Ruby Sanctum was ready world-wide. What Blizzard has failed to realize (or is purposely ignoring) is that unlike making a mistake which can only affect the WoW world, RealID has the potential to affect game players in real World in very real way (stalkers, account hacking, flaming, etc.).

Jun 25 2010, 5:49 AM

the issue for me isn't so much giving out my login to any given bnet2.0 game, but having to give out my login for ALL bnet2.0 games

shitty asian cookiecutter mmo's are trying to increase account security, why are blizzard going the other way?

Jun 25 2010, 1:41 AM

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Jun 25 2010, 1:41 AM

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Jun 25 2010, 1:40 AM

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Jun 24 2010, 10:56 PM


Big screwup on Bliz' part. I predict emergency patch within a week or two. They always do this kinda shit, whenever a big patch is, um, patched into the game, all hell breaks loose because of some unforseen side effect,and they spend the next few weeks scrambling to repair the damage.

Good thing Im no longer playing the stupid game.

Jun 24 2010, 9:41 PM

"because just like anime fans, 95% of World of Warcraft players are sexual deviants"


Jun 24 2010, 7:16 PM

WTF? Talk about making something out of absolutely nothing... sensationalist bullshit.

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