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. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II 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 Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.

That is part of a bit published on Blizzard’s official Battle.net forums, the Blizzard discussion run hub for all of their video game properties. For those not familiar, Blizzard makes World of Warcraft, a persistent world MMO with a sustained player population somewhere north of several European nations. Oh, and then they make Starcraft, a video game with a professional gaming league in South Korea and where a two cable networks broadcast footage of the decade old game 24/7. Last but not least is Diablo, which is really just a giant time sink based around the cover of late 80s metal albums. That didn’t keep it from selling a bajillion copies, though. All three of these games are having either expansion or new versions releasing in the next two years. Which mean Blizzard’s forum traffic is going to go through the damn roof.

Probably why they want to get a handle on the incessant flaming and troll wars that are common place.

They’ve gotten their share of flack for this, though. Several different groups have suggested that this policy would lead to game conflicts spilling over into real life conflicts. That the lack of anonymity could in fact be dangerous to the player base.

I have absolutely no idea why people would think something as trivial as video games would inspire people commit acts of violence. I mean it’s not like there’s a history of that happening all over the world. And every video game player I know is a even-tempered, emotional mature adult. There is absolutely no way anything bad could happen from this.

Oh, wait? What’s that, young lady? You’ve got something to say?

….fuck.

This is a terrible idea, but it is going to be a blast to watch.

My schadenfreude organ is turgid at the clusterfuck that’s going to follow in the wake of Blizzard’s decision.