On RealID and the Culture of Shame

I think Spinks summed it up best with this quote:

There was a time when Blizzard was viewed as a company run by and for gamers. That time is now over. Even aside from the wrongs or rights of the proposal [forum posts showing your real name], no company that fails so badly in understanding gamer culture can really claim to be one of us anymore.

Preach on, sister Spinks.

The obvious counter to this is: If we, as gamers, are afraid to come out and say we’re gamers, aren’t we [gamers] self-propagating the “Culture of Shame”? Well of course we are, but here’s the problem: Is that really worth fighting for? Do I want to go form a solidarity march with a bunch of other MMO-Gamers for equal public perception to claim I play video games as a hobby rather than “insert mainstream hobby here”? For me, that simple answer is no.

This isn’t equal voting rights, marriage laws, or freedom we’d be fighting for here, it would be nothing more than a change in the court of public opinion. It’s not worth potentially losing my job or having my name spattered across the internet to see that I don’t get branded an outcast for playing [having played] World of Warcraft. I know that I don’t live in my parents basement, weigh 600 lbs, or whatever other generic stereotypes are applied to gamers and that’s enough for me. I don’t want to bother having to make that argument with anyone else, though. I tell my friends that I know I trust that I’m a “gamer”; no one else needs to know. Period.

 Look,  I already get playfully mocked by my girlfriend for playing video games, I don’t need that expanding to every person on my Facebook account – which is exactly where this is headed, by the way. First it was time-stamped activities on the Armory, then RealID, now real names on the forums. I’m sure you’re aware Blizzard has a deal with Facebook. Put two and two together, folks. This isn’t at all about cleaning up the forums, this is about money and advertisements. That reminds me, though…

 What I find truly humorous in all this is Blizzard’s perception that this is somehow going to clean up the forums. Don’t they understand that trolls do what they do for attention? How much the better if they get even more  attention now – they’ll love nothing better than to banter with strangers who would dare to post on their Facebook page or call them at home. It’s been said multiple times on multiple blogs – if you want to enrich the forums, get better moderation. One needs to look only as far as Elitist Jerks to see that.

 At the end of the day, I’m very glad I’ve quit WoW, and this gives me no incentive to return. Until RealID is gone, I’ll not be purchasing any Blizzard products.

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~ by Drew on July 7, 2010.

7 Responses to “On RealID and the Culture of Shame”

  1. hmm I’ve never bought into the secret gamer thing or specific ‘gaming culture’, at first I was kind of ashamed of my MMO playing but I’ve kinda grown into the skin of uber geek amongst my real life friends. We all have our different hobbies and mine just happens to be playing a video game, I certainly dont look like a stereotypical geek….. much.

    • Yes, but would you tell your employer (or potential employers)? Your acquaintances? Everyone on Facebook? Anyone who randomly decided to Google you?

      • Sure I have pic of myself on my blog, its on my facebook as a hobby. Last expansion my boss let me have a halfday to go pick it up. Not a big deal imo *shrug*

  2. I dare say your boss is more understanding than most. Can I come work there, too? ;)

    Frankly though, there are a plethora of posts out there with concerns far more legitimate than mine – particularly from a feminine perspective. I just want to remain anonymous so I don’t have to deal with generalizations; for others, it’s a matter of safety.

    edit: Speaking of which, did you see the post on Wowriot where they’ve found all the information on the Blizzard Community manager that posted his full name?

  3. [...] has the dubious honor of posting less than I do on a game binge, has no less than 3 posts. Tesh, Drew, Spinks, and others have all written on it. The only one I think that hasn’t is Syp, and only [...]

  4. Sorry to bother you. Just checked my stats for the day and saw a link from your site, then saw your blogroll and that I was added onto it. I hope you don’t mind, but I added you on mine as well. :)

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