Hmmm Ima not going to recap on the issue everyone already knows about because it is flooding the interwebs. Instead I will make a short statement about how I made myself safe.
Hi I am Australian and I am now also my own mother… does that make me an inbred colonial hick now? Snigger.
What I have done is use warcraft account management to activate parental controls on my active wow account. I stated that I was in fact my own parent and that mini-me was no longer allowed access to the Real ID functionality in game. You know how kids are… always giving their real names out over the internet to complete dirty old pedophiles – can’t have that can I.
Why I did this was not because of the forum fiasco and the possibility of being RL “outed” to thousands of potential nasties in the wow community (gold farmers, stalkers etc etc) and the greater interwebs (employers, colleagues, those that Google my name… heh I should be so popular) should I post on official forums but rather because of the rumours floating around that third party addons could potentially have access to your battle net real ID name. I am playing it safe because identity theft is actually something I have had experience with online back in the days when I like to use ICQ to chat to friends. Someone in Perth racked up a $9000 phone bill under my details and I had debt collectors after me for near on two years. It was an important lesson in fudging personal details and locking permissions down to select groups on social networking websites to avoid being exploited. So just in case the rumor about the potential of addons to exploit Real ID is true I shall instigate this here lockdown.
The consequences? In game when I attempt to friend someone I no longer receive a Real ID option. No doubt I will not have a voice on the new forums. No matter for I remain safe in my virtual-silo and my online friends can have my Skype number and hear my voice and see my face.
An amusing side note as a parent of myself I can request a weekly report of my game time. So I checked that option…
Dear parent or guardian,
We have confirmed your request, made through Battle.net Parental Controls, to receive weekly World of Warcraft play-time reports for your child’s Battle.net account: XXXXXXXXXX
Every week, you will receive a report detailing your child’s play time for the week. This report will include the dates, times, and total play time of each gaming session. You can use these reports to keep tabs on your child’s playing habits.
… yup totally not sure I am going to like the number crunchy results hee.
One honest worry I do have with this whole Real ID situation is: will Blizzard take the real ID function so far that I have to quit? What exactly are they trying to achieve? These small steps are taking them somewhere, an interconnected battlenet for all Blizzard games, real ID across different servers or even game platforms like steam etc, compulsory use of Real ID when using official forums…. where is it all heading? What is the hidden agenda driving this, everyone seems pretty damn sure it isn’t for the benefit of the wow gamer community.