Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blizzard and Facebook: Belated Controversy

Back in May, USA Today posted an article about the upcoming partnership between Blizzard and Facebook, linking the social networking sit and Blizzard's battle.net. I was pointed to the article from a comment on GeeCee's topical post.

This article is very scary in the current context of the RealID Blizzard forums controversy. Not because it is gloom-and-doom. Actually, quite the opposite. Its sunny tone and rosy outlook on the Facebook/battle.net partnership is downright alarming. Blizzard's Greg Canessa comes off as naive about many gamers’ attitudes about their online personas. Even as Facebook is frequently under fire over their privacy policy, Blizzard jumps on the bandwagon.

Late in the interview, the reporter asks, "Do you expect any push back from diehard Blizzard fans from the Facebook features?

Canessa'a response, "We don't anticipate any."

ROFLMFAO! Uh What do you think now, Greg?

The following post apparently appears on the WOW forum thread, but I gleaned it from Lillfox on the USA Today Article comments:

I, The poster. Am at least one of the following.

- a woman
- a minor
- a member of an ethnic minority
- a person of alternative sexuality
- a transgendered person
- a person with a unique/uncommon name
to this I would add: -a person with a very common name, easily mistaken for others
- a person who has been harassed/stalked
- a person in an information-sensitive profession
- a person who may be Google searched by co-workers/employers/potential employers
- a person who may be Google searched by mates/potential mates
- a person who is concerned about account security
- a person who is uninterested in online social networking
- a person who does not fit any of these categories but who is nonetheless concerned for him/herself or for the welfare of others

and I oppose RealID for one or more of these reasons:

- It is a threat to personal safety.
- It is a threat to personal security.
- It will not eliminate/significantly reduce trolling.
- It should be optional; choosing between risk and silence is not truly “optional”.
- Unified tags/handles provide the same effect with minimal risk.
- World of Warcraft is not Facebook.

If this decision persists, I will do one or more of the following:

- Refrain from posting on these forums.
- Seriously reconsider my subscription.
- Cancel my subscription.
- Cancel my subscription should RealID be made mandatory in-game
I'll bet this covers most of the WoW community.

Blizzard, of course doesn't see or doesn't want to see that not every WoW or StarCraft player wants to advertise their avocation. In fact it looks like few do.  One key difference between my Facebook friends and my WoW friends is I know almost every person I have befriended on Facebook personally. I have met very few of my WoW friends in person. I don't know them, and I really don't know their friends. On Facebook, I can lock down my information almost completely, if I want. Yet, there is still concern about Facebook's privacy policy. By comparison, RealID is a sieve of information.

Hopefully, Blizzard will see the rising backlash from subscribers and back off this plan.

3 comments:

  1. "Canessa'a response, "We don't anticipate any."

    ROFL what a joke.

    If one was inclined, you could take apart that whole interview and just outline how ridiculous everything is, line by line. But that quote really takes the cake.

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  2. "Canessa'a response, "We don't anticipate any."

    Are there no women/minorities working at Blizzard? Or were their voices patronizingly dismissed by the execs as being 'alarmist'? Because really, I can't believe this idea was brought up at HQ without anyone there mentioning the same laundry list of issues that players are bringing up right now.

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  3. @GeeCee I was going to do a point-by-point commentary, but didn't have the time. :P

    @Pai Of course it's moot at this point, but you're right. I'll bet any voices of dissent were poo-poo'd by execs.

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