Anonymity

“Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.” Jackson Browne

There has been a lot of controversy over Blizzards RealID system since its announcement. For those of you that don’t know Blizzard has recently introduced the RealID system to their battle.net. RealID attaches your real name to your account so that whenever people play with you they know that they’re playing with Stan Smith rather than Bonerjam94. The major argument against RealID is that people will have an easier time tracking down someone in the real world. So is this an issue of an invasion of privacy or merely an attempt to strengthen a community? Read on to find out.

Anonymity is a luxury that we’ve enjoyed on the internet since its birth. The internet is a bit of second start for most of us. Nobody knows your past so you’re able to bring forward the best parts of yourself while concealing all the negatives. However this will only work for so long. Once you start spending time with people(even internet people) you will start to loosen up and they’ll be able to see the real you. Even the best actor will eventually slip up. But if you’re pretending to be someone else just to see if you can fool other people you may want to see a mental professional because that’s the first signs of a sociopath.

The next question we need to ask ourselves is if anyone really cares who we are? I mean I have several friends that are fairly well know but even they have nicknames that they use on their accounts rather than their real names. The people that should care are parents. Your child can use the internet at anytime and with your permission play virtually any game. Unfortunately there are a lot of creeps out there that will try to take advantage of your child. And if they knew your child’s real name they could easily locate them with Google.

I really do understand Blizzard’s reasoning for implementing the RealID system. If no one could hide behind a username people would hopefully act more like they would in public. Plus when you talk about your internet friends you can call them “Judy” rather than “Psycholock”.  The thing is though, I already know almost all of my online friends real names. But then again I’ve built actual friendships with these people and these aren’t just random encounters.

When all is said and done anonymity both matters and doesn’t. As long as minors use a service their identities will have to be protected. There’s no getting around that one. Anonymity is a luxury that adults have and I wouldn’t be surprised for it to be slowly phased away. I mean look how many of you are on twitter and facebook, the world can already see everything about you. So just because you act a certain way on the internet doesn’t mean it’s not a reflection of who you are in real life. Like the quote at the top says, “our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”


Editorial by Ninth Batter the author/creator of Nobody Like You.
Any opinions expressed in posts on Polygamerous are not necessarily the opinions of Polygamerous or the other Authors/Editors/Podcasters of Polygamerous.

About NinthBatter

NinthBatter(or Jack) was born in 1518 on the shores of Loch Shiel in the highlands of Scotland. Seriously though, Ninth is a small town geek born and raised although he does live in Los Angeles now. He’s been gaming since the SNES with “Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past.” He currently games on PC, Xbox, PS3, Nintendo DS, and the N-Gage(it’s a GameBoy and a phone!) He also has a Wii but currently uses it as a door stop. If you haven’t been able to figure it out, Ninth prefers to take a light-hearted and humorous approach to gaming. He also loves Pokemon…the handheld games…seriously.