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A Pain in the RealID

Posted Jun 25, 2010 by Jon Wood

A Pain in the RealID Player Perspectives columnist Jaime Skelton shares her concern over Blizzard's adoption of RealID.

Blizzard released its RealID system this week, a communication tool which allows players to connect with each other across all Battle.Net games (World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo). On the surface, it's a great idea; it provides cross-game communication, and improves intra-game communication. Players can also chat cross-faction and cross-server with friends added through RealID. It's a concept many MMO publishers can follow to connect players of their games; from larger publishers like Mythic and Turbine to free-to-play companies like Nexon, Outspark, and Aeria Games. It's a fun feature, enabling friends and family to connect wherever they game, eliminating the need to roll an alt just to hang out.

Unfortunately, that's where the praise ends. The RealID system was hastily implemented, and while not necessarily broken (although many players found it disabled on their account by some strange stroke of luck), the RealID system introduces a slew of privacy concerns that one can only choose to be rid of by completely opting out of the RealID system. As it stands, the RealID system is enabled by default on all accounts except those with parental controls (more on that later), and players who want to use the RealID system are unable to make any changes or select options as to how their information is shared.

Read A Pain in the RealID.


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