Thursday, 13 May 2010

Blurring the Boundaries.

I have about 5 RP posts that I need to write but I figured I'd give myself a break and have a me a random waffling post instead... So there's this and this and in the middle is little ole me, scratching her head and feeling confused. For those of you who are too lazy to click links, it's two pieces about the RealID. When the Other Half mentioned this first, a few weeks ago, I had a bit of a squee at the thought of being able to talk to the Bro in Law on a different server, my old guildies on different faction and server, people I know on servers where I might want to try the opposing faction etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Because I'm a sociable sort (you might have gathered) and I'm more than capable of logging on with all the best intentions of, y'know, actually gaming, like questing and levelling and stuff, then finding myself sitting on the beach, in an inn, hell atop Icecrown Citadel one night, and just talking.

I'm sure that I'm not alone in having the online 'me' fairly crafted and sorted. Yes, of course it bears some resembelance to the real life 'me' but essentially one of the magical things, as mentioned in a previous post, is that on the interwebz you can kinda be who you want to be. The information that I choose to share on the net, especially via online names is completely in my control. If I choose to let my gaming friends become 'Facebook friends' (and god do I hate that expression) it means I'm willing to accept that this makes them privy to more information about the RL me than they have been privy to thus far. And I'm not the sort that feels the need to live their live through online social networks either, I've had serious words with people who think that it's appropriate to post pictures of me on their Facebook profile, and 'tag' me in them so it shows up on mine as well. Invasion of privacy much?? So much so now that I really avoid cameras, more so than I used to. No, actually I don't want the world seeing how I look when I'm mashed (highly unattractive), what I looked like at 17 (sartorial role model: the prostitute) or at 22 (sartorial role model: Dita von Teese (yes I graduated to 'stripper'... this is better...) but still I don't particularly want my sister, or my colleagues seeing that.) Nor do I want pictures of me at school posted. I don't think I'm being especially unreasonable...

And a 'funny' in a 'omgwtfbbq' way digression now follows. Two nights ago I was logged onto WoW and nattering away happily, and my phone chimed in the delightful way it does, to let me know that I have a message on Facebook. Then it chimed again, letting me know I had another one. Opening up the messages I was faced with messages from two deeply charming young men with Italian names. Both messages were very simple and to the point - was I the *insert RL name here* who had played WoW as Pilfkin and if so would I like to say hi. They included their characters names so at least I knew who was stalking me. Now, before I go any further I must add that they are both charming and delightful (and y'know, studly Italians in their twenties...always good for ones image, right?) and they were good friends in my old guild. But still, the question remains - how the bloody fuck did they track me down? So we had a chat, my Italian Babes and me, and they told me what had happened.

The big raiding guild I was in had an active website and on that website was the Officer Forum, that required officer level access permission to enter and the chap who administrated the website was a fab chap (and a FB/emailing friend) so we knew it was secure etc. It also had our emails on it. Now if you're me you have a pretty basic sounding email address for friends/family/work etc because, at some point in your life, usually when you're filling out job applications, that cool sounding email that you set up in your 20s is a little less... appropriate. As an employer are you likely to want to contact, ah , I don't know... and offer them an interview? Maybe you are, maybe I'm just a prejudiced old bag but I wanted something a little mature. And, no that wasn't my old email... So yes, my email address was pretty basic - *insert name here* at hotmail. Turns out that after I left some of the other officers did too and the remaining ones had a bit of a promotion spree before they'd closed off the old accounts. So my darling Italians added me to their MSN contact list and then told FB to search for my address and lo and behold it pulled me up. And yes, I have my FB privacy settings turned all the way up... Now in fairness, as mentioned, I knew both of them well, had chatted to them alot in /w and vent etc and I don;t really mind that they found me. But it is kind of alarming too.

Back to RealID. It would be very cool to chat the old mates, but, and again, this might be me with a privacy fail, it's linked to my bloody account. I'm not sure I want this in the 'public' domain. Also, and a biggie for me, it will link to every character, of every faction, on every server. See those 'hiding place' alts? Ok maybe not everyone has them but I do; they won't be so hidden anymore. If you're online people will know. And as Gaz mentioned in the second of the above linkies, unlike good old MSN which lets you pretend you're offline so people don't bug you, thus far, RealID doesn't have this feature. There are times when I game and I really don't want to talk to anyone. I created hidden alts initially when I was playing a priest and every time I logged on I got hit with the pink plague of whispers asking me to heal this or that. The people I wanted to know about them I talked to. Some characters existed only for me, and this is A Good Thing. So sadly, at the moment certainly, I have no intention of using this feature when it becomes available. Just do me a favour Blizz, put in a sociability scale there, something akin to FlagRSP's 'status' selection slider. It could go from oh, I don't know, 'yay it's Friday and I want to catch up with everyone' to 'trying to quest' through 'raiding' to 'if you even acknowledge that this character exists I will fucking make you pay for the rest of your natural days'. Or something... Suggestions welcomed, as ever!


  1. I'm pretty much with you on this one Pilf.. *what were they thinking*...
    I thought it might be my old age though :P

    Think the studly Italian's might want my fbook? ;)

  2. I know, I was *so* excited to be able to talk to other friends on other realms... but I don't want everyone in WoW checking out pictures of me at my niece's birthday party, dammit! The whole implementation is an epic fail.

    I still want to check with other friends on other servers, though, so I'm associating my Blizz account with a new, free, meaningless webmail account. Ughs all around.

  3. (I just created my anti-Facebook profile; if you search Liala Jenkins, you'll see what I mean with all the above!)

  4. Pretty much same here, I didn't bother posting my opinions because I'd already written such a meaty comment on Gazi's post.

    Would have loved to add a few Vashj friends, Terenas, and ofc the SAN bunch. But I like my last name private, my email address replaced by, and of course my hidey alts to be hidey!

  5. Wait, will this Real ID thing be an opt-in thing or will I have to manually opt-out? I really hope its the former, because I definitely want to be OUT. I already have my wow account linked to a pseudoname email address, but I would, in general, like to keep my WoW internet presence and my RL internet presence separate.

  6. @ Issy - find your own studly Italians :)

    @ DA - O.o. *giggles* I found you! Consider yourself FB stalked! That's actually not a bad idea... if I could be bothered to set one up...

    @ Jae - yes I know and I agree with every point you made to Gaz.

    @ Kam - as far as I know it's COMPLTELY optional. I think Blizz would have real issues if they made this mandatory so *hugs* your two seperate identitied should remain seperate.

  7. What I hope Blizzard will to is to make it possible to "tag" individual characters as invisible if you choose to use real ID. It would be even better if they'd let us set up individual visible/invisible tags for each our real ID friends.

    As you say, this could prove to be an amazing tool, hopefully Blizzard will see that even though this is a MMO, we do like some privacy.

    - Ercles

  8. Hullo Erc *waves*

    And yeah, they need to do _something_ with it surely? I'm not sure how viable having to set each friends would be though... I guess it depends on the size of your friends list...! I still think an 'offline' button would fix it - then you can speak to the people that you want to and not the others... maybe that's me being anti-social though!