Fail of the Century

Nay, the millennium!

I could also have called this Big Blizzard Is Watching You, but that’s just cheesy and someone else probably used it already.

As everyone probably already knows, Blizzard thinks everyone should know who I am if I play their games. Not my persona, no. And not just my character names, but also damn near everything about them including bra size, who my friends are, what I had for breakfast, and best of all what my real name is.*

What. The. Fuck.

I’m not a paranoid hatstand type hiding out in the mountains waiting for the end of the world while I stockpile guns (well, I am in the mountains) but this whole WE MUST KNOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE ON THE INTARWEBZ!!!! really, really, really, REALLY fucking annoys me.

It’s a game. Or, it’s this blog. It’s something I do in my spare time that has NO relation to my professional or a large part of my personal life and I see no freaking reason why everything should be made public when it’s not my explicit there-and-then decision to share said info. (So my decision in this case is going to be: keep your fucking games thank you very much.)

It’s not that I object to people knowing who I am if *I* choose to share it with them. After all, I don’t get on the bus and tell every bloody passenger on it what my name is. They have no particular right to know it and I have zero obligation to tell them. So why the hell should every asshat — and god knows there are a lot of them — in a given game be able to find out exactly who I am, where I live, what my gender is and how much I enjoy being stalked?

As a woman this makes me even more furious, because the line between friendly banter and crazy-frothloony harassment is pretty thin on the internet these days. That said, I’m prepared to be equally indignant on behalf of all my male friends who are being (or have been) stalked. I’m an equal opportunity indignator.

They might as well ask for social security numbers — you know, just to make sure there’s no possibility Stan McStalker is getting the wrong person. Or your boss, from whom you’ve religiously hidden your passion for Blood Elf hunters. (There may or may not be honesty issues about not letting your boss know you’re a rabid gamer, though to my mind it’s your own bloody business. Maybe your boss just isn’t that chatty, or you’re not. Again, this is NOT something you should have to broadcast if it doesn’t impact your performance in non-gaming areas.)

So anyway, I’m frothing at the mouth. I should just have linked to Lum Scott Jennings, who as usual manages to be vitriolic without all the spittle.

EDITED to add a post by Sanya Weathers. The woman knows what she’s talking about. Shame nobody in the mundungous-salary range ever chooses to listen to experienced community people, eh?

Aaaaaand… another EDIT, just to show that no, it’s not difficult to stalk someone with just their name. Very very interesting post. As a woman this scares the crap out of me but to be honest it should scare the crap out of anyone. It only takes one frothloony, and this basically takes away any choice I had in letting frothloony have this info.


Edited to add a quote of the day from Spinks: “no company that fails so badly in understanding gamer culture can really claim to be one of us any more.”

Edited again — quoted by the above-referenced Lum Scott Jennings. I think I’m about to faint. (Sarah Bernhardt — no, not Sandra — histrionics aside, am very flattered. See how I bask in reflected glory!)


* Yeah yeah okay it’s not everyone. But you know — open door, slippery slope, all that happy crappy. It’s an invasion of my privacy and that’s all there is to it.