Lab Notes; Whores, Swine and Pinkos or Closet Gaming and Getting the Goodies. – by Doc R.
I live a rather sheltered life here in among the dungeons and catacombs of Reaper Towers, left alone by the Management to pursue my work and experiments as I see fit (as long as all chanting and Banshee wailing is finish by 10:30, as the Management needs its beauty sleep.) My raven, Colin, arrived this morning with the latest parchments and communications clasped in her beak, the usual stuff in the main, a bill from Warlocks Workshops informing me the balance on my account is now way over due, a letter from Minion Utilities offering Accidental Seepage Insurance should ones ghouls leak into the water supply, as well as a notes from the Management that all Ogres must be kept on a leash when walked in the grounds and all defecation’s cleaned up immediately, bin bags have been provided at various dispensers around the site. All regular post I agree Dear Reader, until I cast my one good eye across the news that Blizzard Entertainment had done a “u-turn” on its
Real ID scheme. For those not in the know, Blizzard had proposed that all forum posts for both World of Warcraft and the forth coming Starcraft 2 would to be posted using peoples real names. Oh the horror! Who knew such evil in the world could exist? However, this did concern a lot of people, so much so that within 24 hours of the announcement over 1000 comments, most of which of the negative persuasion, had appeared on the Blizzard forums condemning the move and a number of users threatening to leave the game(s) altogether. Blizzards rationale for the introduction of Real ID was that it would cut down on the amount of “Trolling and Flaming” that takes place on the discussion boards, to wit, destroying the anonymity of these whores and swine. This would of course work the other way around to, many feeling that such a process would lead to the choking of free speech, leaving many users feeling uncomfortable when posting comments fearing retribution.
Blizzard, to their credit, would later put customers minds at rest however;
“We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums… As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be needed for posting on official Blizzard forums.”
So spoke Mike Mourhaime, Blizzard’s chief exec. Indeed how nice it is to see such a massive multinational company listening to its customer base. Thus they must be congratulated for listening to the genuine concerns of whining, whinging, girly, Pinkos. For Dear Reader, I believe that there is a grander issue here; that being that we, the fine upstanding Gamers of this world are still considered to be strange little people who live on the fringe of the norm. Why do I say this?
Let me begin here, for many years now I have enjoyed MMORPG’s and I’m not afraid to say it, as I know that even within our own kind there are some of you that still raise an eyebrow and cast the Ol’ Skunk-Eye at anyone who does so. Oh you might not admit it, but somewhere inside you (even those who play them) you see this as a step to far onto a path which will only lead to you becoming a news article or part of a psychological study sighting the fact that you ended up playing said game for 22 hours a day and needing to be cut out of your house like a guest on Jerry Springer. I can understand it, I can, its like the really odd magazines that they keep under the counter in Sex Shops (you know the ones, Whales Weekly or Gobbel My Rutherford ) or voting Tory, you might do it, you just don’t want anyone to know.
The point to this? The change in Gaming I have seen over the decades of worshiping at the alter of the Joystick or Gamepad if your of the younger variety, I remember a better time, (cue Jerusalem on CD Player) a time before HMV, a time before Game, a time before Gamestation, when you went on a pilgrimage to your small local independent shop, where you would be greeted by the local priest of this small temple, 19 stone of beauty and radiance, clad in the holy vestments of a Guns N’ Roses T-Shirt and Jeans, the intoxicating smell of damp and marijuana and the huge game boxes, nay, sacred tomes of this chapel. All gone now, all gone. If you have only known clean, spacious, well lit stores where the assistants know nothing of the world in which you inhabit, then I feel for you Dear Reader, it was a better time, a simpler time…
Alas, it is not only the vendors who have changed, if it where so we could have survived as we had done for many a long and happy year, no the Gamers changed. I hear your cries even now, “Move with the times” and “The industry has changed, there is more money now, more investment, better R&D, which means better games!” all of this is true, but something has been lost. This is self evident when looking at Real ID and forum posts on gaming forums, such as WoW and many many others. Threads such as “Do you tell people you play WoW” or comments made on chat channels such as “I’m not going to game when I get married/have kids/become a Lama Farmer/etc” only go to show that no matter how acceptable you think your gaming life is, it still isn’t. Unless of course you and a number of others are shit faced and jumping about the room like a retarded chimp in front of a tiny white Japanese box of course, thats perfectly normal. Now my beloved Microsoft and Sony are even getting in on the act. Lord help us.
So, remember this, the argument about Real ID has never been about privacy, civil liberties or anything more than gaming shame. Its always been about people being worried that if anyone ever found out that in the quiet of the evening they sit and enter the Nernosphere, they might not get laid. Say it loud and say it proud, I am a Gamer.
- Doc R