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Let’s face it: If you’ve spent any amount online that wasn’t directed towards finding illicit material or looking at captioned pictures of kitties then you’ve came across what can only be described as a place where an unholy union of venom, bile, and pure evil come together to create a literal wasteland in the virtual realm.

And, no, I’m not talking about MSN. I’m referring to the absolute terror that are message boards.

Horrible grammar. Words misspelled to the point you would think a Yeti had gotten his hands on a keyboard. Impossible logic and stupidity. And let us not forget the personal insults directed towards complete strangers. Of course, the key word in all of this would be stranger. Somehow, the internet turned into the wild west along the way, with the anonymous gunslinger traversing the digital frontier, wielding words like a loaded Colt 45.

However, like the wild west was forced to evolve and conform to the new trends and ways of civility, so must the internet.

For those of you who don’t keep up with developer juggernaut Blizzard (those lovely gents who brought you World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2… Eventually), the Activision owned company has recently instituted a measure for their personal message boards that have left a large contingent of their users angry, irate, and attempting to form a complete sentence. The measure? Blizzard will require all Battle.Net users to have their real name displayed on any forum posts that said user places in the forums. The protective veil of anonymity is being lifted.

Many have been left wondering why the users would be so angry towards Blizzard for making this change. Is the reason because they are worried about the safety of underage users? Perhaps account safety?

God, no. People are angry because the act of calling another’s mother a fat cow is much harder to accomplish when the other person knows your real name.

Removing anonymity is Blizzard's attempt at removing a lot of the hostility and rage that exists on their message boards, which happen to be famous for 100+ page forum threads of unadulterated stupidity and complaining about just about everything. The World of Warcraft forums are especially the target zone, as the forums are heavily populated by the very employees who work on the game. These “blue posts” by Blizzard employees are usually an attempt by the developer to communicate with their constituency and keeping those who play the game involved in the process. Of course, this great idea in communication eventually breaks down into multi-page forum threads of people throwing out the most massive nerd rage possible for minor changes to games. Sometimes, these threads get downright ugly and lead to such nonsense like Blizzard employees and other players being insulted, threatened, and harassed for no real good reason.

Will this work? Psychology would suggest yes.

The logic in this course of action is that the majority of people (who aren’t complete social neanderthals) will refrain from communicational abuse if their own identity is known. The internet is famous for being a black hole of true identity. For those of you struggling with the math, I ask you to refer to the picture below.

Back? Good. The true question in this topic is if the measure is really going to work or not. Precedent would say yes. This idea has been implemented on other sites before with success of sorts. Point in fact, I would imagine that one of the key components of our very own site, Bitmob, is the fact that a rather civil community is created through the fact that you have your name prominently displayed on everything you post on the site. If not for this fact, I imagine a lot more comments on our site would be more hate-laced.

One could even suggest that Facebook works off this same idea, but that is neither here nor there.

I can personally say that I feel this is an excellent measure by Blizzard that more companies could benefit from if adopted. When the urge to rage on a complete stranger is removed, a chance for real dialog and conversation can give way. After all, in this more civilized, new age Wild West, the exchange of ideas, information, and thoughts are really all we have.

Put the guns down, guys. And the Mom jokes.