I cannot comment on this right now because I feel too betrayed and angry to be rational. Just thought you might like to know that anyone who wants to keep their real name private can't use any Blizzard forum anymore, including WoW and SC2 forums.
Fuck you, Blizzard.
UPDATE: some comments added. This is what I posted in the thread under one of my alts (gotta savor the anonymity while I have it):
This is a terrible idea, Blizzard. I know that you're going to go through with it no matter what we say, but hey, I gotta try. I love this game and I had a lot of respect and loyalty to your company, and that is all gone now with the advent of Real ID and it's expansion to other parts of the WoW experience. How long until giving out my personal information is no longer optional for simply playing the game?
You say that you're trying to improve the level of discourse on the forums. Do you realize that what you are doing is driving out every intelligent adult?
Any grown-up with a career outside the games industry? No longer posting on the forums, because it will hurt their career for their boss and peers to know they play WoW. Gaming is not understood by the masses, especially the career-minded.
Anyone mature enough to have a healthy sense of how to protect themselves online? No longer posting on your forums.
Any female who has ever been stalked (ie almost every female)? No longer posting on the forums.
Any female who has ever been ignored or disrespected simply for being female, but found herself finally treated as an equal in WoW because her gender was hidden? No longer posting on the forums.
What's left? Teenage boys who don't have enough career aspirations to want to keep their gaming a secret. The dumbest, most immature, most dead-end teenage boys.
That's the forum culture you are building. Good job thinking that one through.
UPDATE 2: You can post a complaint to the ESRB here:
I'm all for parents supervising the gaming activities of their children. It is in no way the game company's responsibility to protect children. BUT the ESRB has taken that goal upon themselves to help inform parents. And a "TEEN" rating is not high enough when the game is giving out your personal information on the net. No minor, including 17 year olds, should be allowed to purchase this game without the presence of a responsible adult who is well-informed about the parental controls available to them. No minor should be able to choose to give out their personal information this way.
Here is the content of my complaint to the ESRB (limited to 500 characters, excuse the grammar):
Filing a formal complaint about Blizzard's announcement today that their forums will display your real first and last name.
It poses a security and privacy risk, especially for minors. Please raise the rating for all Blizzard games to at least what you would give Grand Theft Auto (preferably Adults Only).
Giving out personal information is more dangerous today than letting a child see the content in GTA.
The move also shows a startling disregard for privacy that you should keep an eye on.