Online identity crisis: Real ID on the World of Warcraft forums

Anne-Mette Albrechtslund


In July 2010, Activision Blizzard announced that the Real ID system was going to be implemented on the official World of Warcraft forums, meaning that players would be required to identify themselves with their real names to be able to post on the forums. The plans were withdrawn only a few days later because of the overwhelming negative response from players. This article analyzes examples of players' responses on the forums and, having identified central themes concerning identity and sociality in this online setting, explores possible reasons why anonymity is so important to the player community.


identity; text analysis; gaming; internet research; narratology

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