Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Walk Idiot Walk

Self-conscious poseage (is that even a word) FTW ^^

Those of you who don't read me on Twitter may not be aware that, at the weekend, I was interviewed for a Podcast. If you want to listen, you'll find it here:

I have to say, I've been genuinely amazed by the reception. Someone said to me before I took part that its pretty easy to distinguish who loves their game and who doesn't when you listen to them talk about it, and it appears my passion for this eight year old behemoth remains undiminished. I really got quite stressed out about the entire experience (both before, during and after) and I've still not yet plucked up the courage to listen back to myself as yet, but the feedback I'm getting from those who have is unbelievably positive. It has even been suggested that I might want to start my own Podcast on the strength of this performance: I'm still quietly stunned at that revelation. I'm also not sure what I'd do if I did, but needless to say I'm thinking about the possibility, with 'thinking' being the operative word.

What this has made me think is that being more public about things isn't necessarily a bad idea.

There's a fabulous article from Olivia Grace on WoW Insider from yesterday on the issue of getting angry about stuff online. One of the issues I touched on in the Podcast, when asked what I'd add to the game to improve it, was a means inside the interface to force more accountability from players. I'm still not sure how or what could realistically be done to make this happen, but I do understand that being anonymous is not acceptable after eight years. People need to stand up and be counted. Changing your name or swapping servers in order to escape from bad behaviour should not be acceptable any more. There should be a record of who you are and what you've done, and that record should follow you regardless, and then you need to be prepared to live and die (metaphorically) by your actions.

Of course, there are many who rely on anonymity for other reasons, and those individuals would not want a record of server transfers and name changes for legitimate and understandable reasons. For this reason alone being completely transparent may not be as popular a move as it should be, but part of me hopes that there is a middle ground that can be found on these issues. The major problem is the disparate strands of information that exist which would need to be linked together to allow a system that not only keeps track of your history but can report a version of said timeline to the public. Again, I sense this would need to be built into a new game's interface, rather than clunkily added to an existing one, which is why part of me hopes Blizzard is watching and listening for Titan.

I'd like to thank everyone who's commented and been so encouraging about my steps towards 'going public' and I hope that there can be ways found to make accountability a bigger issue for Warcraft and online generally. It's a big enough issue that if someone like Blizzard can come up with a solution that works, its likely to do far more to re-energise the game's subscription base than adding any amount of new content could ever achieve...


Tome of the Ancient said...

Enjoyed listening to you this morning, half with coffee and the rest after dog walk.

Also thanks for pointing me to a new podcast to listen to!

Neri said...

I think it's a terrible state of affairs when any possible solution to introducing accountability has to be rejected because those very same people it's trying to penalise would exploit it to do cause even more strife for innocent people.

Maybe you should have to fill out a psych test before installing the game. Jerkface tendancies? Great, you can only roll characters on servers allocated to jerkfaces.

That was sarcasm. Please don't hate me!

I'll have to take the time to check out your podcast appearance :)