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reader discussion

Reader Discussion: Will You Use Your Real Name For Next-Gen Gaming?

by Jeff Marchiafava on Oct 23, 2013 at 02:21 PM

Both Microsoft and Sony will allow users to be identified by their real names on their next-gen consoles. Will you actually use the functionality?

Today Sony confirmed that PlayStation 4 will support real-name IDs from launch. Microsoft also intends to allow users to be identified by their real names on Xbox One, but says the functionality will be patched in sometime after the console’s debut. Both companies have confirmed that real-name IDs will be entire optional, which begs the question: Will you actually use them?

In addition to making it easier to recognize your friends, one of the assumed advantages to using your real name is that it potentially makes people behave more like human beings by stripping them of the shield of anonymity. Of course that only works if the one hurling the abuse opts in – an unlikely scenario for most trolls. On the flipside, using your real name also opens the door for real-life griefing, something parents especially will likely be concerned with (and the reason Microsoft and Sony likely made real-name IDs optional in the first place)

As much as I would like to contribute to creating a better online environment, I think I’ll still choose to do my gaming under an assumed identity. I’m well accustomed to the typical level of discourse in online matches and chatrooms, and while I hope Microsoft and Sony can create a more civil playground for next-gen gaming, I’m not holding my breath. I’d like to be surprised, but until I am, I’ll only be sharing my real name with my friends.

What about you? Are you ready to wade into the online gaming world with your real name, or will you be sticking to an alter ego? Share your thoughts in the comments below.