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China Pushes Real Name System For Online Games

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the blizzard-was-avant-garde dept.

Privacy 115

oxide7 writes "Starting from August 1, Chinese Internet users will have to register using their real names for playing online games, China Daily reported on Saturday. The regulation, issued by the Ministry of Culture on June 22, is said to be part of a nationwide campaign to improve management of the virtual gaming industry and protect minors from unwholesome content. It applies to all multiplayer role-playing and social networking games."

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115 comments

So that's why Blizzard wanted RealID... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098442)

Oh, and South Korea already does this. But "we" only care about this because this is CHINA and CHINA IS BAD!! Mmmm'kay?

Re:So that's why Blizzard wanted RealID... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098482)

Who cares? Chinese and Koreans only "play" on-line for Gold Farming.

Re:So that's why Blizzard wanted RealID... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098712)

Erm, are we talking about the same South Korea here? The one I'm thinking of is the only country in the world where video game tournaments attract mainstream media attention -- and I'm pretty sure they're farming minerals and vespene gas, not gold.

Re:So that's why Blizzard wanted RealID... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098808)

Yes, Because China is moving from a Communist form of government to a Fascists state courtesy of western corporations.

Re:So that's why Blizzard wanted RealID... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099270)

I knew it was our fault somehow!

Re:So that's why Blizzard wanted RealID... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100360)

Same shit, new name?

Re:So that's why Blizzard wanted RealID... (3, Insightful)

John Saffran (1763678) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099526)

There's a larger picture at play here rather than some sort of supposed victimisation of china.

In South Korea the real-name rule was instituted to stop people using their anonymity to harm others through defamataion. The worst case scenario is that the aggrieved party, ie. the defamees, can bring legal suits against malicious rumour mongering. In other words it serves to empower victims, and no more than that.

To contrast, what's the worst thing that can happen to someone in China? Unfortunately china is still a country where posting the 'wrong' opinion, particularly for political matters, can have some very real-life consequences. Even posting from a pseudo-anonymous location, eg. an internet cafe, can have the police showing up within minutes of making such a post. This specific article might only speak of real-id for online gaming, ostentibly to ensure defamation doesn't happen, but the issue is that it can far too easily be the thin end of the wedge of yet another measure to stifle political dissent through the threat of physical harm. To illustrate the possible consequences, the Ghostnet report into cyberespionage highlighted the case of a tibetan in china who was convicted through evidence 'gathered' via the botnet. Clearly the noose would tighten around freedom of speech when (not if) the measure was extended beyond game forums into the internet as a whole.

Whilst individuals like yourself might not care about such measures because perhaps it doesn't affect you directly, but there's a clear danger to people who happen to live in china and have a strong social conscience .. this is why articles about censorship in china garner attention, not because people like to 'pick on' china.

Next step? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098456)

USB Key fob with all your bio data will be required. Of course, we're all for it, right? Only terrorists and pedophiles want privacy...

Re:Next step? (2, Funny)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099036)

Yes, because political activists are going to be kept down and freedom of speech will be DOOOMED if I can't grief in L4D and get away with it!

Re:Next step? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099168)

It is simply the logical thing to do. Efficiency is the goal. And it will meet as much resistance as your random airport searches. So docile people have become that anyone who opposes the authorities is now looked down upon as a malcontent and a loon, or worse, an enemy collaborator. The mission has indeed been accomplished. Hearts and minds have been won over. The spirit has been dispatched. And complacency, the desire for convenience has become the routine.

Re:Next step? (0, Troll)

AlamedaStone (114462) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099706)

It is simply the logical thing to do. Efficiency is the goal. And it will meet as much resistance as your random airport searches. So docile people have become that anyone who opposes the authorities is now looked down upon as a malcontent and a loon, or worse, an enemy collaborator. The mission has indeed been accomplished. Hearts and minds have been won over. The spirit has been dispatched. And complacency, the desire for convenience has become the routine.

tl; dr

Protect people from unwholesome content? (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098462)

Such as democracy and human rights?

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (0, Troll)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098882)

oh shut up. Freedom is for the wealthy elite, and slavery is for the rest.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098916)

oh shut up. Freedom is for the wealthy elite, and slavery is for the rest.

What the wealthy elite have is not freedom, but license. What they own also owns them, and with that comes the fear of loss and the obsessive desire to possess and control more and more. They are as far from free as one can get. If you see them as they truly are then you cannot possibly envy them.

Real freedom is not political freedom. It's an inner freedom that does not depend on circumstances and events, only on how one faces them. It is not something that others could grant or take away.

Did you imagine that the elite would spread such misery and fear, manifest such pathological selfishness, and care so much about power over others if they were truly free?

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099022)

I believe what most people mean when they say only the wealthy are free, perhaps especially in an authoritarian society, is that the wealthy are privileged. They are "free" to do as they like with little or no consequences for their actions.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099062)

A good example being a certain BP exec who chose to race his Yacht while the environmental and economic lifelihood of our gulf coast went to shit overnight, on his watch.

Though I agree with grandparent from a philosophical standpoint, I would reluctantly mod him -1 idealist if the option existed.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099300)

or a Taxachussetts senator who parked his out of his own state to avoid paying the taxes he says from the other side of his mouth we should pay, or the president who didn't do anything about it, but has already taken 4 vacations....

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099420)

Presidents don't get vacations as we think of them. Every day of their "vacation" includes meetings, updates, decisions, calls, and diplomatic messages. The only thing "vacation" means for the president is that he has a little more time to himself that day, insofar as a president can have something like that at all.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100806)

Maybe they should, maybe that's why they make so many bad decisions.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099026)

You sound like your poor.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099076)

money may not be able to buy happiness but I would rather cry in a ferrari while doing lines off the ass of an expensive call girl

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099138)

When you take a trip down from your fantasy fairy land into reality you'll realize that a person with financial security and general liberty to pursue their interests (which may come from money or from political influence or usually both) actually IS more free and more happy than a hungry beggar digging through trash or a political prisoner who is tortured daily. Inner freedom my ass.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099392)

When you take a trip down from your fantasy fairy land into reality you'll realize that a person with financial security and general liberty to pursue their interests (which may come from money or from political influence or usually both) actually IS more free and more happy than a hungry beggar digging through trash or a political prisoner who is tortured daily.

And in America any degree of that we have enjoyed came about because of men who had so much inner freedom that they had the guts to put their lives on the line and start a revolutionary war in order to build a society around any kind of mundane freedom you have enumerated. They were willing to be considered something like terrorists or treasonous, to fight in war, and also to defy the apathy of 1/3 of their population and the opposition of another 1/3 of their population at that time.

You understand that dead men don't have any of the political or monetary freedoms you mention? So why would some folks who were already rather well-to-do value something more than their own lives? That's simple. They had inner freedom and it determined how they faced the events and circumstances of the world around them. You cannot subjugate a truly free people. You can only subjugate cowards who fear the threat of force more than they fear a meaningless existence because such people have no inner freedom. That's why they are so compatible with a meaningless existence (like climbing the corporate ladder as a major focus of life) even though many of them sense that there is something wrong with it.

Admittedly the Founding Fathers are a cliche, mundane, yet concrete illustration of people who understood what I am talking about. Henry David Thoreau and Mahatma Ghandi are more examples, for both were imprisoned yet neither was afraid of prison or deterred by it from doing what they knew to be right. Someone concerned about political freedom exclusively would most certainly want to avoid state-imposed incarceration.

I am having to resort to this sort of explanation only because you failed to see one thing: I am not arguing against political freedom. I said only that it wasn't what I was referring to. You didn't bother, but had you asked me about political freedom I would say that its only stable form would have to come from a society that values real inner freedom. In other words, political freedom should follow and have its roots in real freedom. If it doesn't, then you get its roller-coaster form where governments start out smaller and freer and eventually become huge and authoritarian until collapsing and being replaced by something else, ad infinitum. That's why a high degree of political freedom has been so fleeting throughout history. At any rate, they are not opposed. They are related.

Inner freedom my ass.

I knew when I wrote the previous post that some people would scoff at it. Without a doubt, it can be a hard notion to seriously consider. On that I think we can find some agreement. Where we differ is on the question of whether my writing was truly faulty, or whether the inability to really understand it is a fault in the reader.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099642)

you'll realize that a person with financial security and general liberty to pursue their interests (which may come from money or from political influence or usually both) actually IS more free

And in America any degree of that we have enjoyed came about because of men who had so much inner freedom that they had the guts to put their lives on the line and start a revolutionary war

Any WHY were the founding fathers able to accomplish this task? Because they were rather well to do and had a good amount of political influence. Inner freedom is one thing but if you want to have an effect on the world outside your head usually more than that is required.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099958)

Don't waste your time. Rather than preaching to the choir, you're preaching to the fossilized-brained who will never get your point.

I'm not saying you should stop talking. Only that you should stop trying to convert most of this crowd, most of whom wouldn't recognize a real principle even AFTER someone shot at them over it.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (0)

FoxconnGuy (997669) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100218)

Inner freedom my ass.

Good point!
Most of us are not Sister Teresa or her followers. I will never have the inner freedom as she had because I am so (and glad to be) ordinary.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

vuffi_raa (1089583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099680)

What the wealthy elite have is not freedom, but license.

no, they have major components to freedom that the rest of us don't

they have time, resources, education and status.
All of those things give opportunity that those of us that have had to scrap and grew up in the gutter will never be able to compete with. It means that we don't get the same opportunities to succeed or reach our potentials or live in the end as fulfilling of a life. What you are saying in your statement is the kind of thing the fat ugly kid hears from his mom- "they are just making fun of you because they are jealous"- when in actuality they are making fun of you because they are dicks and couldn't care less about you so long as they are having a good time.

insightful ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33100036)

We have a proverb here around "money does not make one happy, but having money worry makes one unhappy". I dunno why your drivel was marked insightful. From my family and extended family a lot are wealthy (multi millionaire although no billionaire). And whereas a few of them are groping for more, ABSOLUTELY NONE are unhappy. You are confusing the yellow press picture of rich people with the reality. And the reality is that rich people are (in average) as happy or as unhappy as middle class non-money-worrying people. As for your inner freedom : *MEEEEH*. Real freedom is being *free* from external worry, yes, but there are two way to attain it : wallow in mud and *think* yourself free, or have wealth and be REALLY free of worry.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100054)

If you are looking for the truly free take a look at some of the homeless

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33100232)

not sure a kid dying of hunger in the street would agree with you.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100236)

I would disagree, but only to the extent that I have met many wealthy people who are quite content with their wealth and who also agree that all others should have an equal opportunity to become wealthy - and who also agree that making some artificially advantaged is the equivalent of suppressing others.

The unfortunate fact, akin to the saying that "One bad apple spoils the bunch.", is that at this moment in American history, a tiny minority of truly greedy and truly malicious individuals controls America's "right"...their behavior is so outrageous...so focused on limiting the opportunity available to the American people with artificial wealth-centric barriers (i.e., forcing American labor into competition with nations whose cost of living is far lower as a lever to repress and reduce wages, which in turn ensures that the masses in America will not be able to afford the education required for "the good life" or the health care required for a healthy - and so long - life, etc.) that all of the rest of America's wealthy receive the same label.

In some ways, the fact that those wealthy who do not see suppressing others as a way to elevate themselves are so "mellow" is a curse upon this nation's future, for if they were to lose their contentment for a moment and truly look into what some of the worst of their economic equals and superiors are trying to do to this country, they would likely feel motivated to crush them.

And they could...but that presupposition that wealth alone is an indicator of character afflicts them.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33100486)

As Janis Joplin once wrote

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose"

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33101024)

Did you imagine that the elite would spread such misery and fear, manifest such pathological selfishness, and care so much about power over others if they were truly free?

Bloody communists

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099216)

oh shut up. Freedom is for the wealthy elite, and slavery is for the rest.

If only! As as American and hence part of the wealthy elite, that would so rock.

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099048)

The right to privacy in video games?

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099884)

There is always people very quick to jump on the anti Chinese government bandwagon and perhaps with good reason, but that doesn't mean human rights or big-brother are reason behind every move. I've worked for an online games company and witnessed first hand some of the truly chilling things paedophiles say and try to get kids to do, some of it really chills your blood as you read it and such grooming attacks were uncommon but still far too frequent as getting prosecutions is very unlikely
There are no doubt many reasons for this move and I suspect Gold Farming is very likely one of them.
Some estimates put the number of gold farmers working from China at almost a million and as it is illegal under Chinese law I suspect a big incentive would be to catch and fine these people (ie tax).

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (2, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099952)

About the pedos in online games, Toontown (a MMO for kids) has a nice system: you can't write anything you want, you can just use a very large set of predefined phrases. Unless you know someone IRL, then you can get a code and tell them over phone or IM, and after introducing the code, chat is free between the two.
In theory, it fixes the problem, although it's probably less fun not to be able to talk freely.

so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33100380)

So what? This is games. Games, not discussion forums for politics. I usually play under my real name anyway - because it is easy. Can't come up with anything better anyway...

Re:Protect people from unwholesome content? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100696)

I'd like to download some human rights in my country, could you provide me with a url ? kthxbye

Wait.. what? (1)

Netshroud (1856624) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098472)

The regulation, issued by the Ministry of Culture on June 22, is said to be part of a nationwide campaign to improve management of the virtual gaming industry and protect the minor from unwholesome content. It applies to all multiplayer role-playing and social networking games.

How does knowing a players name determine if they are a minor or not? It's not like they get something suffixed to their name once they turn 18/21 (select where applicable).

Re:Wait.. what? (1)

happylight (600739) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098622)

Most Asian countries already requires your citizen/license ID number to register for any MMORPG. This is nothing new.

Re:Wait.. what? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098814)

Do they take green card numbers from resident aliens? Or do players have to be citizens?

Re:Wait.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33100330)

Round eyes? In my MMOGRINDFEST?

It's more likely than you think.

Re:Wait.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098910)

The regulation, issued by the Ministry of Culture on June 22, is said to be part of a nationwide campaign to improve management of the virtual gaming industry and protect the minor from unwholesome content. It applies to all multiplayer role-playing and social networking games.

How does knowing a players name determine if they are a minor or not? It's not like they get something suffixed to their name once they turn 18/21 (select where applicable).

The minor doesn't necessarily need to be the one that's named. It's easier to monitor the producers of unwholesome content when it's not done anonymously.

Ironically yours,
Anonymous Coward

Where are "bigbrother" and "policestate" tags ? (5, Insightful)

TheBlackMan (1458563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098476)

This is definately not about "privacy" or "security". We all know what is the reason for such law, so it should be tagged appropriately.

Re:Where are "bigbrother" and "policestate" tags ? (2)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099156)

This is definately not about "privacy" or "security". We all know what is the reason for such law, so it should be tagged appropriately.

It's about finally finding out who the campers in counter-strike are in real life and where they live.

Re:Where are "bigbrother" and "policestate" tags ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33100648)

There's a "china" tag. That one kind of implies everything we associate with it, such as "big brother" and "police state".

Of course this is in the best interests (1)

macara (1813628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098480)

of the children, it's China we're talking about here, it's not like it's some country that would steer online information in their own favor.

Re:Of course this is in the best interests (1)

macara (1813628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098526)

of the children, it's China we're talking about here, it's not like it's some country that would steer online information in their own favor.

... forgot appropriate sarcasm tags.

Re:Of course this is in the best interests (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098954)

of the children, it's China we're talking about here, it's not like it's some country that would steer online information in their own favor.

Like the USA, it's also not a country that would trust parents to decide what is appropriate for their children, supervise them as needed, and gradually equip them to deal with the online world just as they do for the offline world. No, for that parents are thoroughly inadequate. What you need is a large, faceless, unaccountable state bureaucracy with lots of political power. Then and only then are the children safe. Taking over the role of all parents is surely better than dealing on a case-by-case basis with the small minority of parents who neglect their children.

Isn't that the message behind every governmental action that uses "for the children" as its basis?

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people." -- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Re:Of course this is in the best interests (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099982)

"The problem with trying to child-proof the world, is that it makes people neglect the far more important task of world-proofing the child." -- Hugh Daniel

Excellent news (5, Insightful)

maugle (1369813) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098486)

Now no politician in the US can even consider supporting it!

"Ladies and gentleman, my opponent has come out in support of policies implemented in polluting, human rights abusing, communist, totalitarian, job-stealing China! Are you going to let him bring that to our shores?"

Re:Excellent news (4, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098574)

That's what the Australians thought.

Re:Excellent news (4, Informative)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098836)

And you know, it's been met with public outcry and made certain politicians quite unpopular. The internet filtering thing was only ever a token appeasement move to get certain conservative elements onboard - now that they've run their course, it's being quietly set aside. Realpolitik rules the day.

Re:Excellent news (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099380)

And in about a week we'll see another iteration of the same Slashdot story: "Australia: Ruling Party '100% Committed' to Net Filter."

Eventually it will happen, or not happen... but the real problem is that, because of the indifference of Australian voters, it's possible at all.

Re:Excellent news (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098628)

Are you going to let him bring that to our shores?

Waddaya mean "going to"? We already have.. decades ago

Re:Excellent news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098756)

... or not. You remember the great firewall in China? Recently (this year) Biden has said America should have a national firewall like that cause China is doing it.

Re:Excellent news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098798)

You remember the great firewall in China? Recently (this year) Biden has said America should have a national firewall like that cause China is doing it.

If you want someone to take a claim like that seriously you really need to provide a citation. A quick Google search turns up nothing so I can only conclude you are lying.

Re:Excellent news (1)

index0 (1868500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099624)

Probably was referring to the story of the internet kill switch that China has and Lieberman supporting the same for America.
http://www.google.ca/search?q= [google.ca] "right+now+china"+internet+kill+switch

Re:Excellent news (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098792)

Because the US government never does anything the Chinese government does.

Re:Excellent news (1)

Snufu (1049644) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098866)

I applaud this action and strongly advocate that similar mandates be implemented in our fair country. I'm disgusted by internet cowards hiding behind obvious and ridiculous pseudonyms.

Sincerely,
Harold Poindexter Ness, The Third.

Re:Excellent news (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099598)

China has an internet "kill switch". Senator Lieberman has made this exact case, America needs this because China has it.
http://www.google.ca/search?q="right+now+china"+internet+kill+switch

Well, how is that going to work? (3, Funny)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098500)

"Aren't there about a billion John Lee's in China?"
~Mira Sorvino, Replacement Killers

Re:Well, how is that going to work? (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098772)

More chins than a Chinese MMO.

Re:Well, how is that going to work? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098826)

In all seriousness, I am going to assume that your legal name carries less weight in China than the number they print on your government assigned ID card.

Re:Well, how is that going to work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33100328)

I am going to assume that your legal name carries less weight in China than the number they print on your government assigned ID card.

Let me assure you, give some angry Chinese netizens one and they can find the other quite quickly. The stuff that goes on in the Chinese Internet makes /b/ look like a cat fanciers newsletter. There are a lot of bored people with computers in China and the license of anonymity is doubled when you sit next to a different stranger each day at an Internet cafe the size of a movie theater.

Re:Well, how is that going to work? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098898)

That's just so wong.

Re:Well, how is that going to work? (1)

haderytn (1232484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098960)

Please explain.

Re:Well, how is that going to work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099684)

big issue, that our names actually dont identify us, esp in china for this reason (well, some unlucky folks to have absolutely unique names, like a lot of african americans). do we want a single, universal, identifier? i dont. it sounds so clean, so pure, so rational. fuck it. long live robert heinlein, the bastard: when a society starts issuing mandatory universal id's, its time to split. I exist, i dont need to prove myself to anyone, and government exists to serve me (and you) and not the other way around. if they dont need to know, they dont get to know, and that need is determined by ME, not them. well, in theory at least...

Overblown, maybe? (2, Interesting)

sykopomp (1133507) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098538)

How is this different from the current state of things in the US, where you so often have to register with your own credit card? That seems like it'll cover virtually all cases. Not that it doesn't really suck that players can mostly be tracked down to their real identities or anything, but that's a different story, I think.

Re:Overblown, maybe? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098560)

You can buy anonymous game time cards, or anonymous prepaid credit cards (although the government really doesn't like when you do the latter, so they have been killing those programs).

Re:Overblown, maybe? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099442)

What makes you think they've been killing them? They're more available than ever. A few years ago, the easiest way to get them was to go to a local mall to buy them. Now, I can go to the grocery store and get pre-paid Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, and I think Discover, not to mention gift cards for dozens of stores, and some of those gift cards allow me to purchase pre-paid Visa cards. It's a horrible return on investment, but it makes it harder to follow the trail.

Re:Overblown, maybe? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099692)

Where are you that you can do these things? And is your geographic location governed by the same Government [informationweek.com] the parent poster noted?

Re:Overblown, maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098658)

The government isn't requiring the credit card. The game company is, for their own reasons, namely they want to be able to collect money from you.

And really, the game company DOES NOT care about your ID, they just want the money. So if you can come up with some way to get an anonymous credit card, go for it.

Where's the petition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098672)

No problem, I'm sure an online petition will stop it. The Chinese government always listens to reason from the public.

Re:Where's the petition? (3, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098900)

Exactly! People think China's government doesn't care about its citizens or listen to its people, but it's simply not true. They pay great attention to what people say, and responds immediately if anyone expresses discontent.

Re:Where's the petition? (1)

danny_lehman (1691870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098942)

i thought i sensed some sarcasm is the first post. i really hope you weren't being sarcastic because i would really like to believe that's true.

Re:Where's the petition? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099448)

It's funny you mention that. Recently, the central government has had to listen to the people. A local official either was or will soon be executed for corruption because of complaints -- even demonstrations! -- on the part of the people in his district. He is not the first, either.

They certainly won't respond as kindly to another attempt to overthrow the government, but they do sometimes have to pay attention to the people's complaints.

That's nothing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098694)

... in Sovjet Russia, they require an ejaculate for DNA sampling.

(there are no girls on the internet)

Re:That's nothing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33101468)

In Soviet Russia, ejaculate samples you!

Minors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098876)

Minors are a censor's favorite tool.

Most American Online Games already have your names (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33098918)

Most American online games already have your name or can track the players because they pay with credit cards and use the Internet from home.

In China they use prepaid card which virtually anyone can buy and then play the games at an Internet cafe. I don't agree with the proposal but they are doing the same thing that most counties do by requiring credit card payments.

Re:Most American Online Games already have your na (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099444)

Name one country requiring it in law.

Companies might as policy. Or, even without actual policy, as a matter of practice, in terms of credit cards.

But none of that is the same as making it a matter of law.

Re:Most American Online Games already have your na (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100116)

Most American online games already have your name or can track the players because they pay with credit cards and use the Internet from home.

But the name on the card need not be a person's "real name". The whole issue of names is far from trivial. Especially when it comes to putting them into computer systems.

Stalking has never been easier (3, Insightful)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33098998)

If you steal my loot in a raid I'll know your real name, and with a bit more googling everything there is to know about you:

Many of the vast unwashed masses on the net as spectacularly naive about their privacy. Take Gabrielle Romney, ex-lover of a right-wing political party figure in Australia. She wrote a letter to "The Age" bawling that they published her photo: "I am dismayed by the prominent publication of my photograph accompanying the article. To be targeted by a stalker is invasive, intimidating, and terrifying. As a private individual, one of the most debilitating aspects is the constant and unwelcome intrusion into one's life. Publishing my photograph has been a further violation of my privacy and dignity."

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/man-sent-more-than-100-sometimes-offensive-messages-to-exlover-20100726-10slv.html [theage.com.au]

Fair enough, but type her name into "Google" and you'll find yourself staring at her mug in facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/people/Gabrielle-Romney/528810959 [facebook.com]

Let me repeat what she said: "As a private individual, one of the most debilitating aspects is the constant and unwelcome intrusion into one's life."

If you're on Facebook, you're not a private individual.

Re:Stalking has never been easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099658)

If you're on Facebook, you're not a private individual.

This story is not about Facebook or Google.

Re:Stalking has never been easier (1)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100124)

If you steal my loot in a raid I'll know your real name, and with a bit more googling everything there is to know about you:

This is actually a good thing in some cases. Now being a dick on the Internet will carry consequences with it. The "Stab someone with a fork over the Internet" device is one step closer.

On the other hand, voicing your true opinions can also be dangerous so I'm not sure if the gain outweighs the drawbacks.

Re:Stalking has never been easier (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100766)

recently Blizzard tried to push their RealId feature to the official forums which was your real name attached to your battle.net account. Uproad was so huge they had to cave in - big numbers of WoW players were cancelling their subsriptions not to mention Starcraft 2 and Cataclysm preorders and this fiasco was picked up by the mainstream media. To control damage to their bottom line in the light of upcoming releases they put the idea on the backburner.
Thread with posts of outraged customers grew 1 post every 4 seconds and it was impossible to read as it grew faster than you could consume with your eyes. It hit 50k in 3 days before getting locked and we are talking only about the US forums, european ones had similar threads with thousands of posts.

People mentioned many other problems with real names on game forums which outweigh overall benefits of people not being a dick on the internet. The most frequent and obvious:
- women would be harassed by basement trolls who have seen no sunlight simply because they are women
- minorities would be harassed because of funny names, stereotypes and whatnot
- minors would be at risk and pedos would have an even easier hunting
- social stigma of gaming can hurt your professional career because employers always check what the internet has to say about you

Re:Stalking has never been easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33100682)

If you're using your real name and info on Facebook, you're not a private individual.

Fixed that for you.

So, what about erhhh double names? (1)

PieterBr (1013955) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099008)

Runs out and goes register "Chen": sorry, this name is already taken.

Public vs Private (2, Interesting)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099100)

We are talking about registering for an online game. I see this as a debate of public vs private space, and unfortunately I see many people trying to impose their rights to privacy in public arenas.

For example, if you are walking down the street and a photographer snaps your photo, do you really have a right to expect privacy? When you walk into a store to buy your gimp outfit, do you really expect the cashier to not see your goods as you buy it or your name when you pass them the credit card?

Why are they talking about name registration? Protecting minors from unwholesome content is mentioned. So, yes, to a certain degree they want to impose censorship. You know, maybe to prevent minors from seeing explicit gestures or language like the USA's MPAA rating system does with movies.

Also, it could be used to track down those who are socially unacceptable or political dissidents. I don't know how many times I've overheard these times of conversations in Everquest when I use to play - you know, planning protest marches or talking about the injustice of the communist system while playing dark elf females dressed in all leather armor and using whips. Yeah, if I had a nickle for every time that happened, I'd still be as broke as I am now.

My wife states a good test from private space to anyone with a bit of modesty and manners that I have expanded to the most likely shameless crowd that visits the web - namely do you feel comfortable walking around totally naked, blowing your nose, and farting all while masturbating to your favorite fetish porn? You wouldn't do this in a store, on a public street, in your back yard, or on a video chat site (unless you're on chatroulette I guess - but then you're a criminal deviant who has no respect for public space).

An MMO is not a private space unless you develop the software, buy the server, build your own dedicated network lines, and restrict who can have access to it - it is a virtual RPG store holding events. You should not expect to have any privacy there.

The only issue I would have is if they required you to use your real name for your in-game name. That would defeat the purpose of a MMORPG. However, there is nothing unreasonable about using your real name to register for the game.

Re:Public vs Private (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099900)

We are talking about registering for an online game. I see this as a debate of public vs private space, and unfortunately I see many people trying to impose their rights to privacy in public arenas.

For example, if you are walking down the street and a photographer snaps your photo, do you really have a right to expect privacy?

Regardless of how you push it, the "if you have nothing to hide" argument isn't getting any less flawed. An MMO account is a private contract between yourself and the MMO publisher, and this is simply the case where a government wants to impose on a MMO user's ability to have an inherently private communication. The fact that you are speaking to the public does not mean you can't be anonymous. If a photographer meets me on the street, then I am standing on a street where anyone may walk, while if I send IP packets nobody else but the recipient will receive them. It's very different from speaking on the street, where I may be overheard, or walking on the street, where I may be seen.

When you walk into a store to buy your gimp outfit, do you really expect the cashier to not see your goods as you buy it or your name when you pass them the credit card?

Still private. I can pay by cash, wear sun glasses and a fake moustache. The store clerk would neither be able to recognize me, nor know my name. Giving him my credit card is equivalent to PMing someone with my real name.

Also, it could be used to track down those who are socially unacceptable or political dissidents. I don't know how many times I've overheard these times of conversations in Everquest when I use to play - you know, planning protest marches or talking about the injustice of the communist system while playing dark elf females dressed in all leather armor and using whips. Yeah, if I had a nickle for every time that happened, I'd still be as broke as I am now.

"Political dissidents"? You wouldn't happen to work for the Chinese government, wouldn't you?
If a government isn't doing well, then the people have the full right to rebel against it. A government is, after all, a representative body of it's people and not the other way around. Look at it from another perspective - if the Chinese government is so good to it's people, why would it need to search for political dissidents? Surely a handful of ill mouthed rebels cannot do much to turn a happy and prosperous society against it's masters.

My wife states a good test from private space to anyone with a bit of modesty and manners that I have expanded to the most likely shameless crowd that visits the web - namely do you feel comfortable walking around totally naked, blowing your nose, and farting all while masturbating to your favorite fetish porn? You wouldn't do this in a store, on a public street, in your back yard, or on a video chat site (unless you're on chatroulette I guess - but then you're a criminal deviant who has no respect for public space).

And I can do all that in my house without anyone being the wiser. Again, internet communication is private correspondence between two parties. You send a message to a specific target, and nobody else would see it, unless they choose to impose on it by the means of deep package inspection (the equivalent of opening your mail by the postal service). And even if someone chooses to open it, they may still be facing a heavy encryption that would take more than a reasonable amount of time to decrypt.

An MMO is not a private space unless you develop the software, buy the server, build your own dedicated network lines, and restrict who can have access to it - it is a virtual RPG store holding events. You should not expect to have any privacy there.

And your argument is?
In an MMO client, you don't share my personal information with other players, and the service provider doesn't either. This is nothing less of an anonymous private exchange network.

The only issue I would have is if they required you to use your real name for your in-game name. That would defeat the purpose of a MMORPG. However, there is nothing unreasonable about using your real name to register for the game.

It's unreasonable for the gaming companies who will loose customers who don't like this policy. It's unreasonable to the users who think their government doesn't need to manage their lives.

FYI (2, Interesting)

euyis (1521257) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099134)

One can easily find many resident IDs with the associated names on the Internet & in real life. Copy it, validate it, use it, voila.
And some service providers don't really care about all this real name shit - they just ask for a resident ID in valid format and don't bother to check whether it is associated with the name you provided. There are tools readily available [ip138.com] for creation of fake IDs.

Lukewarm policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099254)

This is to preserve culture and promote social responsibility on the net. This policy in itself is a good thing bc it helps kids practice real social interaction with more real consequnces whether it be positive or not. Though i have to admit this can be used used to pave way or in conjunction with other Orwellian surveillance methods to control citizens. However China is right to monitor their citizens to this extent lest they want external entities to have more control over their economy and politics through manipulation of mostly uninformed and apathetic citizens (US senate anyone?). China is facing enough political pressure/threats (whether it is for direct benefit for the citizens themselves or as a political weapon for the outside entities is up to debate) to reform its human rights issues and will in time I believe improve to at least a satisfactory level.

Simply not actually going to happen... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099464)

Things like this pop up all the time in China...there are multiple gov't groups that vie for "attention" and thus "power". One side says "we are going to protect the children from ______". Then the other group goes "No no no you do not have the power to do that - that is our job"...and nothing ever happens. The last version of this was "ID Card Numbers" which is effectively the same thing...It never came to pass either, before that it was "Time limits on MMO games"....never happened...the list goes on and on.

Quora (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099866)

This kind of stuff is excused for by websites like quora.com etc which also require real names.

why not ? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099964)

I have the same rule for my own online game (no link or I'd be accused of slashvertisement). It's "my home", so to speak, I don't charge for it, but I expect my guests to follow some basic rules of courtesy and one of them is that you give me your actual, real, full name as I give you mine (on the site).

Nothing forces you to, you can play somewhere else if you don't like the rules in my "home". Which is where the chinese approach of making it mandatory for everything becomes a bit difficult. What if I wouldn't care? I - as the owner of the game should have the choice. Maybe that's a better way than both the mandatory and the "freedom über alles, make it the choice of the players" hysteria.

No, why should it be the choice of the players? We all know that the majority of people don't need rules for basic etiquette, they will follow it without rules. The rules are there for the minority who don't. So the "freedom" you speak about is only to the benefit of the anti-social assholes you don't want around anyways. I wouldn't let people into my house who refuse to give me their name. Why should I let them into my game?

Re:why not ? (1)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100416)

Just a guess, but I suspect your name is neither female nor visibly "ethnic".

Re:why not ? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33100790)

I should have been more clear, my mistake.

I require players to give their real name to me. It remains their choice if they want it published in the player list or not. Privacy is still an important consideration.

kinda funny though if you think about it (2, Interesting)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33099986)

Realistically with 1 billion people plus extremely commonly repeated, simplistic first and last names in their language, China is going to have sooooo many first and last name repeats that they still won't be able to pin this down to one unique person based on just a name in most cases. Not even close actually. Just because of how things are there compared to here, it could easily be possibly that for any given person in China, it's 100,000 times (or more) more likely that there's at least one other person named exactly that in the country compared to the probability of that happening in the US. Definitely kinda funny if you think about it.
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