Monday, July 26, 2010

Personal Information in Clan Chats

You've probably already seen Merch Gwyar's post about inappropriateness of disclosing personal information in Canting Away clan chat. If not, take a look, before you read further. It is an important topic and, as usual, Merch stated her position perfectly.

What's my view on it? As related to Canting Away, Merch is absolutely right in demanding that personal information would not be disclosed there. She has all the rights to set safety standards for the clan she runs. And non-disclosure of personal information is not an unreasonable requirement.

But talking broadly, I personally don't believe that we can hide our real identities in internet. One have to try really really hard in order to do so. And it's going to be harder and harder as time goes on. Unless something changes drastically in the way internet works, our real lives will get so tied to our online identities, that we won't be making a clear distinction anymore. And I don't think it is bad. It is just the way it is. Instead of trying to shut the world out, I believe that we all need to learn how to live in an open, with our lives exposed.

We need to teach our children and ourselves how to be prudent when making new friends using internet and especially when making transition from online to RL contacts. We need to be aware about identity theft menace and learn how to keep important internet accounts safe and secure. We need to know about computer security and follow required procedures and precautions required by it.

But we cannot simply build walls. In a long run, it won't work.


Runescape Bits said...

Hey there vaskor, It's really nice to have you back. I read your blog like a silent crocodile without saing anything, but this subject is really too important to go unanswered. And I'm too lazy to comment usually or to work online, so sorry if I didint say Hi yet even If deep inside, I'm really glad that you came back.

I've read Merch Gwyar's post and can confirm only one thing she said; Life is a risk, you can't be safe anywhere.

Other than that, I think that she is missing out on the human feel of RS. Connecting with fellow runescape players either by voice or in real life can be one hell of a good experience. When you eat your food as fast as a hungry caveman, or when you skip shower in order to play more runescape, or again when you friggin run - not walk to the bathroom, just to come back to your screen and see someone, a fictionary character tell you to do this and that, ''it will be fun'' , let's go come on'' or we will own'' ... when in fact you haven't even talked with anyone for weeks else than your mom and dad tell you the usual ''come for supper'' shut down the computer'' let's go to the movies, and you bite your nails because you are MISSING TIME!! You are missing time, people in the game are waiting for you to log on, say hi, do things with you... but who are they? what do they do in life? what is their name? Do they have friends or are they just like you? Do they enjoy life? When they are logged off from runescape, what are they doing? who are these people, who are these fun looking characters who speak to you and ''know you''?

Runescape is a lie until you meet the players behind it, whom you have things in common with. Meert, have a drink and start talking. Merch gwyar, I suggest you stop monitoring players in your clan chat, and instead incourage them to meet. It can be a life changing experience, and can make you discover what REAL LIFE is like all over again.


Anonymous said...

I restrict all communications to in-game only and only reveal the most general of details of my life - I live in the US Eastern time zone for instance.

While your expectation of privacy is limited if you're on Facebook or even posting here RS offers a platform that can provide near anonymity. To suggest just because other services - Facebook again - are bad actors we should learn to expose our lives doesn't make sense.

Armmadylo said...

RunescapeBits, I disagree with your idea that Merch, or any generals in Canting, should be encouraging IRL meets. As she says, and as I know, there are several people in Canting who aren't yet teens. I do agree that it would be great to see the real person behind the character, but encouraging kids to do that is a bit over the top.
Also, your example seems very extreme; while I do play a fair bit of RS, I still have a social life. The important thing is finding a balance between the two, not pooling them together.

Merch Gwyar said...

I am reading the discussion here, as with the comments on my blog, with great interest.

Just to clarify one point - if I knew, 100%, that every person in Canting was either an adult or was savvy enough to protect themselves in real life situations, then people could say what they liked.

Being so strict on the subject has largely arisen from the knowledge that there have been at least two 9 year olds frequenting the cc. There are several pre-pubescents; many adolescents; and the occasional vulnerable older person. While the rest of Canting might be perfectly mature and able to make their own decisions, I'm over-protective of those who could potentially make the wrong moves.

NeobotXP said...

It may be runescape but it is still the internet.

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