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Drawing the line between personal privacy and character information

Mike Schramm

Chris Dahlen posted an interesting commentary on Gamasutra the other day-- he says that he's getting a tad worried about just how much information is out there on the Internet about him. Thanks to the trend of multi-platform online play and tools like WoW's Armory, Facebook apps, and EVE's API, it's easier than ever for you, and others, to find out what you did in game last night.

There's two ways to go on this. Cameron at Random Battle loves it-- he wants to see his game information in more places whenever possible. And I kind of tend to fall on his side. I've never much cared whether people know who I am in game or not, or how low or high my characters are. It's all just a game, and it's all in good fun, so why not give me (and others) as much access to my information as possible? That's why we play online games in the first place right?

But Gaming Today falls on the other side of the argument-- even gaming information is personal, and giving out personal information makes things less fun, not more. There's a lot of information hidden in your behavior online, and the easier it becomes to track that information and form a pattern, the more advertisers and even your enemies will know about you.

We've already taken the plunge to make our gaming habits known online-- we're playing games where we want to see and be seen by others. But should we be worried if the developers of these games choose to spread that information around further?

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