Activision Blizzard Inc.'s move to require people to use their real names if they want to post messages in online forums for games is the latest sign that online anonymity is falling out of favour with many companies.

The upcoming change has upset many gamers who prize anonymity and don't necessarily want their gamer personas associated with their real identities.

Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, said Tuesday that the new rule will go into effect later this month. It will apply first to forums about the highly anticipated StarCraft II, out July 27; other games are to follow.

Blizzard hopes that making people use their real names will cut down on nasty behavior in the forums and create a more positive environment. Players will have the option – but not a requirement – to display the name of their main game character alongside their real name.

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