Why I’m so happy about Blizzard’s BattleTag update
This morning was like most mornings; I rolled over, reached for my phone, and began a groggy scroll through my Facebook news feed. When I hit this BlizzPro article, I snapped awake.
Blizzard is allowing players to change their BattleTag!
Without even finishing the article, I jumped out of bed and sprinted to the computer. A few moments later, my BattleTag was successfully switched to my original online gaming moniker: Timpysan.
So, why was this such a big deal for me? Let’s fire up the time machine…
A few years ago, I was big into politics. So much so, that I was convinced my future lied in political punditry. To that end, I attempted to build a brand; I created a website, I opened new social media accounts, I made business cards. I also changed the name on all of my existing accounts to match my new brand – even my non-political accounts.
Fast forward a year, and we find that politics has made me miserable. After attending several conferences, meeting some high-profile pundits, and attempting to network with various organizations, I learned a harsh truth: in most political circles, your public identity is the only thing that matters. Who you are as a person, what you’ve experienced in your life, how you treat people around you… none of that matters. As long as you are marketable and loud, you have value. But if you’re just a passionate individual whose ideas might dare occasionally challenge the political lockstep of your party, you’re shunned. And not just in a “take your crazy talk elsewhere” manner. You are treated as less than human. So, I got out. I could deal with being challenged, laughed at, and even disliked. What I couldn’t stomach was the prevailing attitude that just because someone was on “the other side” politically, they weren’t worth basic human compassion.
Not-so-long story short, I ditched my political website and its related social media accounts, and changed the rest of my accounts back to my generic online identities. I even paid to change my Xbox gamertag. But the one identity I couldn’t change was my BattleTag. At the time, Blizzard only allowed a single BattleTag change, and I had already used it when creating my brand. I even took to Blizzard’s online forums, begging them to implement a paid change service.
I’m a big fan of Blizzard games. I’ve been playing them for over 20 years. Their upcoming shooter, Overwatch, has me and my son more excited than any game in recent memory. But my BattleTag was like a dark cloud hanging over my head; it often deterred me from playing other Blizzard team games, like Heroes of the Storm. I hated seeing the name on the screen. I hated it even more when my teammates addressed me with it. And during the Overwatch beta test, rather than be proud of my achievements, I cringed whenever my BattleTag was broadcast to other players when I scored a coveted play of the game.
And then came this morning’s glorious news that I could finally ditch the last vestige of an unhappy chapter of my life. Now, when I unwind with my favorite games, I can fully enjoy the experience.
Thank you, Blizzard, for making this happen. Thank you, BlizzPro, for letting me know about it. And thanks in advance to the rest of the Blizzard gaming community I’ll have the pleasure of playing with for years to come.