Some interesting updates below…
We read via Touch Arcade tonight that there was a wee little change in the Game Center TOS today (you should see it next time you log into or launch Game Center) that has this bit of interesting content at the top:
IMPORTANT NOTE: We have changed the Game Center terms and conditions to provide you notice that if you send a friend invitation, the full name associated with your Apple ID will be shared with the recipient. If you accept a friend invitation, the full name associated with your Apple ID will be shared with the sender.
So, you might wonder if this is a big deal? Gamers are known for their preference to anonymity, and this might not sit well with that group, but …
Are gamers really the group Apple is trying to court? See, I’ve accepted a bunch of friend requests and I only know a few of the people in real life—and that takes some of the fun out of it for me. I’m not a huge gamer. I haven’t been for years. So the games I’m playing on my iPhone and iPad are really for fun, but a little friendly competition is cool with me. Especially among friends.
How is this going to change things going forward? We don’t know yet, frankly. In my current list of friends I still see “regular” Apple IDs and I accepted a couple friend requests after I accepted the new TOS. If you want to try things out, I’m trishussey on Game Center. So like Touch Arcade we’re watching this too…
We’re going to be keeping a close eye on this over the next few days. It isn’t clear if friends made previous to this change will have access to your real name, or if this is only going to be the case for future friends. Either way, it seems like a strange move on Apple’s part considering that many gamers take anonymity seriously.
However, unlike Touch Arcade, I don’t think this is a strange move for Apple. I think Apple wants people to less anonymous and seem more friendly than using just user IDs. Sure the gamer set might be turned off, but parents and kids might not be so. I think knowing the request came from Billy down the street or Sue in the next office over is important to people.
Does this change bother you or do you like it better this way? Sound off folks.
Update: I received a friend request from a fellow TNW author just after I posted and sure enough I saw Adam’s real name in the request:
But that’s not the interesting part. What I find really interesting is that Apple uses your real name for the friend request, then it seems to promptly forget it. Here is my friend list showing Adam’s status:
So, what’s the point of forcing the real name on the friend request, but then not using it in your friends list? That just boggles me.