Fifteen million Americans had their identities stolen in 2021. Contrary to what you might see in movies where identity theft involves men in suits swiping fingerprints, filing teeth and taking hair samples, it usually involves the victim unknowingly giving their information to no-do-gooders.
There are several ways this can happen. It can be sharing more than you should on social media or getting too close to your gamer friends. As a result, it becomes crucial to maintain some level of anonymity in most spheres of life—including gaming!
Ask any gamer, and they’ll give you several reasons they want to be shadows on the web. But are these reasons founded in authenticity? Is there an actual need?
The best place to start would be to consider the most common reasons gamers are anonymous.
Why Do Gamers Strive to Be Anonymous?
The allure of anonymity in online gaming communities is on the rise. Let’s quickly review why so many gamers prefer to be anonymous when playing online.
This goes without saying. The primary benefit of anonymity is the protection it affords.
Generally, this encompasses protecting their personal information — name, address, and financial information – and gaming habits and preferences.
This is why most gamers opt for services powered by cryptocurrencies. The technology enables users to conduct transactions without sharing financial or bank information. The gambling industry is a testament to the fact that a system founded in crypto works to keep players anonymous. Crypto assets are not defined as legal tender in the vast majority of countries, So, traditional gambling regulations do not cover crypto assets. Instead, legislation is specifically related to ‘fiat money’, such as US dollars, British pounds, etc. So by depositing, wagering, and withdrawing cryptocurrencies at an online casino, no KYC requirements are triggered (source: https://cryptonews.com/news/best-anonymous-casinos.htm).
The internet is home to many vices. For gamers, the vice of online harassment is an ever-present threat. Staying anonymous is the simplest yet most effective way to avoid harassment in many cases.
Access Geo-restricted Games
Many geo-restricted content on the internet becomes unrestricted once you go anonymous.
After all, the target service won’t be able to restrict user access if it doesn’t know who you are in the first place. As a result, going anonymous allows gamers to play game titles they might not ordinarily be able to access.
Various factors, such as government censorship or age-related limitations, can contribute to this situation. Staying anonymous allows gamers to bypass these restrictions. This also applies to casino games, which are not available in all parts of the world. Gambling anonymously with crypto isn’t as regulated as fiat currency gambling, so players where gambling is illegal can generally access these services with no issues.
Avoid Being Judged
That’s right. Some gamers simply want to stay anonymous to avoid the weight of internet scrutiny. This can be due to some factors, such as their gaming skills, their choice of games, or their spending habits.
If you have ever played any game with and without pressure, you can immediately resonate with anybody who makes this point. Sometimes, you just need time alone to hone your skills without friends or family being able to check or, in some cases, mock your progress.
You can enjoy your gaming experience privately without fear of being judged.
Similarly, some banks may block transactions to online gambling sites. When playing anonymously with crypto, there’s no need to worry about transactions failing.
How to Stay Anonymous While Gaming
You have all the reasons to game anonymously. But is it possible? Short answer: yes. Long answer: the following tips help you do just that.
Use a VPN
Most sources ask that you use a virtual private network (VPN) to conceal your footprint on the World Wide Web. This is a tool that encrypts your internet traffic and conceals your IP address.
When you use a VPN to access the internet for gaming, it spoofs your location, making it more difficult for anyone to track your online activity.
Create a new email and gaming account
One relatively easy way to stay anonymous gaming is to create a new email address for your gaming activities and only use this email to create your gaming accounts. It is important that you do not link this mail to your personal mail or any other means of contact.
Be Stingy with your information
Being private online is more than just following tips and paying for VPN subscriptions. It is a mentality that you need to key into and abide by consistently. You must only give out information you have to and avoid oversharing during registrations or interactions with other gamers.
Use a privacy-focused web browser and operating system
A more advanced setup would see gamers operate on privacy-focused web browsers like Brave and DuckDuckGo. They are both great browser options that are effortless to use and do not keep track of user activities. Consider using privacy-oriented operating systems like Tails, Qubes OS, Pure OS, Whonix and Linux Mint for more firepower.
One common rookie mistake is when gamers connect their social media accounts to their supposed anonymous gaming account. Doing so defeats the purpose of gaming ghost. It immediately links back to you, and anyone with the means can immediately decipher your identity.
Is Anonymity Necessary in Gaming?
You know the why, and crucially, you know the how. All that’s left is to ask yourself if it matters enough to go through with it. Sure, at the beginning, you were convinced, but now, are you willing to follow these steps to the letter so that you can game anonymously? You should remember that it could be a lifestyle change; it would require you to do things differently from what you are used to and would take some intentionality on your part.
While the rewards are there, knowing if it is the right or wrong choice is entirely up to you. Take a deep breath before making irreversible changes to your gaming setup.