Globally Unique Usernames – User Email Addresses

I needed to post a support question to Electronic Arts support today (longstory), and like many sites they force you to create anaccount.

Fine. So first things first I have to create a user account, andit’s asking for a username.

dforbes…sorry that account name is alreadytaken
dwforbes…sorry that account name is alreadytaken
dennisforbes…sorry that account name isalready taken
denniswforbes…sorry that account nameis already taken
dennis.forbes…ILLEGAL CHARACTERS!
dennis_forbes…ILLEGALCHARACTERS!
forbesdennis…sorry that account name isalready taken
RRR…sorry that account name isalready taken
blah…sorry that account name is alreadytaken
blah999…sorry that account name is alreadytaken
RRRRRRR999…taken

I’m not kidding. It was actually proposing ridiculous availablealternatives for each, so I didn’t have to keep trying, but at thispoint I was just punching in random strings to see how huge andpolluted their database really is. It’s big, and it’s polluted.

These sorts of user accounts irritate me because I already havea globally unique account – my email address. No one else, in thewhole wide world, has the same email address as I do. Furthermore Idon’t have to remember whatever oddball account you’ve forced me totake through arbitrary and site-unique username restrictions: Justuse an email address and you can allow whatever is allowed in theRFC (it’s all documented there for you), and when I get there I’llknow what my username is. Why it’s my email address! You’re forcingme to enter it elsewhere to validate the account anyways, so youmight as well go all the way with it.