I don’t play MMORPGs. Not only do I have no desire to spend time with social deficients who use the games as an excuse to be galactically sexist, racist and homophobic with total impunity (I know not EVERY gamer is like that–but ENOUGH are), but my pitiful little laptop would have an aneurysm if I tried to run one.
But now, I have a whole new reason to limit my gaming to the offline variety…
It was recently reported in The Guardian, and several other news providers, that the National Security Agency–as well as intelligence services in the United Kingdom–have been actively monitoring online games such as World Of Warcraft and Second Life, ostensibly as part of their terrorist-hunting strategy:
According to the Guardian, real-world agents were deployed into those virtual worlds to extract communications, recruit potential informants and keep tabs on potential terrorists.
“So many different U.S. intelligence agents were conducting operations inside games that a ‘deconfliction’ group was required to ensure they weren’t spying on, or interfering with, each other,” wrote the Guardian.
The documents don’t indicate whether the push led to any usable information, nor whether any terrorist plots were detected or foiled in “World of Warcraft” or other virtual environments.
Personally, I wanna meet the guy (or girl) who convinced the intelligence community to PAY them for playing video games all day in the name of “Homeland Security”.
Next I suppose we’ll hear about the NSA’s bold new plan to finance Nigerian princes as part of the War On Terror.
What happened to the good old days when all we had to worry about was computer geeks accidentally accessing billion-dollar, artificially-intelligent defense systems and inadvertently kicking of nuclear war?