5 Games You've Been Playing With The NSA And GCHQ Spy Agencies
Posted on Monday, December 9 @ 16:30:00 PST by Daniel BischoffThis list comes from the full document leaked by Edward Snowden, but it is also satire. Please, don't drone me, bro. To learn more, check out this morning's news about the NSA and GCHQ's reach into online worlds.
World of Warcraft
Edward Snowden's NSA documents specifically call out Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft as a tool for extremist cells to gather, communicate, organize, and level their Pandaren Mages. The report mentions that the difference between parties and guilds has an impact on terrorist-threat-levels in that Guilds are more permanent, that they have a organizational structure complete with rank and responsibilities. So which female Goblin Rogue is the NSA plant in your Guild? You haven't put him in charge of buffing the group, have you?
Terrorism Fact: Leeroy Jenkins was actually a deep cover agent testing disruptive capabilities in embedded terrorist cells.
The NSA document mentions that Second Life's communication not just in-between players, but outside of the game to SMS text devices and to phones poses a threat to our national security. How about the giant dildo monsters that roam Second Life's hillsides? How about the all-encompassing vitual sex you can embark on? I don't even joke when I say that NSA operators assigned to Second Life duty learned to organize or else stumble on each other and blow "virtual" cover. How many people on Second Life are just US agents trying to trick you into their big mansion or virtual clothing store?
Terrorism Fact: Wait. What do you even do in Second Life?
Call of Duty
America's Army? Sure, the NSA says that it's been an effective recruiting tool, but what about Call of Duty? With Microsoft's Xbox Live service totally comprimised by NSA's various contracted firms, operators like Edward Snowden had free reign to listen in on your party's conversations in the biggest Xbox Live games played by millions around the world. Have you ever talked about buying a sack in an Xbox Live Party?
Terrorism Fact: There are several developers and games noted by the NSA that let players reenact Islamic military operations. I'm sure other countries have seen Call of Duty.... I mean, this franchise can't help their opinion of us, if we're down to snipping about video games.
Edward Snowden's NSA document on gamers notes that "Counter-Strike is considered the most popular online first-person shooter (FPS) game in the world" which is horribly outdated, but later goes on to say that military or insurgent recruitment could be based on performance in-game. All the best Counter-Strike players I've met online in my hundred plus hours of game time have also been high, drunk, and possibly on other drugs while playing and knifing everyone in the back and coughing on the microphone.
Terrorism Fact: I searched for "counter" in the NSA document on gaming communication and found 24 uses. I searched for "terror" and found 97 uses. Terrorists Win.
Sopranos Alternate Reality Game
These NSA documents are a little dated, but detailed explanations of fictitious alternative reality game threats is really haunting. I hope anyone who enjoyed A&E's Soprandos ARG stayed away from anything like that.
Terrorist Fact: RIP JG.
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