Terrorism and the virtual world
GamePolitics throws out an issue I’ve been thinking about for a few years now, but have been loath to blog about – could the humble MMO be harbouring nefarious groups hell-bent on doing Evil to Western Civilisation? Could a terrorist actually be the person behind my so-called friend the Furry? Is s/he/it trying to draw me over to the dark side? What about all those cabals I’m not friendly with in my online games? Could they actually be groups of terrorists plotting against all that is Great and Good?
Quoting GamePolitics’ quote from Counterterrorism Blog (that’s a catchy name):
Streaming video can be uploaded into Second Life and a scenario can easily be constructed whereby an experienced terrorist bomb-maker could demonstrate how to assemble bombs using his avatar to answer questions as he plays the video… Just as Real Life companies such as Toyota test their products in Second Life so could terrorists construct virtual representations of targets they wish to attack…
TN guest author and blog master of 3pointD Mark Wallace attracted a good portion of ire to his suggestion that meta-guild W-Hat, who have presences in many MMO spaces, is exactly the type of group that should be observed:
Members and past members of the W-Hat groups there have been responsible for some of the most outrageous builds in all the virtual world — including satirizations of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and the assassination attempt on the pope.
Where is the line drawn? W-Hat is arguably one of the most creative presences in Second Life and succeeds in pushing the boundaries in all of the other worlds they are in. When do its members’ attacks graduate from dark satire/irritating griefing to “terrorism”? When their activities move into the so-called real world? The ever outspoken Second Life resident Prokofy Neva has been harangued by W-Hat members offline (read his viewpoint in Mark’s post) ; are they now part of a terrorist group?
~ by aleks on March 5, 2007.