Sunday, March 04, 2007

Virtual Watergate or What Does G. Gordon Liddy's Avatar Look Like?

Game journalists have been reporting on the fact that even the campaign office of a presidential candidate has been targeted by those bent on committing property damage in virtual worlds. According to "John Edwards Second Life HQ Vandalized," the headquarters of the White House hopeful in the popular MMO was trashed recently, adding to Edwards' woes created by his attempts to reach out electronically to a younger, media-savvy pool of voters. One assumes that like the a branch of National Front and several retail outlets, including American Apparel and Reebok, some SL residents had political objections to his election storefront in cyberspace.

My favorite piece of recent reporting on the virtual world has to be attention being paid to an essay on "MetaTerror: The Potential Use of MMORPGs by Terrorists," in which an intelligence analyst warns of terrorist organizations financing and recruiting jihadists via virtual worlds. Certainly vigilantees attempting to kill low wage Chinese gold farmers in games like World of Warcraft might have more fun if they thought that they were killing evil terrorists rather than mere economic competitors. I have to grant that the piece did have an interesting hypothesis, however, about how terrorists could practice their scenarios for destruction in 3-D worlds, just as companies like Toyota experiment with prototypes, protocols, and new business practices. Of course, I think this is yet another example of how groupthink affiliated with the government's mindset demonizes videogame play, file-sharing, and other common practices in electronic culture by associating them with terrorism, child molesting, or other reprehensible forms of association.

Via Game Politics.

Update: Interesting discussion of Jones' terrorism hypothesis going on now at Terra Nova.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home