If someone were to play an online videogame in a gaming community where there were both good guys and bad guys playing each other, then sometimes they would be playing the bad guys. If the game were about hunting down terrorists, and getting into firefights with terrorists, then those players playing the terrorists might be labeled as evil doers by the government, Department of Homeland Security, or National Security Agency. True or Conspiracy Theory – You Decide!
Maybe someday in the future the terrorists will be using such gaming communities for role-playing against the infidel, or US citizens and soft targets. And what if there are gaming communities which play these types of games, and actual Jihadists join the online community to play against US citizens on the other side of the conflict? Why – because they’d love to do it, imagine how exciting that might be to them, even if it were in the virtual world?
Think it can’t happen? Indeed, I bet it already has, as those who are sworn to kill US soldiers in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, might very much like to join these gaming communities to take out their aggressions. Unfortunately, that isn’t a good thing as far as we’re concerned, because they are being rewarded by playing a game that involves the killing of Americans – while doing a sort of ad hoc virtual training online. This could be considered by the Department of Homeland Security or FBI as violent behavior. Now let’s switch gears and talk about another topic that is briefly related to this.
Not long ago, there was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about a video game, which is being sold to the public and being played in online gaming communities whereby it depicts Washington DC in ruins as part of the setting. The video game in controversy is called Fallout III, but regulators and a few lawmakers believe that this video game represents violence and thus should not be played, but I just bet if the setting was somewhere in the heartland, let’s say Topeka, KS, then it would be perfectly okay to sell and play.
At some point there is a cross over the line from what free speech is, and what actual violence is. What is considered a simulation, or simulated practice of killing US people, or destroying a major US city – and what is just freedom of speech in playing a wargame online. It seems there are fuzzy boundaries in all of this, and the reason I mention it is because I would love to use such online gaming communities to catch terrorists, jihadists, and those who oppose the freedoms and liberties that we know to be self evident here in the United States. Please consider all this.