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Our Tax Dollars Hard at Work: NSA Employees Paid to Play 'World of Warcraft'

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Miscellaneous | December 10, 2013 | Comments ()


Word of Warcraft 99.jpg

So the British press is reporting that the NSA has employees dedicated to playing World of Warcraft all day in order to monitor for terrorist activity and communications.

I love that sentence so much I want to give it a terrorist fist bump and write a screenplay about it. I’ve never written a screenplay. Is it hard? It’s probably pretty easy, right?

Anyway, some people are pointing out that this is not exactly news, that rumors and reports of this had originally surfaced some five years ago. American television advertising has spent years convincing me that if I haven’t seen it, it’s new to me, so I’m calling this news and running with it. Besides, I have a server password and you don’t, and the power went to my head so long ago that it’s got its own shelf in the medicine cabinet up there. Sidenote: power seems to take a lot of antibiotics.

First, I love that the British are breaking this story, because there’s something so British about pointing out the absurd things the colonists are getting up to on the other side of the pond. Related to that, I deeply hope that they broke this news with the British media standby of hacking the cell phones of the NSA employees involved, because that would be so ironic it would rust in water.

Second, I love that there is at least a muted outrage at the vile violation of freedom involved with only about ten percent of people pointing out that this is inevitably the result of bored young workers who convinced their computer illiterate bosses that this was a fantastic idea.

I want this movie.

I want a Better off Ted style emasculation of the entire culture of the NSA, featuring Phil and Lem using the power of No Such Agency for the time-honored purposes of slacking off at work. And in the course of this con, they start producing reports on intelligence they gather, which then in a riff on Foucault’s Pendulum end up actually pointing to a real terrorist operation. The twist, and of course there is an additional twist, is that the terrorist plot they uncover is in itself a fabrication of al Qaeda members who invented the op in order to play World of Warcraft.

If I had a mic right now, I’d drop it.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • BlackRabbit

    I can see the CDC playing it a little after the Corrupted Blood incident, but the NSA? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

  • e jerry powell

    But no Daily Show clip?

    The Daily Show bit was pretty awesome.

  • It's the gnomes. NSA are all definitely playing gnome Necromancers. I hate those fuckers.

  • AngelenoEwok

    I know of at least 1 prochoice org that had interns playing farmville with antichoice activists during the height of the farmville craze.

  • Helo

    Betcha they played as Horde.

  • DeaconG

    They were on Second Life as well.

    OK, guys...it's not funny anymore.

  • JJ

    That's only because the British are still bent out of shape from when we dumped all that tea into the Ultima Online servers.

  • Yocean

    I got MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch and I will soooo write that screenplay if you ain't gonna.

  • nosio

    Ooh. As I was reading this, I was imagining a half live action/half CGI movie (a la Avatar) in which we get scenes of the characters as their IRL selves, but also a meaty chunk of the action takes place during actual game play. Meaning that for like 70% of the movie, the nation's top intelligence officers are portrayed as a lovable band of Pandarens making discoveries about a terrorist group of Blood Elves.

  • Ian Fay

    I thought this story couldn't get any sadder, and then you mentioned Better Off Ted and then I remember how awesome that show was and that it was gone too soon.

    Thanks for nothing!

  • Why are you still here? GET TO WRITING MAN!!!! FIRE UP THAT KICKSTARTER AND GET GOING!!!

  • Justin Kuhn

    I want to see/direct that movie.

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