I know that there are a lot of weird rumours and ideas which fly around about World of Warcraft and WoW players. Alot of these rumours unfortunately centre on the Role Playing aspect of the game, but then there are also strange ones which focus on the game in general. My personal favourite would have to be the following (and it is kinda old, but I was just thinking about it today)
Terrorists in World of Warcraft! Yes, there was an idea that terrorist groups might be able to recruit people online through MMORPG’s such as World of Warcraft (which is always the first game mentioned when people discuss online gaming). While a part of me can understand the idea that terrorist cells might recruit people online, I really find it difficult to believe that they would have a great deal of success. Now, I can’t say that I understand a great deal of this anti-terrorism mumbo jumbo that comes up anyhow – I have a pretty relaxed attitude towards most things, and you could almost say I am at the total other end of the scale from paranoid – but this just seems a little odd. There are three main arguments:
1. By studying the behaviours of people online, they can establish what are ‘safe’ norms and what are ‘dangerous’ norms. Sure, this could possibly be achieved, although I suspect it would be difficult occasionally to tell the difference between the asshats and the truly dangerous. What typifies a dangerous person? Excessive ‘violence’? Being meticulous in planning this violence? *shrugs* The gankers might be in trouble here!
This study is meant to be able to prevent the following (as if they would do this just to see what the norms are!):
2. Terrorist groups can use online games such as World of Warcraft to communicate in a simple, untraceable way. I find this a bit difficult to swallow, simply because there are so many other ways in which they could communicate, which are also much cheaper (read: free). Sure, it is well within the realm of possibility, but are you really going to be able to catch them? Seems like a good way to spend a lot of money achieving nothing.
3. Terrorist groups can recruit new members through online games. This sounds a bit bizarre, and would clearly take a lot of time in getting to know the people you think would be easily led into joining something like this, then manipulating them into joining. While we make friends and identify with the people we play with, I find it difficult to believe that a whole stack of mini bombers could be recruited through WoW! What would be the motivation? “Join us, blow something up, and we will make sure you get that bear mount?”
While I understand some of the anger and irritation from the general community that WoW attracts (such as the stories about people who begin to suffer malnutrition from gaming), some other things just make no sense. This is definitely one of those. Oddly enough, I remember talking to my family about this, and they thought it was logical. Perhaps it is just me who sees this as a bit foolish. What other weird things have you heard about WoW? Is this as outlandish as it seems?