When I first logged on to TG in 2005 I thought that military FPS online games would be good for training insurgents. This article in the New York Times, "Spies Infiltrate a Fantasy Realm of Online Games," picks up on this theme. As I write in my forthcoming book, on the Internet you get spying all the time. The only thing that really surprised me about the whole Snowdon/NSA kerfuffle is that anyone would have thought otherwise.

"In spring 2009, academics and defense contractors gathered at the Marriott at Washington Dulles International Airport to present proposals for a government study about how players’ behavior in a game like World of Warcraft might be linked to their real-world identities. “We were told it was highly likely that persons of interest were using virtual spaces to communicate or coordinate,” said Dmitri Williams, a professor at the University of Southern California who received grant money as part of the program.

After the conference, both SAIC and Lockheed Martin won contracts worth several million dollars, administered by an office within the intelligence community that finances research projects."