Gaming has taken a turn for the weirder in the eyes of the FBI, with the suggestion that Second Life could be a haven for criminal gangs. That's right: the MMO by Linden Labs is somehow a hangout for criminal organizations, as G4TV reports.
The FBI published their findings in their annual National Gang Threat Assessment Guide (PDF download here). Apart from FBI listing Juggalos as a gang now, Second Life is apparently a threat. For those who are not aware, a 'Juggalo' is typically a fan of the Insane Clown Posse or another band signed to the same label, and they are identified for drinking a soft drink. Yup, a gang can be made of people who drink the same brand of soda, it appears. The FBI has the following to say about Second Life:
"A computer-based virtual world with a simulated environment where users inhabit and interact via avatars, or graphical representations the virtual world may depict a real world or a fantasy world. Users communicate through text-chat and real-time voice-based chat. Second Life provides versatility and anonymity and allows for covert communications. Because of its anonymity and versatility, gang members could potentially use second life to recruit, spread propaganda, commit other crimes such as drug trafficking, and receive training for real-world criminal operations."
Apparently, gangs are now out to recruit your family via an online game. The only group that might be interested in this would be Anonymous, if they can even be counted a viable threat to the FBI. What is rather strange though is that drug traffickers would even consider using a game to channel their illicit dealings. The concept almost always suggested a degree of sophistication and secrecy in their communications, but that apparently isn't the case.
How many real life criminal operations involve using a keyboard? This line is oddly reminiscent of the suggestion raised by Anders Behring Breivik, who was responsible for the attacks in Oslo this year. He suggested using Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to train one's terrorist abilities.
Just wait till Fox News gets their hands on this one.