It seems that the U.S. Spies will be walking/playing amongst the true gamers of massive multi-player online (MMO) games like World of Worldcraft (WoW) to find terrorist-like behavior. It is a bit amusing to envision Team Fortress 2-like spies running around on MMO games but besides the comical material that can be derived from such efforts, what I found interesting was the desire to create a baseline profile for the virtual community:
The cultural and behavioral norms of virtual worlds and gaming are generally unstudied. Therefore, Reynard will seek to identify the emerging social, behavioral and cultural norms in virtual worlds and gaming environments. The project would then apply the lessons learned to determine the feasibility of automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world.
I would love to read their findings. I will be looking more into this…