Glen Greenwald: Snowden Saw Himself as a Video Game Hero

May 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Edward Snowden was inspired by video games, according to what one of the key journalists responsible for releasing the details contained in the classified documents leaked by the former NSA contractor tells GQ. Greenwald says that Snowden saw himself as video game hero fighting against an seemingly insurmountable force, much like a video game protagonist does.

"In Hong Kong, Snowden told me that at the heart of most video games is an ordinary individual who sees some serious injustice, right?," Greenwald tell GQ. "Like some person who's been kidnapped and you've got to rescue them, or some evil force that has obtained this weapon and you've got to deactivate it or kill them or whatever. And it's all about figuring out ways to empower yourself as an ordinary person, to take on powerful forces in a way that allows you to undermine them in pursuit of some public good. Even if it's really risky or dangerous. That moral narrative at the heart of video games was part of his preadolescence and formed part of his moral understanding of the world and one's obligation as an individual."

Documents leaked by Snowden revealed a number of the NSA's secret surveillance programs that include collecting phone meta data, spying of on foreign diplomats and government officials, and even infiltrating video games such as World of Warcraft ,Second Life, and Xbox Live.

Source: GQ


Comments

Re: Glen Greenwald: Snowden Saw Himself as a Video Game Hero

Also as someone who commented on the Kotaku article said, "Remember when political radicals were inspired by Tom Payne, Mikhail Bakunin, or Karl Marx? Now they're inspired by Hideo Kojima... sad. If videogames are at the core of your moral and political thought, you are not mature enough, you do not have the power of judgment to be a whistleblower or political activist of any kind."

Re: Glen Greenwald: Snowden Saw Himself as a Video Game Hero

Well, it certainly explains a lot of his black and white worldview.

Re: Glen Greenwald: Snowden Saw Himself as a Video Game Hero

The usual sources are of course hard at work figuring out how to use this to condemn both video games and Ed Snowden at the same time.

Re: Glen Greenwald: Snowden Saw Himself as a Video Game Hero

Snowden's already destroyed his credibility by himself when he appeared on Russian televsion during an interview with Vladimir Putin and asked him that softball question of whether the Russian government spies on its own citizens, like he was going to get an honest answer from him.  Of course, Putin replied in effect, "No! Of course not." (although reading between the lines, he damn well would if his government had the money and resources).

At this point, I think it's safe to say that Snowden is, at best, what Lenin called a "useful idiot."  And Putin will only keep him around long enough as a distraction for what he's doing in the Ukraine, and will cut him loose once he's outlived his usefulness to him.

Re: Glen Greenwald: Snowden Saw Himself as a Video Game Hero

I'm just waiting for Peter King to explain this as why we need to ban video games. It might have been Leland Yee but he seems rather preoccupied now.

 
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