Recently I’ve been doing plenty of research into online game mechanics for a presentation that I’m giving in a few weeks (Online Game Mechanics for Social Activism), and it got me thinking about how the methods might be used in the future.
This led me to think about using game mechanics for evil, rather than good, and I wondered about using some of the methods involved to gain access for less than reputable reasons. One captivating thought was: what if a terrorist organisation, like Al-Qaeda, started using some of the methods without our knowledge? This led me to further contemplate: what if Al-Qaeda secretly ran foursquare? They could use the massive amount of data about the movements of a large community to get an understanding of the best places to attack.
An extreme thought I know. But it does get you thinking about some alternative goals for data mining.