I saw a tweet last night suggesting that some of the cyber attacks on game systems (Eve, WoW, Sony’s SOE, etc.) may be an effort to combat political apathy. While this is an interesting theory and I can see that members of the hacktivist groups might think that if they turn off games that users might stop playing games and pay attention to the political landscape.
I think this strategy is likely to backfire. Most gamers aren’t going to say, “Oh I can’t get to my realm on raid night, so I think I’ll flip on FoxNews/CNN/MSNBC and see what’s going on in the world.” Just ask a parent how well it goes when you turn off the PS3/XBox/Computer and tell your child to go outside and play. Most kids go grumbling under their breath and sit outside as directed. They don’t rush off into the sunshine happy to be outside and freed from their electronic master.
Many of the gamers may be sympathetic the hacktivists ideals. Most gamers don’t care about the Senate, or banks, or big companies being hacked. I’ve heard students of mine say things like, “yeah hack those fat cats” –or– “those places can afford security so it serves them right”
When the PSN attack went public the comments changed dramatically. People were upset that their entertainment services were being interrupted.
I think continued attacks on games will only serve to fuel the public outcry to stop the groups. Many people who may be sympathetic to hacktivist ideals will be turned into proponents of the system.