A couple weeks ago, when the FBI released its 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment Guide, we were all too busy laughing at the supposed threat a new gang called "The Juggalos" posed to notice an important detail: Along with the Faygo chugging clowns who listen to Insane Clown Posse, another potential gang threat is contained in the game Second Life.
Second Life, an open-world MMO, is described by the Feds as:
"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."
Seriously, though, while I don't know much about organized crime, I know from personal experience that the Juggalos are, by and large, nice people who enjoy terrible music. Many of them are doofs, but they are very nice. My time in Second Life showed it to be a haven for creative people, housewives, furries and agoraphobics, so I have to wonder what's really going on here.
Does the FBI even believe its own reports? Is there some evidence of a criminal underworld in Second Life that I am unaware of? Have we gone down the rabbit hole, people? What's going on??