Entrepreneurship is a double-edged sword
This item, on how Islamist militants from al-Qaeda and other groups are creating mods to popular videogames, shows that the power of entrepreneurship can be used for good AND ill.
Tech-savvy militants from al Qaeda and other groups have modified video war games so that U.S. troops play the role of bad guys in running gunfights against heavily armed Islamic radical heroes, Defense Department official and contractors told Congress.
The games appear on militant Web sites, where youths as young as 7 can play at being troop-killing urban guerillas after registering with the site's sponsors.
I'm fond of asking people whether Microsoft's 50,000 employees generate more or less innovation than 10,000 5-person startups. The point is that entrepreneurship is a powerful tool.
The U.S. Army spent millions of dollars creating America's Army to boost their recruiting...al-Qaeda spends a few bucks a month to distribute their mods.
The irony here is that these organizations are using the entrepreneurship that makes capitalism great against the United States.
But the answer isn't to restrict mods, or to ban violent videogames. The answer is to do a better job of creating and distributing compelling content.
And rather than asking the CIA or DoD to create the project, why not simply offer a prize to the best privately-developed efforts?
If you could convince the government to pay, this might be a huge business opportunity. After all, how much would you pay to avoide spending billions upon billions on a war if you could accomplish your objectives peacefully in the online world.?