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Edward Snowden inspired by video games

2 min read

Do you wanna build a snowden

Edward Snowden caused quite a stir when he revealed all the dirty little secrets that the world’s governments had been hiding. Of course, it sorta ruined his life and he had to seek asylum, but it was totally worth it, right? Well, apparently he was inspired to do it thanks to video games.

Glenn Greenwald got to spend some time with Snowden preparing a book about him, and in an interview with GQ, he revealed:

In Hong Kong, Snowden told me that at the heart of most video games is an ordinary individual who sees some serious injustice, right? 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.

This makes more sense to me than I suppose it should. That moral narrative was a part of my pre-adolescence, too. From a very young age, games that I played (and books I read, but let’s focus on the games) showed that a single person could make a huge difference. It might require help from friends, but it was all about finding your individual power, discovering what made you special or unique or just getting the tools you require. Once you had that, it didn’t matter how big the evil empire was, how strong or manipulative the big bad could get – with perseverance and belief in yourself, anything is possible.

Love him or hate him, Snowden showed that even the largest governments could be taken on. He spilled all the secrets and revealed the truth behind the curtain. Thanks to video games, I think we can all be inspired to do something courageous, to change the world. Or, we can all be inspired to work through our backlog and one day emerge victorious!

Last Updated: May 14, 2014


  1. Admiral Chief in Space

    May 14, 2014 at 14:08

    Some say there was someone else pulling his strings


    • InsanityFlea

      May 14, 2014 at 14:16

      Perhaps ‘tugging’ or ‘hanging’ would be more suitable words.


    • Hammersteyn

      May 14, 2014 at 14:17

      Some say he is now working personally for Putin
      Others that he can hack computers with his mind
      All I know is we call him The Stigden


  2. Hammersteyn

    May 14, 2014 at 14:08

    “that a single person could make a huge difference” Snowden sure did. So on Planetside 2 last December they had snowmen that you needed to find and shoot. It would award a lot of XP and if you got ten you were awarded the title Snowblower to honour Snowden the Whistleblower


  3. RinceBroken

    May 14, 2014 at 14:10

    Mmm, this comes across as picking and choosing a bit too much. If it’s bad news we say games cause no violence, but if it’s ‘good’ we say yip that’s us!? I LIKE!


    • Kensei Seraph

      May 14, 2014 at 15:15

      You have a good point.


  4. Lourens Jordaan

    May 14, 2014 at 14:20

    That guy was irresponsible and dangerous. In the great MMO that is international espionage, everyone is doing things they shouldn’t, everyone knows about it, but nobody talks about it. When it gets leaked, it is embarrassing to ALL parties involved and has the potential to destabilize economies and governments across the globe. I do not agree with the actions, processes and information leaked but I can never condone the actions of Snowden.

    PS: Awesome header πŸ™‚


    • Tarisma

      May 14, 2014 at 14:42

      looks like the NSA has an Disgus account


      • RinceBroken

        May 14, 2014 at 14:51

        Nah, I think Lourens is just worried something about him will come out πŸ˜‰


      • Lourens Jordaan

        May 14, 2014 at 14:52

        That won’t surprise me πŸ™‚

        Just voicing my opinion on the subject.


    • Gavin Mannion

      May 14, 2014 at 15:01

      I agree with some of that sentiment.. but unlike the moron stuck in the embassy in London, Snowden actually released very important information of how governments were spyng on their own people in a wholly intrusive way


  5. oVg Errorist

    May 14, 2014 at 14:23

    I wonder what he thinks of Trevor?


  6. Gavin Mannion

    May 14, 2014 at 14:34



    • oVg Errorist

      May 14, 2014 at 14:41

  7. Brian Murphy

    May 14, 2014 at 15:54

    His death will very likely be inspired by video games also πŸ˜‰


  8. Ezio Auditore da Firenze

    May 15, 2014 at 03:15

    As an American I can say that I am a Snowden supporter. We need to re-realize the American dream, and get our beautiful country back from our corrupt government’s greedy pockets.


    • Brian Murphy

      May 15, 2014 at 03:33

      Not likely, what you’re talking about would require an actual revolution, and the country’s just as divisive as the Government is. The way forward in the US is a very difficult one no matter what we do. And I don’t really think Snowden’s leaks did anything but make the rest of the world dislike us more. The US populace is too apathetic at this point to stick with an issue for too long.

      It doesn’t help that people don’t really inform themselves of issues, and trust on a single news source to tell the whole story.


      • Ezio Auditore da Firenze

        May 15, 2014 at 06:01

        I hear ya. What I was describing was more of a dream, than anything else. While we may take some flak for what Snowden did, at least the truth is out. Hopefully one day we can unglue ourselves from the latest Bieber news, and realize that Not just Obama, not just the Democrats, but the bulk of the federal government is willing, and in the process of selling the soul of this country, and the lives of foreigners to line their pockets.

        On top of that, they want us under constant surveillance, and eventually under marshal law 24/7. While this may seem far fetched, anyone who does their research knows that the possibility is there, and once our guns go, the Bill of Rights may as well be used as toilet paper (assuming that hasn’t already happened).


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