“Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip have warned their supporters against using the Ikariam online strategy game on the pretext that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) uses it to recruit Palestinians as collaborators.” (Jerusalem Post, July 14, 2011).
Damn it. I was busted.
A few months ago, a senior Shin Bet official called with an offer I couldn’t refuse. “Leibovitz,” he said, “you got a PhD in video games. Your country needs you.” He then provided the details of a top-secret plan, which—having been busted—I can now share. What he had in mind was a stunning tactic, code-named Operation Secret Electronic Gaming Assault, or SEGA for short. The objective: Infiltrate popular video games and recruit Palestinian operatives who can then serve as double agents and bring down Hamas.
To the lay reader, this may sound like a tall order. But I’m a doctor of video games; my life is a neverending series of sexy risks. First, I needed to put together my team. It didn’t take long: From Portal 2 I got a terrific escape artist, capable of moving from one dimension to the next undetected. I found a top-notch pilot on Pilotwings Resort, just in case we needed to escape by air. Impressed by the way the Americans used a Belgian Malinois to kill Bin Laden, I spent ten minutes on Nintendogs and got some of the best canine warriors in the business recruited right away. Our getaway driver, finally, was a certain Mario Kart star whose name I still can’t divulge (I can tell you it rhymes with “Princess Beach”). Within hours, my team was ready to rock. They even had their secret battle names picked out: AwesomeDude14, JeremytheDarkLord, Ipwnyourmama.
Alas, before my team had a chance to get operational, Hamas blew our cover. Apparently, one of our ranks turned traitor. (I suspect AwesomeDude14.) But not all is lost: Come November, when they release Modern Warfare 3, we’ll do combat once again.