Friday, September 16, 2005

Betting on terrorism

Today, while reading the Italian papers, came upon a strange article. The journalist was complaining about the lack of morality of a new internet game called “Where next?” (http://www.where-next.com/home.php). In this game, users are asked to bet on where the next terrorist attack will strike. It uses Google map technology and promises to provide the winner with a t-shirt. The article suggested this was totally out of line and was particularly displeased that apparently it is an Italian site. It was interesting to note that amongst all the sanctimonious rantings, the journalist never once mentioned that a very similar thing happened not long ago in the US. The “Policy Analysis Market,” a Defense Department project ostensibly designed to predict terrorist events through the online selling of “futures” in terrorist attacks made the news not long ago. Somehow I do not remember the same journalist making a fuss then.
By the way, the location with the best (or worst) odds? The Coliseum, Rome