Science & Tech

If you play this video game could you be a national security threat?

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A series of controversies involving the video game War Thunder has led to concerns from national security agencies, and it could potentially be a problem for future contractors.

War Thunder, first released in 2013, is a free-to-play vehicular combat video game developed by Gaijin Entertainment.

Players can choose military vehicles made for land, air, and sea across various decades to battle each other.

It has developed a large fan base with over 160,000 players on all platforms and 70 million users registered. Part of the War Thunder community includes an online forum where players debate the history and accuracy of vehicles.

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However, several debates on the forum have led to national security concerns as some users have obtained and released restricted, or classified, documents pertaining to a military vehicle’s usage.

Most recently, the War Thunder forum had two separate leaks occur over declassified, but restricted, documents being posted over the course of two days.

Now, one person is claiming that playing the video game is a question on a security clearance questionnaire for a security and defense company.

On the War Thunder subreddit, one person said a friend had gotten a job at Raytheon, an American aerospace and defense company.

"As part of security clearance, a [private investigator] has to investigate the person, call up 'witnesses' [i.e.] friends," the poster wrote.

As a person on the list of contacts, the Reddit poster said they got a call and were asked basic questions like "would he overthrow the government."

But then he was asked if his friend plays War Thunder.

"Holy f*** we did it. War Thunder is official a risk of national security," the poster wrote.

In 2021 and 2022, the forum experienced four notable different leaks pertaining to classified documents about military vehicles.

The game tweeted last week telling people to not send them classified documents saying, "We cannot use them (it's sort of "turbo illegal"), and the people posting them can get into serious trouble."

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