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Scary conspiracy theory for the paranoid gamer

There's massive potential for any of your gaming devices to be used by dark forces to monitor your actions. They aren't, of course. It would be highly illegal, so nobody would ever dream of trying it.

Which is exactly what they want you to think! This is the paranoid gamer's terrifying,entirely possible (if not plausible) surveillance reality of your favourite gaming console...

It can see you

ThatPlayStation Eyeon top of your TV is always plugged in, pointed right at you.Sure, the game you're in doesn't support video chat, but that blue light is on, right? Yep, now you look back to things you've done on that sofa. Your PlayStation knows your secret - and is about to tell your mum. Don't think it doesn't know how blackmail works...

Above: Just try telling the cops it's from your games console...

It can hear you

As we reportedonly yesterday, Microsoft's Project Natal appears to be capable of recognising over 600 spoken phrases using its in-built microphone.

That's nothing new - The Google App on iPhone can understand you perfectly when you say "Orwellian surveillance is here", so do you really think the microphone on your DS isn't understanding every word you say?

You may wonder what use anyone could possibly get from hours upon hours of "Alright, I'll do it in a minute, I'm just doing this boss" or "I pressed shoot a million times, you %*&"!"

But consider the following:

And think about it - why else would Shadow the Hedgehog have been given a gun?

No broadband connection? You're still not safe

You might laugh and say "Hah - I'm not connected to the internet when I play games, so I'm safe." Well, smart-ass - have you ever seen one of these?

Above:A broadband connector for an electrical wall socket

Broadband internet can be transmitted directly through power lines. We're not making that up - the technology has been around for years. That means any wall socket in your home can potentially carry an internet signal. So what's to stop your console from sending all of the above data through its power flex?

Ever wondered why the Xbox 360 and Wiipower bricksare so big? They're full of tiny elves converting your actions into data, ready to send to the Illuminati.

It sounds ludicrous, but I genuinely had a scary first-hand experience of this. While my girlfriend was using her laptop last week, the battery became low so she had to plug it in - the closest available socket being behind the sofa. With the laptop's power cable trailing beside me and the power brick a few inches behind my head, I realised I could hear a familiar sound. A modem. No kidding, I swear it was the sound of data being transferred.

Come on, there's no need to look so afraid. You haven't said, done or surfed to anything you shouldn't have near your console...

...have you?

22 Apr, 2010

Justin worked on the GamesRadar+ staff for 10 whole years. Imagine that. Now he is a contributor, specialising in racing games, retro, and Sanic.