"Aha! It seems that national security personnel have been infiltrating the online game World of Warcraft, disguised as loathsome Orcs or brew-swilling Pandarens or pointy-eared, deep-cleavaged Blood Elves. What are these costumed undercover agents doing in the hi-def scenery, apart from having fun? The cover story is that they hope to expose hordes of terrorists laundering money in pretend banks or trading toxic info on drawbridges; or else to unearth — concealed in a surreal mushroom or luminous flower or ominous grotto — a keyhole leading to the Dark Web.

This information, part of the documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, was shocking, especially to the players of World of Warcraft. ("Oh no! Not Velen of the Draenei! I trusted him!") It may also have been shocking to members of Second Life, another favored agent hangout. That hot dude avatar sweet-talking you into a virtual nightclub so you'd divulge your innermost sexual hang-ups and terrorist affiliations was really a jowly spook in a trench coat all along? O.M.G., that is so not funny!

Then there's the possible taxpayer outrage. They're spending our money on what? To which the answer will be, as it always is: There is a shadowy world of which you, innocent taxpayer, understand nothing. And it's better that way. It would only contaminate your soul to know. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll slip into my French maid outfit and goat hooves and do a little feather dusting and decapitation."

Read the article here.