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"On-line gaming environments are completely different things... Essentially it's massive global role-playing."
- Peter Watts

Great Ear  
  An electronic telepathic listening device that monitors thousands of people simultaneously.  

Well, the Great Ear experiment is just rolling merrily along, he thought sardonically as he read:

Thought to be beyond the scope of probability, work on the first purely electronic telepathic listening device advances at a reassuring rate, officials of McMally Corporation, the designer and builder of Great Ear, as it has come to be called, said today in a press conference attended by many skeptical observers. "When Great Ear goes into operation," Munro Capp opined, "it will be capable of telepathically monitoring the thought-waves of tens of thousands of persons, and with the ability - not found among Unusuals - to unscramble the enormous flood-tides of...

From Our Friends From Frolix 8, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Publishing in 1970
Additional resources -

Compare to the espionage machine, a device for monitoring the thoughts of a single individual, from No, No, Not Rogov, a 1958 cold war classic short by Cordwainer Smith.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Our Friends From Frolix 8
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Our Friends From Frolix 8
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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