Von Linda Schlegel, Associate Research Fellow1
The livestreaming of attacks, the use of Call of Duty footage in propaganda videos, the modification of popular video games to support extremist worldviews, and the development of games and playful apps by extremist organizations have all contributed to an increasing focus on the so-called ‘gamification of terror’.2 Since the livestreamed attack in Christchurch and the realization that subsequent perpetrators in Pittsburgh, El Paso and Halle not only copied the mode and style of attack but were embedded in and sought to appeal to similar online communities, in which gamified language and references to gaming were part of the subcultural practice, journalists, academics, and practitioners have begun to analyze the role games and gamified applications may play in radicalization processes.
1 Linda Schlegel is a PhD student at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, researching digital counter-narratives. She holds an MA in Terrorism, Security and Society from King’s College London and is an associate fellow at modus | zad, the Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET) and the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF). Prior to beginning her PhD, she was a Senior Editor at The Counterterrorism Group and the desk officer for counter-terrorism at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
2 Mackintosh & Mezzofiore (2019) “How the extreme right gamified terror”