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Understanding the Game: Bridging Research Gaps at the Nexus of Gaming and Extremism

Connectivity on gaming platforms brings risks for offline harm, including the documented use of platforms by extremist and terrorist actors.

Preventing and countering violent extremism practitioners are increasingly concerned about pathways to radicalisation, including those leading to violent extremism, present in online gaming environments. No longer a niche group, gamers globally number over 2.81 billion, with the highest concentration in Asia-Pacific (over 1.5 billion). Gamers are also increasingly diverse – at least 59% male and 41% female. At the same time, COVID-19 has led to a surge in online gaming and has become a lifeline during isolation: a way to find community, bolster mental health, and find joy. With the popularity of online gaming comes increased attention from extremist groups of all persuasions. Today, these groups may be exploiting the massive pandemic-related spike in online gaming to push propaganda and conspiracy theories via gaming platforms. Far from only being a solitary place to play, popular games offer chatrooms and entire voice chat servers, while sub-communities of gamers find corners of commonality across many platforms beyond games themselves. Numerous studies have failed to find a causal connection between violence in video games and violence offline. But connectivity on gaming platforms brings other risks for offline harm, including the documented use of platforms by extremist and terrorist actors.

Read more at the Global Network on Extremism & Technology

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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