Do extremists like to play? A few years ago, this question may have sounded ridiculous. But since the livestreamed attack in Christchurch and subsequent attacks across the globe making use of and reference to video gaming and online gaming communities as well as increasing evidence that extremists are using gaming (-adjacent) platforms such as DLive, Discord, Steam and Twitch, it does not sound so absurd after all to ask about the potential interplay between gaming and extremism.
One of many ways this interplay has become evident is through the use of gamification. Gamification is “the use of game design elements in non-game contexts” and refers to the transfer of points, badges, leaderboards, rewards and other game elements into settings not usually regarded as spaces of play. Gamification is believed to make extremist propaganda more appealing and ‘fun’, thereby increasing the likelihood that individuals will engage with this type of content. In some cases, this could potentially facilitate radicalisation processes.