1st Edition

Gaming and Extremism The Radicalization of Digital Playgrounds

Edited By Linda Schlegel, Rachel Kowert Copyright 2024
    234 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Charting the increase in the use of games for the dissemination of extremist propaganda, radicalization, recruitment, and mobilization, this book examines the "gamification of extremism."

    Editors Linda Schlegel and Rachel Kowert bring together a range of insights from world-leading experts in the field to provide the first comprehensive overview of gaming and extremism. The potential nexus between gaming and extremism has become a key area of concern for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners seeking to prevent and counter radicalization and this book offers insights into key trends and debates, future directions, and potential prevention efforts. This includes the exploration of how games and game adjacent spaces, such as Discord, Twitch, Steam, and DLive, are being leveraged by extremists for the purposes of radicalization, recruitment, and mobilization. Additionally, the book presents the latest counterterrorism techniques, surveys promising preventing/countering violent extremism (P/CVE) measures currently being utilized in the gaming sphere, and examines the ongoing challenges, controversies, and current gaps in knowledge in the field.

    This text will be of interest to students and scholars of gaming and gaming culture, as well as an essential resource for researchers and practitioners working in prevention and counter-extremism, professionals working at gaming-related tech companies, and policymakers.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    Foreword Jessica White Introduction: Extremism in Digital Gaming Spaces Linda Schlegel and Rachel Kowert 1. Introduction to Videogames and the Extremist Ecosystem Constance Steinkuehler and Kurt Squire  2. Theories of digital games and radicalization Galen Lamphere-Englund  3. Extremist games and modifications – the “metapolitics” of anti-democratic forces Mick Prinz 4. Digital games as vehicles for extremist recruitment and mobilization Alex Newhouse and Rachel Kowert  5. Extremism on Gaming (-Adjacent) Platforms Jacob Davey  6. Hate and Extremism on Gaming Platforms: Insights from Surveys with the Gaming Community Amarnath Amarasingam and Daniel Kelley  7. Beauty is Power: The Use of Gaming References and Gaming Aesthetics in Extremist Propaganda Ashton Kingdon  8. A is for Apple, B is for Bullet: The Gamification of (Violent) Extremism Suraj Lakhani  9. Level Up: Policies, Practices & Positive Interventions to Counter Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Gaming Spaces Erin Saltman and Nagham El Karhili  10. Preventing and Countering Extremism in Gaming Spaces Linda Schlegel  11. Concluding Thoughts Linda Schlegel and Rachel Kowert


    Linda Schlegel is a Research Fellow at modusIzad, a founding member of the Extremism and Gaming Research Network, and an Associate Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. Her research interests include gaming/gamification and radicalization, digital P/CVE, and narrative campaigns against extremism.

    Rachel Kowert is a Research Psychologist, the Research Director of Take This, and the founder of Psychgeist, a multimedia content production studio for the science of games and pop culture. She is a world-renowned researcher on the uses and effects of digital games and currently serves as one of the primary investigators on the first grant-funded project from the Department of Homeland Security about games and extremism. To learn more about Rachel and her work, visit www.rkowert.com.

    "An excellent analysis of gaming and extremism, which highlights some of the most complex challenges in tackling abuse of a constantly-changing technology space. A perfect introduction for a novice and expert alike." - Charley Gleeson, Open-Source Intelligence Analyst at Tech Against Terrorism, UK

    "For too long, policy and practice related to gaming and extremism have been based on little more than anecdote and gut feeling. This book is the antidote to that. Full of erudite chapters from world-leading experts, this volume is required reading for policy makers and practitioners alike." - Ross Frenett, Founder and Co-CEO of Moonshot, UK