Expert Roundtable Event on Video Games and Violent Extremism
The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism held an Expert Roundtable event on Video Games and Violent Extremism
With 2.7 billion gamers worldwide, the growing popularity of video games and their interaction with other online communities has created significant sub-cultures. While gaming can act as a force for good – forging new connections, or opportunities in support of conflict resolution, terrorists and violent extremists are increasingly exploiting these expanding spaces in attempts to recruit, radicalize, and disseminate propaganda. The threat is multifaceted with terrorists creating new games, modifying existing games, and utilizing adjacent gaming platforms to infiltrate every aspect of gamers’ lives.
As this threat is a growing concern to Member States, the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) is committed to raising awareness and providing programmatic responses to counter this exploitation as well as exploring opportunities developing the gaming space as a force for good in an effort to prevent violent extremism.
The Expert Roundtable event held on 6 December was the third phase of a multipronged initiative to address exploitation in gaming.
During the first phase, UNOCT conducted expert consultations on the existing research on the intersection between video games and violent extremism.
After reviewing the findings, phase two aimed to fill gaps in existing knowledge through focus groups that sought to incorporate different viewpoints on gaming culture.
In phase three, this Expert Roundtable, the research team from the first two phases presented their findings and engaged with a group of experts during:
- A first panel on “Understanding the Motivation and Misuse of Gaming Exploitation.”
- A second panel on “A Multis-takeholder Exploration into Opportunities for Innovative Prevention/Countering Violent Extremism Policy and Programming Support”
- An interactive Q&A session with the experts and the audience
The Expert Roundtable event held on 6 December was the third phase of a multipronged initiative exploring the intersection between Video Games and Violent Extremism. The findings of this event are set to frame a High-Level Event on this topic during the first quarter of 2022.