How the far right exploded on Steam and Discord

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From online a harassment campaign known as Gamergate, in which parts of the gaming world haunted female journalists with rape, bomb and death threats, the toy culture is believed to have a problem with extremism. However, the specifics of this relationship remained unclear. How widespread is the problem? How do extremists use games? And, of course, the point of morbid curiosity: What games do extremists play?

She published a new study Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD)), a research center for combating extremism, is trying to answer these questions. Exploring far-right internet strategies, ISD found that there are several major gaming platforms to host extremist activities“From live racist broadcasts to open support for neo-Nazi terrorists.”

ISD explored four platforms: Steam,, Discord, DLive i Twitch. It analyzed 24 far-right chat servers on Discord, 45 public groups connected to the far right on Steam, 100 far right channels on DLive, and 91 channels and 73 videos on Twitch. These spaces were publicly available and the ISD did not watch closed channels, such as private conversations or groups requiring a password. The authors speculate that this would probably be a place for more coordinated radical groups.

The consolidation of these communities varied across platforms. Of the four, it’s Steam it has the most serious problem. ISD has found a “well-established, large network” of far-right communities, some dating back to 2016. “The content we came across on Discord and Steam was more awful than the content you would easily find on mainstream social media. platforms, but to a lesser extent than you would expect on alt-tech platforms like Gab and Telegram, ”explains Jacob Davey, head of far-right research and policy at the ISD. “I think Steam is especially noteworthy because there are several years old communities, which indicates that the extreme right is well rooted on the platform.”

The investigation revealed two Steam groups linked to violent terrorist organizations: one with the Nordic Resistance Movement, linked to the Gothenburg bombings in 2016 and 2017, and the other to the Misanthropic Division, a Russian group active in Ukraine, Germany and the UK.

Extremist use of the platform varies. Some, such as groups associated with political movements, such as Generation Identity or Britain First, have not been found to publish player-specific content; instead, they used Steam as a social media platform, dropping propaganda to attract new recruits. Others, including some associated with neo-Nazi podcasts and forums, have been set up specifically to form game clans.

“[Steam] basically acts as a community hub for people associated with the extreme right to gather, socialize, communicate, have fun with their friends in a relatively safe space, but also discuss the ideology of the extreme right and the points are then used to remove people from extremist websites organizations or other social media sites, ”says Davey.

The ISD found that extremists generally do not play extremist games. This is primarily because these games are awful. Although users can display a connection to a game like Feminase: Trigger, this is mostly just a token of honor. “[Games like] Angry Boy 2 or Ethnic cleansing“Nobody plays them, they’re barely available,” says Pierre Vaux, head of research at ISD. download. “

The ISD, however, noted that extremists enjoy historical games, such as Iron Hearts, Europa Universalis, i Crusader Kings. In these games, extremists realize their fantasies: they conquer a world like Hitler, for example, or exterminate Muslims in the Middle East.

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