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US Dept. of Homeland Security funding nearly $700,000 to research extremism in gaming

Extremism

A new report confirms the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded a grant of $699,763 to study the connection between gaming and extremism.

The money from DHS (via Vice) will be going to a joint venture between Middlebury Institute’s Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism, Take This, and Logically.

Take This is a nonprofit organization that centers around mental health in gaming, while Logically is a company whose goal is to solve the issue of bad online behavior.

The DHS announcement states the project will “develop a set of best practices and centralized resources for monitoring and evaluation of extremist activities.” This will be done alongside creating training workshops for those working in gaming to detect and prevent “extremist exploitation”.

The gaming industry at large has already made moves towards combatting “extremism” before the DHS’s announcement. Examples include EA, Ubisoft, and others joining with the Anti-Defamation League to combat so-called right-wing extremism in gaming.

It also appears that the researchers behind this new project will target the same ideologies Take This Research Director Dr. Rachel Kowert is working with CTECT Deputy Director Alex Newhouse on this matter.

“From the preliminary work Alex and I have done, it is likely that it will lean towards white nationalism and white supremacy,” Kowert said.

How do you feel about the U.S. government putting money towards seeing if there’s any connection between gaming and extremism? Sound off in the comments below!

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Got into gaming thanks to a nice old lady who lived across the street. Enjoy most genres of games.