Gaming The System: How Extremists Exploit Gaming Sites And What Can Be Done To Counter Them

May 2023

Our report, Gaming The System: How Extremists Exploit Gaming Sites And What Can Be Done To Counter Them, describes how extremist actors are exploiting online gaming sites to disseminate violent ideologies, network with like-minded people, and perpetrate real-world harm. The report recommends concrete steps the gaming and gaming-adjacent industries should take to counter such exploitation and avoid serious harm to users and society.

Extremists are exploiting online gaming and gaming-adjacent sites to promote hatred and violence.

Extremist actors, including the U.S. air national guardsman who divulged classified military secrets, are exploiting the communication features of online gaming and gaming-adjacent sites to disseminate violent ideologies and network with potential sympathizers, leading to real-world harm. Although some gaming platforms recently have made improvements in their detection and moderation systems, most companies are still behind mainstream social media sites in mitigating abuse of their platforms. Drawing on findings from a new multinational survey of gamers and interviews with gaming company executives and experts, the report recommends how companies can ensure that their products do not facilitate serious harm as they continue to profit from the gaming boom.

The industry’s reckoning with extremism is long overdue.

For too long, most game publishers and platforms have offered features that enable extremist exploitation without establishing adequate safeguards against the worst abuses.

Online gaming is an enormous industry which generates more revenue than the music and movie industries combined. Nearly three billion people globally play video games. In the United States, 71% of children under 18 play these games.

Gaming ReportDownload


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