Brian Sims

RUSI to study potential for radicalisation to violence across gaming platforms

IN THE wake of a competitive tender process, Public Safety Canada – itself a Canadian Government department – has announced the award of funding for a two-year programme of work with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) aimed at developing a better understanding of how transnational online gaming communities are formed and where these communities might be vulnerable to radicalisation towards violent extremism.

RUSI is undertaking the research programme as part of a consortium of Extremism and Gaming Research Network members. The research will examine how identities are formed for individuals and groups of gamers with a focus on the gendered dynamics of gaming communities.

Additionally, the research will analyse how toxicity and hate-based discrimination, such as racism and sexism, can connect (violent) extremist ideologies across geography and culture on gaming and gaming-related platforms, such as social media and live streaming services.

Dr Jessica White (senior research fellow for terrorism and conflict) and associate fellow Galen Lamphere-Englund are the programme leads at RUSI.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr White informed Security Matters: “This funding gives our consortium of Extremism and Gaming Research Network colleagues an opportunity to better understand the gendered and transnational dynamics of how online gaming communities are formed and how to better build resilience to extremism within them.”

The terrorism and conflict-focused research group at RUSI undertakes bespoke, internationally-focused research and advisory services for the UK, the Europan Union and wider global audiences. The group draws on its diverse experience and network of experts based at RUSI’s London and Nairobi offices and works in collaboration with RUSI Europe.

The team includes academics, former policymakers, practitioners and researchers who use an evidence-based approach to support policy-making and decision-making for counter-terrorism, the prevention and countering of violent extremism and the facilitation of conflict resolution.

*Further information is available online at

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