How do we better engage individuals exposed to violent extremism? One new approach to tackle this issue is gamification, which encompasses ways to put game mechanisms in non-game contexts. However, this is not limited to points, badges, and leaderboard elements. Instead, it is the question of people playing the game in the first place. Gamification expert Yu-Kai Chou introduced the Octalysis approach in gamification, which centered on the core drives behind gamers. Drivers include meaning or purposes, tangible or intangible incentives, aspects of empowerment, etc. The purpose of this approach is to engage individuals playfully.
However, gamification should not be considered a sure thing for all CVE purposes but rather a new and up-to-trend approach. For example, gamification could be a suitable approach to target young communities in cyberspace where radicalisation has moved into the private domain (von Behr et al., 2013). The medium can also vary; game content on social media such as Tiktok or Instagram could be an opening for individuals to explore more about CVE content that requires more technical capabilities with things such as an app or video games (Schlegel, 2021). However, traditional media that involves direct participation, such as board games, remains more accessible because they do not need sophisticated technology, time, and resources.
We see evidence in a study case conducted in an interfaith youth community in Ambon, Indonesia, where they use board games as an educational tool for peace. 5-6 individuals from different backgrounds play Galaxy Obscurio, a game in which they act as guardians of the planet against a viral and dangerous virus. The board game’s objective is to set aside their differences and work together to achieve a common goal. The result is that these young individuals know others’ differences better than before (Sapulette & Pakniany, 2019). Based on this evidence, we can learn that there are alternatives to engaging radicalised individuals that could inspire more positive energy, aspiring hope, and empowerment, all packaged in a fun and playful way.
- Schlegel, L. (2021). The gamification of violent extremism & lessons for P/CVE Authored by Linda Schlegel, RAN External Expert. RAN External Expert – European Commission. https://utveier.no/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2021/10/ran_ad-hoc_pap_gamification_20210215_en.pdf
- Chou, Y.-K. (2015). Actionable gamification: Beyond points, badges, and leaderboards. Milpitas, CA: Octalysis Media.
- Sapulette, A. A., & Pakniany, Y. (2019). Board game Sebagai Media Pendidikan Perdamaian Pemuda Dan Pemudi Lintas Iman di Kota Ambon. WASKITA: Jurnal Pendidikan Nilai Dan Pembangunan Karakter, 3(2), 59–75. https://doi.org/10.21776/ub.waskita.2019.003.02.5
- von Behr, I., Reding, A., Edwards, C., & Gribbon, L. (2013). Radicalisation in the digital era. RAND Europe. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR400/RR453/RAND_RR453.pdf.