- Publication date
- 14 May 2021
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
The online world is more and more a part of everyday life. Just as in the offline world, online threats and pitfalls are present that can harm people or, in this context, try to radicalise them. On the other hand, many positive and empowering things are also happening online, just as they are in the offline world. During the RAN Communication and Narratives Working Group (C&N) meeting on ‘Digital grooming tactics on video gaming (adjacent) platforms’, the threats were discussed, as well as the opportunities to use the online video gaming platforms in a positive way.
This paper first discusses the threats regarding grooming tactics on video gaming and video gaming adjacent platforms by providing background information on different models of grooming that were shared during the meeting. The similarities and differences found between grooming for radicalisation purposes and other purposes (in particular, child sexual abuse and cults) are discussed. The second part of the paper highlights recommendations that have been made to use positive and empowering ways to prevent and counter grooming through video gaming.
The key outcomes of the meeting are:
- In different types of grooming, the groomer tries to feed on (the need for) certain emotions of the potential victim, e.g. loneliness, insecurities.
- On video gaming adjacent platforms, a groomer for extremism could talk to a gamer during gameplay and try to steer the conversation towards feelings of anger.
- Awareness-raising campaigns targeted at youth and their parents about grooming tactics on gaming (adjacent) platforms can help to build resilience against radicalisation.
- Engaging role models through gaming can also help. These could be popular gamers, influencers or offline leaders.
- Practitioners need to take into consideration the possibilities video games and adjacent platforms offer as an online outreach tool to reach individuals at risk of radicalisation.