In the New York Times’ opinion pages, Megan Condis wonders if white nationalists are using video games to recruit new initiates into their ideology of hatred.
Video games and the communities surrounding these games, writes Condit, “make for a super recruiting venue. Why? Because they arrive ready with a smooth-to-understand narrative of the unwelcome “invasion” of “our areas” that, in the proper hands, can easily be extended past the arena of gaming.”
She also notes that social media and numerous avenues are open to white nationalists trying to reel recruits. Still, she argues, gaming has a unique attraction given all of the controversies in gaming over “SJWs,” political correctness and feminism, and so forth.
“White supremacist recruiters have diagnosed this feeling of resentment bubbling up and pounced,” Condit writes, “looking for gamers who shape the stereotype. They inform the gamers that they represent the rightful majority inside their community and that each other is either opportunistic fakers only pretending to be into games or intruders seeking to break a lot of fun and specific approximate gaming culture with their insidious political correctness.”
This is a complex argument in that I can see each aspect of it, and it’s now not exactly the standard “video games create monsters/shooters/Satanists” piece we so frequently see after mass shootings. Blaming video games for violence is as commonplace as it’s far absurd. But that’s not precisely what Condit is arguing, although, as I’ll get to in a minute, her argument fails to persuade.
Sure, I can see how political activists of all stripes would seek recruitment in gaming forums. Why not now? Politics and advertising have plenty in not unusual, and the gaming network presents fertile soil for each, comprised largely of younger guys with at least a touch time and money. Self-deciding to be worried in forums and net debates is more likely to become concerned in politics of a few types.
But I do not see anything precise approximately gaming to signify that white nationalism will locate something extra than a fringe foothold here, just like everywhere else. Most gamers will now not be swayed using white nationalist arguments. Some will, just like most people in fashionable, will no longer become regulars at Stormfront or the nearby KKK bankruptcy residence, but a few wills. When we speak about games this way, we gate them off from the relaxation of society as even though game enthusiasts and gaming groups best exist in that area, gamers are frequently additionally docs, clerks, police officers, brewers, milliners, acupuncturists, taxidermists, meteorologists, psychics . . . You get my float.
It’s an argument with little substance, in other words, but a great deal since it makes a positive mild. Certainly, there’s some overlap between gaming and the darker corners of the net. Then, there may be some overlap between many other pursuits, professions, industries, and the darker corners of the internet.