Gamification is the act of applying video game-like rewards to non-gaming situations as a form of motivation. Imagine earning experience points for taking out the trash, or scoring well on a customer service survey, or learning how to create homemade explosives for use in terrorist acts.

The same mechanic that shows so much potential for good can also be utilized in endeavors most would deem not-so-good. Just as gamification is proving an effective tool in the traditional workplace, there's a growing fear that Islamic extremists are using the same techniques to recruit competitive young men into terrorist organizations.


Game designer, games researcher, alternate reality game master, and author Jane McGonigal appeared on yesterday's episode of Al Jazeera's The Stream to discuss the possible danger of the gamification of terrorism.

If gamifying terrorism is an issue, it's not one we can do anything about. It's an incredibly powerful and effective concept that no one owns, and even if someone did have the rights, Islamic extremists aren't the sort of people that respond well to harshly-written emails. At best they'd ignore you. At worst, your point value would go up.

Al Jazeera | The Stream [USTREAM]

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