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Connecting, Competing, and Trolling: “User Types” in Digital Gamified Radicalization Processes

Pathways to radicalisationRadicalisation

Journal Abstract

The concept of gamification is increasingly applied as a framework to understand extremist online subcultures and communications. Although a number of studies have been conducted, the theoretical and empirical basis to understand the role of gamification in extremist contexts remains weak. This article seeks to contribute to the development of a gamification of radicalization theory by exploring how Marczewski’s HEXAD, a user typology for gamified applications, may facilitate our understanding of individual variations in engagement with gamified extremist content. Five user types, named after their core motivational drivers for engagement, are discussed: Socializers, Competitors, Achievers, Meaning Seekers, and Disruptors. This typology may support future studies by providing a preliminary understanding of how different game elements may appeal to different users and increase their engagement with and susceptibility to extremist content in cyberspace.

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