Extremism and Gaming Research Network

The Extremism and Gaming Research Network works together to uncover how malign actors exploit gaming, to build resilience in gaming communities to online harms, and to discover new ways to use gaming for good.

Our Mandate

At the Extremism and Gaming Research Network (EGRN), we bring researchers, practitioners, and policymakers together with the private sector to develop an understanding of potential threats, as well as solutions for the exploitation of gaming by terrorists and violent extremists. Our work includes supporting research development and reporting, advising and training tech platforms and governments, and generating best practices.

The EGRN was set up as an independent, self-led initiative in 2021 in response to the knowledge and research gaps relating to games and extremism. Today, we have over 100 invitees to our monthly gatherings and more than  60 registered members, including many of the top global think tanks and institutions working to understand and counter violent extremism. Members come from various backgrounds, including political science, public policy, international affairs, law enforcement, psychology, game development, and counter-terrorism. 

We are currently focused on research and policy solutions around the following priority questions:

Why and how are video games, gaming platforms, and gaming content used by extremist individuals or organizations?

How does this trend differ across geographies, cultures, ideologies, and genders?

How can gamers and gaming platforms be empowered to combat hate and facilitate building positive, resilient communities?

What We do:

The EGRN leads evidence-based research at the nexus between gaming and extremism while providing effective solutions for various public and private stakeholders. Our members work to evidence the ways in which gaming is used by malign actors for harm, and also the opportunities to use gaming for good to counter harm. Core to this is our collaborative work with gaming platforms to create resilience-building solutions for gamers. 

There is no other initiative dedicated to convening cross-sector actors to prevent violent extremism and foster resilience among gamer communities. Our focus, scope, and breadth of convening power is our unique strength: we are dedicated to keeping gaming fun while pushing back against extremism and online harms. Similar initiatives, such as the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) and Tech Against Terrorism, participate in the EGRN, allowing us to achieve substantial network effects, as well as leverage existing tools and expertise through collaborative means. We also act as a bridge from gamer communities and small CSOs developing their own games, all the way to donor governments and international policymakers at the United Nations through the mandated UN Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) and other mandated UN agencies including UNDP and UNITAR.

As a collaborative, at-will, network, benefits of becoming a member of the EGRN include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct access and exposure to cutting-edge research and innovative projects from researchers and practitioners working around the world.
  • Receiving expert input and access to top-tier consultants for planned projects or interventions.
  • Exchanging information and ideas with all members, including at the monthly-held members-only meetings.
  • Opportunities to collaborate on upcoming research and prevention projects with other members.
  • Future access to resources including online safety toolkits, digital research ethical guidelines, research libraries and databases, and more.

Our Members Include

There are currently over 80 individual and organization members of the Network. A selection of our members are shown here. To view all our members, click below:

Watch our launch

The EGRN publicly launched on 6 October 2021 — our introductory panel video provides an overview of the Network, preliminary research, and research trajectory. Interested in learning more? Download the State of Play on Gaming & Extremism authored by Galen Lamphere-Englund & Luxinaree Bunmathong at Love Frankie and the EGRN or browse more of our members’ research. 


Since then, we’ve been mentioned by Axios and over 20 other media reports and regularly brief tech platforms, governments, and civil society organizations. 

Our Latest Insights

Can Serious Games Make a Difference in P/CVE?

Video games and gamification have become key tools of extremist actors’ recruitment arsenal and have taken a central role in their modus operandi. Analyses have pointed out how terrorists employ gaming elements in staging their attacks, or how violent extremists create full-blown video games fraught with hateful narratives and include opportunities to annihilate various social and ethnic groups.

Read More

But we also see solutions.