Ascora is a hands-on, research driven software development SME from Germany with 50 IT professionals, high exploitation expertise and a large dissemination network. We would like to participate in a proposal for the call as it fits to our skill and we can also bring in a lot of input to it. We got broad expertise in creating apps, managing large data and providing IT services in a scalable and secure way. We use latest technologies including skills in AI, Big Data, Microservices and APIs.
Programme: Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)
Call: Fighting Crime and Terrorism 2022 (HORIZON-CL3-2022-FCT-01)
Enhanced fight against the abuse of online gaming culture by extremists
ExpectedOutcome: Projects’ results are expected to contribute to some or all of the following outcomes:
- Enhanced knowledge on the use of online gaming culture and structure by violent extremists as well as their modus operandi through video game chatrooms, used as their recruitment tools;
- European Police Authorities benefit from better, innovative and validated tools and training curricula (which take into account legal and ethical rules of operation, as well as fundamental rights such as privacy and protection of personal data) to tackle violent radicalisation through online gaming culture;
- Increased awareness of citizens about online radicalisation through gaming culture;
- Enhanced protection of youth in the gaming environment against recruitment into violent radicalisation;
- Improved shared understanding and cooperation between different actors involved, including security practitioners, gaming industry, social media, video game hosting services and civil society;
- Improved shaping and tuning by security policy-makers of regulation on preventing abuse of online gaming culture by violent extremists.
Scope: A highly increasingly influencing societal issue related to radicalisation is the online gaming culture. Earlier studies have shown no link between video games and violence. However, terrorism and gaming experts claim that forums and chatrooms are used as recruitment tools. Research is needed to analyse the use of online gaming culture and structure by violent extremists as well as their modus operandi through video game chatrooms and forums.
Regarding video games themselves, an in-depth analysis is needed on how the type of the video game, of its theme, design, aesthetics etc. plays a role in the choice of the chatroom to be used as a recruitment area. As far as video game chatrooms, including social media platforms discussing video games, are concerned, dissemination strategies of violent extremists through them as well as their ways of grooming should be analysed.
Based on the results of these analyses, innovative (societal) means of fighting this type of crime, both online and offline, should be developed. The role of Police Authorities in this respect should be analysed. Possibilities of detecting and investigating this type of crime should be discussed as well, with a focus on legal and ethical aspects. Modern and effective awareness raising campaigns should be developed, that would target young people, parents, school teachers, video-gaming industry and wide communities, and that take into account the European multicultural dimension. Methods for evaluating proposed solutions should be developed as well. Suggestions to gaming industry on which traps to avoid when designing and upgrading a video game should be provided too.
Proposed activities should take into account the evolving nature of this type of crime and of technology, and be performed while respecting the applicable legislation and fundamental rights, such as privacy and protection of personal data. Societal dimension should be in the core of proposed activities, with a support of technologies. The consortia should consist in Police Authorities, representatives of gaming industry, gaming experts, IT specialists, (cyber) psychologists and sociologists. This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities. Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. Participation of relevant Civil Society Organisations or gaming communities would be an added value. Analysis of the possible applications of research results to other similar problems (e.g. child sexual abuse) is welcome.
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