Does Internet addiction make it easier for ISIS to use video games to recruit soldiers?

ISIS has been recruiting in new and strategic ways using video games to lure in children and teenagers. Game players in general can utilize ISIS-based games to recruit soldiers.

ISIS supporters are distributing a sickening video game that allows users to play the role of Islamic extremists on a mission to murder Westerners.

Supporters of the terror group, which has brought rape and massacre to vast swathes of Syria and Iraq, have modified the popular video game ARMA III to create characters based on ISIS militants.

Also, thanks to ISIS, the successful video game franchise Grand Theft Auto now has an unauthorized sequel in its series: “Grand Theft Auto: Salil al-Sawarem (Clang of Swords).” The ISIS bootleg features the same carjacking, pistol-whipping mayhem-entertainment as the original, but now players detonate roadside bombs and execute Iraqi police officers.

Of late, ISIS has combined brutality with social media acumen to become one of the most feared and reviled organizations on earth in recent months, publicly releasing videos of beheadings of American and British hostages in addition to broadcasting other unspeakable acts of violence.

Their latest video isn’t that horrific or extreme, but it is three and a half minutes of Grand Theft Auto 5, cut and edited in a way to try and recruit new, young members into the extremist organization.

The video uses clips from Grand Theft Auto 5 to demonstrate that they “do the things you do in games, in real life on the battlefield,” according to a loose translation of the introductory text.

Children who play violent video games may experience an increase in aggressive thoughts, which in turn, could boost their aggressive behavior.

Studies have shown children who played a lot of violent video games showed an increase in aggressive behavior — such as hitting, shoving and pushing — meanwhile, those who decreased the amount of time they spent playing violent video games saw a decrease violent behavior.

Children and adolescents who play a lot of violent games change over time, they start to see aggressive solutions as being more reasonable.

The games were created to “raise the morale of the Mujahideen, and the training of children and young teenagers to fight the West, and throw terror into the hearts of opponents of the state,” according to Egyptian news weekly El Fagr.

According to Arabic journalists, the concern is that these images turn into recruitment propaganda aimed to train children and youth how to battle the West and to strike terror into the hearts of those who oppose the Islamic State. The fear is that children are already vulnerable to developing aggressive behaviors after excessive game play and those who suffer from addiction are even more susceptible to developing harmful attitudes and violence against Western cultures.