ISIS Wants Gamers, Apparently


Real life violence is spilling into our video games!
Screen shot

It looks like the Islamic State is perhaps hoping that the theories that video games either make players more aggressive or lose touch with reality are true. A new recruitment propaganda video released to the Arabic media features ISIS footage filtered to look like the latest Grand Theft Auto installment, mixed with what appears to be footage from the actual game. The Intercept took note of the effort:

Just as in the original GTA, the Islamic State "player" can be seen running around, stealing cars, and engaging in firefights. However, instead of using the music soundtrack that accompanied the original series, the trailer plays clips of nasheeds (religious songs) against this background of video game mayhem. All the while, the Islamic State flag can be seen displayed at the top of the player screen.

The Islamic State was already well known for its sophisticated filmmaking, and many of the scenes depicted in the video appear to be a "gamification" of previous Islamic State propaganda footage, including their hour-long "Clanging of the Swords" film released earlier this year. Though the new video appears to constitute a trailer, there's no indication yet that a real, playable game is in the offing anytime soon. Nonetheless, coupled with the group's release yesterday of a new propaganda trailer directed at the United States, it appears that the ISIS media war is continuing to evolve in new and unforeseen directions.

The video starts with a statement poorly translated into English: "Your games which are producing from you, we do the same actions in the battelfields [sic]." I'm guessing they mean to say they do the kinds of things we do in American-produced games on the actual battlefield. I'm not sure if that's a recruitment tactic or a taunt (possibly both at the same time, given the male psyche). The Intercept has the video embedded here.

To me, the video looks ridiculous. But New York Magazine spoke with a psychologist about how ISIS is managing to recruit disaffected people ready to buy into a fantasized concept of righteousness using slick marketing like this. Read that interview here.


NEXT: Prosecutor Suddenly Wonders If Pennsylvania Gun Owner Deserves Prison for Driving Into New Jersey With a Pistol in Her Purse

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Ok, here we go again, we have to ban violent video games. Yes, that is going to work for sure this time, so let’s beat that fucking dead horse!

    1. You can blame the SJWs and their new Jack Thompson for re-opening the door to that bullshit.

  2. The solution to disaffected people is wealth. Free markets, minimal government, rule of law, and freedom help to achieve that. People get rich, they’re less interested in dying for an insane cause. Case in point: Osama bin Laden did not fly a plane into the World Trade Center. He needed useful scumbag idiots for that.

    1. But that doesn’t fit the CONTROL narrative.

      1. Screw it, let’s all be rich in a post-scarcity world, with extended lives, flying cars, Luna Disney, and sexbots. I mean, it’s worth a try, right? Just to see how it goes?

        1. Fine with me. Just saying people like Pelosi and Bitchtits will do their damnedest to keep it from happening.

          1. Just the thought of that would make those two instantly drop dead of a heart attack. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing.

        2. Without scarcity, how are your imperial masters to save you? Why do you hate the imperial masters, when all they want to do is save you?

          1. With absurd wealth comes the ability to immerse such people in a full immersion, command-and-control VR simulations. The beauty of it is that their system will work, unlike in reality.

            1. Well, VR is on it’s way. But I’m still a little concerned about ever getting my flying car.

              1. Automation is the key. Once the cars can drive themselves without much error, then they’ll be ready to fly.

                1. Figuring out who to sue when there’s an accident will be a bigger circle jerk than the upcoming battles about who to screw over when gay couples divorce.

                  I was listening to NPR the other day (again not intentionally, I was in traffic) and the topic came up about self driving cars. Do you think there was one minute devoted to talking about the technology? No, not even one second, the entire talk from these progtards was about who is liable when there’s an accident. Given to their own accord in a society, these fuckers would be back to living in caves within a year or two.

                  1. Given to their own accord in a society, these fuckers would be back to living in caves within a year or two.

                    Wasn’t there a bit about this in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

                    1. I haven’t read any of that series or seen any of the film versions.

                    2. Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded- here and there, now and then- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.This is known as “bad luck.”

                      -Heinlein. Not that hack Douglas Adams.

                    3. Wasn’t there a bit about this in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

                      That I find horribly unlikely as Adams was a dyed-in-the-world ultra-prog and fully-fledged priest of the environmentalist cult.

                      The first book was kind of intriguing, but the rest of the series was mind numbing shit.

                      I did like the movie adaptation (minus Mos Def) though.

                  2. Yeah, well those caves better damn well be up to code if you want to live in one, buddy.

    2. John Walker Lindh had a little too much wealth, I think.

    3. Well, some of those useful scumbag idiots were pretty well off.

    4. Long-term, yes. But right now there are 15 million refugees running around the Middle East, so ISIS will have no problem finding recruits.

      1. Recruit them for the moonbase. Give the women free purple wigs.

        Fuck, that’s where we’ve gone wrong! What do we know about military conquest? We’re a commercial power. Let’s buy them off.

        1. That’s a good point. Wouldn’t it be cheaper in the long run to buy off radicals with trollops in outlandish outfits than to blow them up with drones? You need to run for president on this platform.

          PRO LIB 2016

          1. Seriously. We won’t kill you, and we’ll build Jannahland, where they can live with ritually cleansed prostitutes, while wearing opulent robes and lots of gold, and interact with a robot Allah (voiced by Morgan Freeman).

            1. Isn’t that a verbatim transcript of Michael Moore’s pre-invasion description of Afghanistan?

        2. Danegeld or Jizya?

          1. Whatever currency works. Think of them as customers, not military enemies, and the solutions begin pouring out.

      2. Ya, but 15,000,000 Middle Easterners are worth like only about 1,500 American gamers! Is that the current exchange rate?

  3. It seems that someone at ISI* has either read Eric Hoffer or come to the same conclusions.

    1. ISIS… ISIS. Don’t let any media organization or the Obama administration make you waver on this point.

      It’s ISIS now, ISIS tomorrow, ISIS forever.

  4. Your games which are producing from you, we do the same actions in the battelfields.

    What you say? For great justice.

    1. Somebody set up us the bomb.

      1. Launch every zig.

        1. You have no chance to survive make your time.

            1. You are on the way to destruction.

  5. Well, now I know where to put all my formerly wasted skills to use! Wonder if they’re posting openings on Indeed or Craigslist?

    1. The USA will be hiring soon for that job, and as soon as you arrive in Syria and sign up, they’ll give you cool stuff that only the cops usually get to play with for free!

      Just make sure to say, I’m a moderate and I am on your side when you arrive…

      1. Hmmm…. maybe I should refresh my Arabic, get a beard going and dip into the inevitable US taxpayer filled trough that will be set up!

  6. Any American who can operate a video game effectively is worth 3,000 of these ignorant savages. I don’t remember who posted the video of Iraqis doing jumping jacks a few weeks ago, but all trepidation I had about radical Islam immediately dissolved.

  7. I don’t think that they’re necessarily looking for “gamers”, they’re simply marketing to a segment of society that finds these types of games exciting, and they’re suggesting that instead of playing games, the target audience can actually go out and steal, rape, and kill for excitement if you join their “clan”.

  8. They need to create a game named ‘Jihad Joe’. In it, you can wear all black and carry a scary looking flag around, killing the infidels. For bonus points, you cut off heads and stone the wiminz folk.

    Or if you’re playing on the infidel side, your most serious weapon is the Bacon Cannon.

    1. I suspect the bacon cannon would do poorly on the battlefield.

      1) I would eat all the ammo and end up disarmed

      2) The baying of dogs begging for my ammo would give away my position to the enemy

      3) I would eat the additional ammo I was supplied to and get very fat

      4) The notion that bacon guns are self lubricating is a lie.

      1. Load dead pigs up with explosives and use a trebuchet or something to launch them at enemy positions. Cover the fuckers in pig guts.

        1. Yeah, I was just thinking that, eat the bacon, ribs, and tenderloin cuts, and load your cannon up with the less ‘nobre’ parts.

          1. And explosives. Don’t forget the explosives. Have it detonate above their position and rain pig parts onto their upturned faces.

  9. “But New York Magazine spoke with a psychologist “

    Oh, well why didn’t you SAY SO. With powerful minds like that at work, i’m sure everything will be decoded to its purest essence in no time.

    (*imagines Jonathan Chait on couch being hypnotized)

    1. /checks the store-room full of pointy sticks and rusty knives.

      Yes brother! A new one with a built in olive-eyed virgin.

  10. IN other news ESPN’s Grantland finally goes full retard. It was always retarded but now it has kicked it into full Salon territory.…..-ray-rice/

    Goodell does need to go. As Cris Carter said in his impassioned speech about Adrian Peterson’s alleged abuse of his son, taking a man off the field is what men will respect. It is a show of power, and men respond to power. But getting rid of Goodell won’t change the latent and virulent hostility toward those who don’t conform to the culture’s projection of masculinity, and it won’t change the sport. The violence will still be there. If we take the violence out of football, what’s left?

    Its like the author wants to make sure everyone knows that no, Charles Pierce isn’t the biggest idiot writing about sports today.

    1. “Together we make football” sounds like a parody title of this article. Somehow there is more humor in the truth.

      1. Yeah because but for his playing football, Ray Rice would be a totally peaceful guy who let his wife run his life.

        She really checks all of the blocks. Complete denial that domestic violence could be anything but man on woman, bogus statistics on the number of women victims, idiotic blaming of “culture” for individuals’ actions. It is like a buffet of idiocy.

        1. Well according to no real source I can find, 1 in 4 women is raped during her time in college.

          1. Yes, but…. 4 in 4 women could be raped if we don’t make 100% sure that the sex was consensual!

            1. Hell, why sell yourself short? Why not 5 in 4 women!

              1. Based on some of the drunken hookups I had in my collegiate years, that doesn’t sound entirely unreasonable.

          2. The documents showing consent weren’t properly notarized?

            1. The notary’s commission was out of date. That is the rape culture for you.

              1. Well it really is eurocentric to think any culture is superior to another. Perhaps the rape culture just developed through different channels that we don’t understand enough to appreciate!

        2. I haven’t been able to watch ESPN or listen to sports radio for a week and a half. I was tired of the outrage olympics before it even started. Yesterday I walked into a bar with ESPN on and they were having a women’s round table about the NFL. When will sports be about sports again?

          1. I was having lunch today and ESPN was on over the bar. My bartender was a 20 something black woman. She didn’t exactly seem to be a member of the Tea Party. Even she was sick of hearing about this shit and thought it was stupid.

            I think we are about 2 years from ESPN being in real trouble. Fox and CBS both have their own sports channels. All they have to do is give straight sports coverage minus the PC outrage machine and ESPN will have fewer viewers than MSNBC.

            1. Fox and CBS both have their own sports channels. All they have to do is give straight sports coverage minus the PC outrage machine


              Seriously, I think it’s sports writers/reporters in general that want to show how right-on they are, not just ESPN. Think Bob Costas, for example. Or during last Thurday night’s Ravens/Yinzers game, Jim Nantz referred to this is the darkest week ever for the NFL, which immediately made me think of the players who died more or less during the season.

              1. They all have inferiority complexes to “real journalists”. So they over compensate by trying to be as insufferably liberal and PC as possible.

                As far as “dark weeks” go, a couple of years ago a linebacker for the Chiefs murdered his girlfriend and then killed himself in front of the GM. I think is a lot bigger deal than Ray Rice playing knockout with his wife.

                1. They all have inferiority complexes to “real journalists”. So they over compensate by trying to be as insufferably liberal and PC as possible.

                  Exactly this.

              2. Yeah. This is WAY worse than watching Charlie Hughes die of a heart attack on the field when I was a kid, or when Mike Utley was paralyzed during a game I was watching.

                WAY worse…

          2. When you only get your sports news during 5 minutes of the 6pm and 11pm local news broadcasts.

    2. If we take the violence out of football, what’s left?

      Pretty much nothing. Well, nothing that anyone will watch. But the days of the NFL are numbered. In 10 years, it will be touch only and calling an opposing team member poopy-head will be a 70k fine, 3 game suspension, and 21 pts for the opposing team. All 3 fans that are left will get free season tickets to all games.

      1. No, the solution is what people have expected all along. Robot players. To make up for the lack of empathic connection with these non-humans, the robots will use levels of violence never before conceived of, destroying each other on a regular basis.

        1. Are you kidding me?, the robots will have lawyers waiting in line before they even take the field. Putting these poor robots into this violent sport will be the new rape and racism all rolled into one.

          1. rapecism…?

          2. We’ll design the robots so they are just barely on the nonsentient side of sentience. You know, like most players today.

            1. Which means they would still be smarter than 99% of congress critters?

              1. How is that relevant? These are football players. Designed for perfect violence. All the old rules or nonrules come back.

                1. Truly, man, the only thing at this point in our technological advances keeping us from living in a techno-utopia is politicians. And I hear that they are mortal and can be tied to a rocket and shot into the sun.

                  1. you ever seen that movie about utopia that ends with the utopia totally not being a malevolent oilgarchy?

                    1. They should do a movie on a dystopia that actually turns out in the end to be a utopia.

                  2. What about robot-politicians who aren’t allowed to be politicians but have to play no-holds-barred football? I’d buy that for a dollar.

        2. Why do you want to be cruel to robots? You speciiesist!!

          1. Robots are people too! I saw it in that movie!

            /the libtards

          2. Cruelty? The robots will be programmed to love the ultraviolence and robosex.

          3. Organicist, John. Organcist.

            1. Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? Mean to say, if’n I freeze, I can’t rightly drop. And if’n I drop, I’m a-gonna be in motion. You see. . . .

        3. It’ll get categorized as a violent video game. You can’t win this fight, Pro L. Just go home.

          1. It’ll get categorized as a violent video game.

            You mean the popular kind that sell millions of copies?

          2. Very well, just upgrade Madden until each player feels like he’s actually a superstar athlete playing the game.

            1. In the future, in the event the NFL survives that long, they will probably have nano-tech designed body armor that will make them impervious to injury by mere contact on the field.

              Of course, that won’t placate the screeching harpies, cause male violence!

            2. You mean like Cyberball


                1. No it was a 90’s arcade football game. The players in the game were robots and as you did better you could upgrade your players who would occasionally explode when they received too much damage.

                  1. Oh, yeah, I played that. Exploding football players is exactly the way it should be. In fact, in 1905, Harvard was first to use sticks of dynamite on some running plays.

                    1. I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who put a stop to that.

      2. If that means no more taxpayer subsidies for stadia, I’m cool with it.

      3. If we take the violence out of football, what’s left?


    3. Projection of masculinity. Hmm-kay.

      I didn’t know Grantland is ESPN.

      1. Yes. It is the vanity project they gave to Bill Simmons to keep him from going to Fox. Simmons more than any writer they had needed an editor and some adult supervision. But since he drove clicks, they couldn’t do that and had to give him his own website where he is the adult supervision. The result is literally the Slate of sports writing. They even have their own Yglesias like retarded aspy, chuck Klosterman. And they even have Charles Pierce who has to be on any list of the dumbest writers in America today. It is a train wreck.

        1. Slate of sports writing

          HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel is swinging for that title.

          1. That is McNeil Lehrer report compared to Grantland. Grantland has some of the most idiotic sports writing I have ever seen. It is like MSNBC’s retarded, hipster jock strap sniffing cousin.

            1. I just love when Peter King uses his shitty football column to talk about whatever the current liberal-ass topic of concern is. It’s unbearable. It’s great.

              1. Grantland is like an entire site of all of the worst aspects of Peter King, only even dumber with a big dash of hipster douchyness.

              2. You can really see what’s wrong with J-school these days by how many sportswriters are spouting identity politics and other leftist issues while supposedly covering sports.

            2. Grantland does have Chris Brown from smart football do an occasional article though. Chris is very good on the x’s and o’s, but you’re better off just going to his site.

              1. Simmons used to do a podcast every week with Mike Lombardi. It was great. They stopped doing it when Lombardi became the GM for the Browns. Sadly, since Lombardi got fired he hasn’t come back. It was always worth listening to.

                Now all you get is Simmons and his degenerate loser cousin Sal guessing NFL lines for the week. They actually do that. I listened to it once and never again. Simmons might as well be taking a dump in his reader’s front yard. I can’t imagine being so arrogant and stupid that I think anyone would give a shit about what my loser cousin and I think the point spreads will be this week. God Simmons annoys me.

                1. I think it’s Jimmy Kimmel’s degenerate loser cousin Sal, actually.

                  1. Whoever he is, my God is he fucking stupid. I still can’t believe they try and pass that off as product.

                    1. I just hate the invention of the podcast. Now guys that used to write three articles per week write one every two and waste the rest of their time on that worthless medium.

        2. Meh. There’s plenty of talent there (Lowe and Goldsberry for the NBA, Keri, Baumann, and Jazayerli for MLB, McIndoe for the NHL), waaaay more than Slate, but there’s a lot of trash there, too, and I don’t think I’ve seen a Klosterman article in like a year. Really, the biggest knock on the site is the continued employment of Charles Pierce.

          1. That is like saying the biggest knock on Germany was its affinity for that Hitler guy. That is a pretty big knock.

    4. Real men don’t beat children with branches; they drone-bomb children.

      1. Grab your bombs and kill some people
        Throw some napalm on the square
        Do it on a Sunday morning
        Kill them on their way to prayer

        ‘Cause napalm, it sticks to kids
        Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside

        Aim some missiles at the schoolyard
        As the teacher rings the bell
        Look at all those kiddies cryin’
        As the schoolhouse burns to hell


        Throw some candy in the schoolyard
        Watch those kiddies gather ’round
        Lock and load with my 2401
        Mow those little fuckers down


        Rape their horses, kill their women
        Eat their little babies, too
        We’re (Marines or Soldiers) with M-16s
        So tell me who the fuck are you?


        Real Army and Marine Corps Cadence. They sadly have banned its use in formation these days.

        1. Yeah, I guy in my fraternity in college went to Marine owl Candidate School (AKA Occifer etc. etc.) and taught us one like this.

          We sang it at our mid-week beer parties – never forget the chorus, “….CAUSE NAPALM STICKS TO KIDS!!!”

  11. I once read that football games only have like 7 minutes of actual action. I honestly don’t understand why anyone cares about this sport…I mean, don’t get me wrong, I watch the Bengals every Sunday, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why!

      1. Hmmm, I like the sports bar element. I like chicken wings, and loud people. Sadly, TiVo they do not have 🙁

        1. There should be a chain of bars that caters to the commercial-intolerant. Seal the doors, block all cell and wifi signals, etc. Then watch the game on DVR, skipping commercials and dead time.

    1. Well, they did beat the Ravens. I use NFL rewind to watch the games. Only one hour long, no commercials and you can rewind plays.

      1. AAANNNNNDDD THE FALCONS!!!!! Cincinnati is best city!!!1!!!1

    2. Don’t know if this is why, but there’s more strategy and preparation in football than any other sport I’ve played/coached.

      1. If there’s ever a truly dominant team in the NFL, it won’t have to prepare. It will simply destroy.

  12. Don’t we want terrorists to start spending more time playing video games? We should start up a Doritos fund.

    It’s when the terrorists start working out that I start getting worried.

  13. I like the ESPN part of this thread. In that vein, this is why I haven’t watched ESPN (except for NASCAR races) for…5, 6 years?

    What you all said. Unbearable wretchedness. “IT’S SPORTS, FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!!”

    Too bad – we gotta ruin that, too.

    1. Yeah, I’m with you. I don’t watch their sports shows and haven’t for years. I see it on if I’m out at a bar but I ignore it. Usually the sound is mercifully off. I am amused at how they all look like used car salesmen.

  14. Sorry ISIS, we’re too used to guys like you being the targets in video games. Such as Doom.

    The only way I want interaction with Islamotards to be like a video game is if I have steady supply of Fire Flowers, can summon Bahamut, and/or can sic Mewtwo, Genesect and Zekrom on them.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.