Can you "gamify" the Jihad?

Fast Company has an excellent piece today on how jihadist sites are using gamification techniques that have been all the rage these days. The interview stars security consultants Jarret Brachman and Alix Levine who also wrote a piece for Foreign Policy on the subject:

Did any jihadist sites you encountered use gamification in an especially noteworthy way?

Well, it’s less about how they use it, and more about how they talk about themselves using it. There seems to be a schizophrenia on the sites about whether the introduction of “thank you points” and “reputation points” [used on jihadist bulletin boards to reward frequent posters] is actually a good thing or if it distracts them from the point at hand. One of the key elements of gamification is that it tends to replace the intrinsic value that one achieves from participating in an activity with the extrinsic value that one puts into the rewards of that participation. These al-Qaeda supporters are starting to wonder if the introduction of these game like elements are actually causing their community to participate more, not for the sake of the movement, but rather for the sake of participating in and of itself.

Read the rest of the interview here