Skinhead Super Mario Brothers: An Examination of Racist and Violent Games on White Supremacist Web Sites

This study uses qualitative interpretive textual analysis of video games found on hate and extremist Web sites to explore the proliferation of these games on the Internet and the extent they advocate violence and conflict or portray hate groups in a positive way to existing and potential members. In particular, this study examines the “enemies” targeted in these games and the level of violence directed toward these enemies. Results indicate the majority of games examined promoted extreme violence and conflict toward blacks and Jewish people. The games analyzed in this study required the player to violently kill, wound, and maim minorities in order to advance and were often modified versions of classic video games in which the original enemies were replaced with religious, racial and ethnic minorities. This study suggests that video games found on hate and extremist sites are intended to indoctrinate players with white supremacist ideology and allow individuals who already hold racist ideologies to practice aggressive scripts toward minorities which may later influence real world interactions.

Tags: Content Analysis, Extreme Right, Hate Speech, Social Media