Lord Carlile wants to use video games to fight Isil. Speaking on Radio 4, the Lib Dem peer urged British developers to marshal their “best brains” towards convincing teenagers not to become extremists.
In doing so he echoes a long tradition of attributing to games a near-supernatural power to change the minds of their players. It began in the 1980s, when Dungeons and Dragons – the pen-and-paper precursor to so many modern digital games – was condemned as a gateway into Satanism. The attempted suicide of child prodigy James Dallas Egbert III in the steam tunnels under his university, wrongly linked with the game by a clueless PI, sparked fears that a whole generation was losing contact with reality.