Israel Defence Forces uses gamification to promote its part in Gaza conflict

IDF blog features a virtual army game offering users badges and points for sharing the blog's content on social media.

The social-media campaign employed by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in its latest conflict with Hamas over the Gaza Strip includes gamification.

The IDF's virtual army game.

The IDF blog features a virtual game, titled "IDF Ranks: The Virtual Army Game", which encourages visitors to the site to earn points and badges in return for spreading IDF content online through social media.

"IDF Ranks is an interactive game, directly implemented into all of the IDF's social platforms, allowing you to be a virtual part of the IDF," the blog states.

"Every action you take--reading, commenting, liking, sharing, or even just visiting--will earn you points, and help you climb the ladder of IDF Ranks. Specific actions will win you beautiful badges, and one day you might even become the chief of staff of IDF Ranks."

While the game was incorporated into the IDF blog in July, it has drawn more recent criticism from commentators who view the IDF's actions as a promotion of war in the current Gaza conflict.

"Israel is trying to enlist the people of the world in its campaign with military ranks, badges, and points," ReadWrite's Jon Mitchell wrote last week. "Innocent people are dying on all sides, and the IDF wants to reward people for tweeting about it. Israel has gamified war."

However, an IDF spokesperson refused to refer to the game as a gamification of the current conflict.

"In no way is 'IDF Ranks' meant to gamify Operation Pillar of Defense or any military actions during the operation," the spokesperson told ReadWrite.

According to Mitchell, 10 visits to the IDF blog gives users the "Consistent" badge, while searching the blog bestows the "Research Officer" badge.

"It's impossible to fathom how anyone could justify this trivialisation of war," Daily Life's Amal Awad added. "People are being killed, and the conflict is spiralling out of control, but observers can titillate themselves with a reward system for taking a side."

The game is positioned next to a "Rocket Counter" on the IDF blog, showing the number of rockets that have hit Israel since last year.

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Discussion

707 comments
c-jones
c-jones

This is an interesting way to get people to talk about the conflict and help it gain more news and media converge. At first glance the whole thing sounds like a bad thing, rewarding people with military badges and rankings from talking about the conflict. But if you really think about it the idea it's pretty sound. From having people gain virtual rewards for posting and reading articles about the conflict you get a basis of people that will want to continue reading and collaborating about the subject. By collaborating they bring the topic back to the forefront of people's minds that there is a conflict here and it needs to end  gain more coverage so they might get some aid from the attention. By introducing gamification or game like elements to the media and articles relating to the conflict you will get more people 'playing' or talking about it and maybe gain some aid out of all the coverage.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

wow a game where you actually get to play as the bad guys. 

 

wonder if you get bonus points for shooting civilians or bulldozing someones home.   That and i hope its a flight sim, cause the isreali's have hidden in their bunkered neighborhoods since lebanon. 

 

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

That's just sick,disgusting and inhumane,The whole idea of gaming to promote real life hatred and violence.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

How is it gamifying war? Israel has to counter the propaganda that the media loves to propagate everytime they try to defend themselves against hamas. Nothing wrong with encouraging people to share about what actually goes on.

 

Ie: the childs body that the Egyptian minister held was infact killed by a Palestinian rocket or the number of photos circulating that are in fact from the syrian conflict.

 

wiidominance
wiidominance

Keep god damn ugly politics out of mah god damn games... 

scottabc
scottabc

Do I get an 'achievement' for harassing civilians at checkpoints built on occupied land or maybe for helping Israeli 'settlers' steal Palestinian farmers lands? Oh the possibilities are endless...

YearoftheSnake5
YearoftheSnake5

Military propaganda being spread through a game? Disturbing, to say the least.

hellangel_boy
hellangel_boy

Why people talk much about HAMAS, Gaza , and the Palestinians like they know everything about ?!! I don't care about the media and I don't care about anything, but the scenes of Gaza are truly hard and the humane situation there is completely awful , and while innocent people die every day, Israel is trying to turn a real war into a game just to make people support its cause (if it has any) while some people who support it don't know much about the truth.

SythisTaru
SythisTaru

 @scottabc Jewish people lived on the land now known as "Israel" far before it became an official country.

Booshon
Booshon

 @scottabc Or maybe you'll get achievement by killing innocents  Palestinians as a  Hamas terrorist  and drag them behind you'r motorcycle.

thech0senONE
thech0senONE

 @Imperiacommando You obviously have never been in the parts that live in peace such as Amman, Aquaba, Petra, Dubai, Quatar, etc...

okassar
okassar

 @Imperiacommando It was fine and dandy until conquests and imperial interests caused it chaos. Part of that is because it's....in the "middle" of the world literally and figuratively. Read up on its golden age, when Algebra was created and good stuff like that. My hope is that the freedom Arabs are fighting for at least in part returns them to all that was good about their golden age.

wiidominance
wiidominance

 @Imperiacommando Civilization started there and it seems like it'll cause the end of it. lol. But in all honesty, there are some truly gorgeous bits in the middle east. 

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

 @hellangel_boy The misery of the Palastinian people in Gaza is mostly their own doing. They voted in Hamas in 2007 and now they reap the consequences. 

 

The fact is Hamas militants have families and they don't care if they put them in the firing line since it wins sympathy for their cause.

Booshon
Booshon

 @hellangel_boy Then why the hamas shooting Israel from gaza hidding behind children and women?people in peace and then fight BECAUSE HAMAN ARE COWERED CRIMINALS 

talool1
talool1

 @hellangel_boy We(Israel) Support Gaza's Electricity and Water by providing them of our own, In return we get a global thank you, missiles and buses exploding near our homes.

When you hear about a bus that exploded 5 meters from your home, and worry about you friends/family which could possibly be inside one of those - Then you then realize how complaining about a facebook game(which btw I agree is wrong) is a bit picky and immature.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

@SythisTaru i realize you can probably just copy and paste that answer to most arguements you dont understand, but it doesnt really apply here.

02050muh
02050muh

 @SythisTaru  @scottabc red indians in america live in america since the beginning of time. so, how come english people came (Caucasian) and claim that land is yours?

scottabc
scottabc

 @SythisTaru But Jews were a small minority for over a millenium until European colonization (aka Zionism) in the 20th century changed that. The land called Palestine/Israel should be for all its people not just one religion/ethnic group. 

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

 @Booshon  @scottabcYou are still forgetting what the Zionists have done to the entire population of palestinians,Hamas maybe declared as a terrorist organization by the isarelis but why is that the rest of the population has to suffer at the hands of Israel,on whom they had injected no harm?The suffering caused by the Israelis is more damaging compared to one person being dragged by a motorcycle.

I'am an Indian citizen by birth and since my people had faced oppression in the past under the rule of British I'am pretty much sure that the palestinians are facing the same kind of oppression under the Israelis.

scottabc
scottabc

 @Booshon So Hamas killing someone over in Gaza somehow justifies decades of occupation and colonization in the West Bank? Don't even pretend you care about any Palestininan, you're just grasping at straws to justify an unjustifiable policy of land theft. Israel is quite happy to fight a small war every few years to help distract from the fact that they've made a 'two-state' solution impossible by taking over most of the West Bank where a Palestinian state would be primarily based.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@aviad913 Yes lets follow the dumb ass English man on youtube defending his nations creation of a nation on others land.

 

I agree Hamas is trash I would take Israel over Hamas but Israel isn't much better.

hellangel_boy
hellangel_boy

 @aviad913  This video is so useless, we are talking about the topic of Israel made a game about real war.

hellangel_boy
hellangel_boy

@Oracleas Why am I an idiot ?! for saying that I have seen scenes of Gaza of children who were covered in blood ?! or people with their home completely destroyed ?! Anyway, you can insult me all the way you like, but that isn't going to do much for people who really die in the reality, because we are just typing words from behind computers.

thech0senONE
thech0senONE

 @TheLastRoman  @hellangel_boy The truth is always relevent. The truth that Israel was founded on terrorism since Haganah, Israeli terrorist group, slaughtered 10,000 Palestinians including women in children in the 30's and 40's. Haganah later bacame the IDF and its leader, also member of Israeli terrorist group, Menachem Begin, became Israel's 6th prime minister. Those are facts and it is disgusting to watch the Palestinian people suffer every day to the US backed terror, racist state that is Israel.

 

scottabc
scottabc

 @SythisTaru  @02050muh Of course they're made up but they become 'real' when fools say things like 'survival of the fittest'- legitimizing one group dominating or destroying another. The Nazis were just the 'fittest' right? 

scottabc
scottabc

 @SythisTaru  @02050muh And your accusing other commenters of being racist? You're a hypocrite and you have nothing left to say when presented with the actual facts.

scottabc
scottabc

 @02050muh  @SythisTaru You're quite right and that is a classic case of 'settler colonialism' which the Zionists tried to copy. The difference is that under the Dawes Act the U.S. gave Native Americans full citizenship. Israel will not give Palestinians in the Occupied Territories Israeli citizenship even though Israel thinks its OK to build homes for Israeli settlers in Palestinian lands. Also there is nothing in Israel similar to the U.S. Civil Rights movement that challenged institutional racism against 'minority' citizens.  Anyways the fact that Native Americans lost their lands was wrong obviously doesnt make what Israel is doing right- two wrongs dont make a right.

Booshon
Booshon

 @scottabc  @SythisTaru 

Sadly you talk like you know but you don't.

I send you a link watch its and Expand horizons.

 

 

 

 

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

 @SythisTaru  @scottabc Do you know that the South Africans too faced a similar situation?How is it that you still see whites in South Africa?But still the truth is it depends upon the Palestinians whether to forgive the Israelis or not.

scottabc
scottabc

 @SythisTaru Kicked out like Israel is trying to do to Palestinians now? Anyways, as you pointed out, a Jewish minority has lived in the region for millenia among larger populations of Jews and Arabs. If the conflict would actually end with a fair land and sovereignty agreement with the Palestinians there is no reason to believe that the mutual fear and hatred would not die down with time.

SythisTaru
SythisTaru

 @scottabc Yes, but if the Palestinian's controlled it, they would kick the Jewish people out, they wouldn't allow them to live there.

scottabc
scottabc

 @Booshon  @gamefreak215jd I've seen this kind of propaganda many times, and Dennis Prager is clumsier than most. He doesn't even bother to mention the various rationalizations for Israel's colonization program but whatever. The fact is there could be a lasting solution to the conflict tomorrow but the idiotic 'settlements' are the main block. There's no perfect solution but basically a viable Palestinian state in most of the Occupied Territories, including significant portions of East Jerusalem, would pretty much end the conflict. Some of the Billions my country wastes on Israel's military could be repurposed to compensate Palestinian refugees from 1948 and we would still make huge savings in our stretched budget. But religious fanatics and extreme nationalists drive Israel's settlement policy. Its foolish to think that Israel 'wants peace' while spending Billions to build and support settlements all throughout the West Bank, while people cant get affordable housing in Tel Aviv, West Jerusalem, Akko and wherever else in Israel.

The settlements are a strategy from the 19th century and will only lead to disaster in the 21st century.

scottabc
scottabc

 @Booshon  @gamefreak215jd OK I understand that the average Israeli (and I guess that you are one) 'wants' war. Also I understand that Israel is not the only country that has dispossessed other people of their lands. If you have looked at the other comments I've made on this thread you'll see that. However, it is ridiculous and offensive to say that Israel 'wants peace' when it is actively colonizing the West Bank. This policy is making a two state solution impossible and in the long run guarantees the worst possible outcome for everyone. Israelis as well as Palestinians in the future will pay the price for Israel's current arrogance and delusions.

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

 @Booshon  @scottabc I never knew civilized stood for forcibly taking away land from people,attacking civilians with tanks,choppers and bombers.Thanks for educating me asshat.

scottabc
scottabc

 @wiidominance  Hmmm... a childish comment from someone calling themselves 'wiidominance' is there a connection here?

thech0senONE
thech0senONE

 @vannacut  @Oracleas  @hellangel_boy Vannacut is correct. Israel controls everything from the natural resources to the borders. Israel even restricts the amount of calories Palestinians can eat everyday. How disgusting! Gaza is the world's largest open concentration camp. 10% of Palestinian children under 5 have now stunted growth due to malnutrition. All because Israel wants them to leave so the "Jewish state" can be exclusive and control the US government. Israel is not our ally, it's our BOSS

vannacut
vannacut

 @Oracleas  @hellangel_boy mr dumbass, you cant go to gazza to help those people, israel will mark you as a weapon smuggler, terrorist, and wont let you interfere, even shoot you if you didnt listen, everybody knows there are many children killed, even israel wont deny it, you are being a dumbass while claiming others are.... you drop a bomb on a civillian area, bomb doesnt check id or age ... 

hellangel_boy
hellangel_boy

 @Oracleas  You have no point there, If you read my comment I said we can't do much about from behind computers, I know that. You just think you are smart.

I support no game about war, and this game is no different. I don't believe all what I see on media and I don't deny it all, everybody has his/her own mind to believe what they want, but even numbers show that lots of Palestinian people die. lots of them are innocent, and can't defend themselves. If you think that this is war and that's normal, then that's you. but a game about war is still disturbing. you won't educate me anything, and this conversation is done.

Oracleas
Oracleas

 @hellangel_boy As much as it pains me to reply to a dumb turd like you, i can't help trying to educate you.

 

You didn't see dying children, dumbass. what you saw was images on a tv. I can show you a Dolphin surfing on a camel while holding a bazooka and singing the theme song from different strokes. Would you believe that?

 

If you have such a sense of justice in you, how about taking a trip to gaza and helping those poor people out?

it's easy to talk from  behind your safe pc monitor, isn't it?

 

Israel made a game about war, which promotes its part. So did the US, Several european countries, etc. How about we call everyone war criminals for making games?  That should do it.

 

Asshole.

hellangel_boy
hellangel_boy

 @Oracleas  You are stupid, completely stupid, what I saw was dying children, no media can fake that.

And what about the main topic?! Israel made a GAME to promote its part in the war, does that seem right to you?!

If it does, then you have no feeling you are an asshole with no feeling thinking he is smart.

Oracleas
Oracleas

 @hellangel_boy  @Oracleas You're an idiot because you haven't got a clue about the topic you're ranting about. You haven't seen nothing, all you saw was what the media fed you.... dumbass