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State Department Wants To Use Video Games To Tackle Ukraine “Disinformation”

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The US State Department has made moves to utilize eSports as a tool in their fight against so-called “misinformation” in Ukraine, as evidenced by a recent grant listing.

The plan involves training Ukrainians in competitive video gaming while concurrently enhancing their skills in counteracting foreign propaganda and disinformation within these online gaming spaces.

This new agenda seemingly fits into a broader strategy implemented since President Joe Biden took office in 2021. The State Department, under his leadership, has increasingly focused on tackling perceived disinformation, resorting in some instances to funding entities known for censorship pressure.

Interestingly, funding pro-censorship bodies has been a previously employed strategy by the State Department to quell “disinformation.” Case in point is the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a UK-based entity. The GDI ran a blacklist that guides advertising companies on which news outlets allegedly dispense disinformation, thereby suggesting withholding of ad revenues from such platforms. News outlets that have previously fallen victim to such categorization by GDI include high-profile entities such as the New York Post.

Meanwhile, as first noticed by The Daily Caller, the grant listing is bereft of explicit details on how Ukrainians developing video gaming skills will be instrumental in battling “disinformation.”

Nonetheless, the initiative expects to harness the widespread acceptance and reach of video games in Eastern Europe as a combined approach to form an eSports program, whose aspirations match those of the grant program. Traditionally, eSports refers to multiplayer gaming competitions that attract professional gamers and sizable viewing audiences.

The funding’s end product will be a gaming tournament, having first offered federally funded professional training to Ukrainian eSports athletes. This training is expected to create a reservoir of skilled gamers ready for engagement by local professional teams.

The expenditure on the Ukrainian-based eSports initiative, aimed (among other things) at battling disinformation, will be $250,000, as per the grant listing.

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