Police have linked hanging out with someone you met at the gym to “right-wing extremism” in a simulation advertised Saturday.
The Bedfordshire, U.K. police department made the connection in a tweet advertising an online decision-making game called “Cross the Line,” which begins with the player meeting a friend at the gym and can end with the police arresting the player for beating up a Muslim.
The simulation begins with the player sharing an article detailing young people’s inability to find jobs. The player proceeds to go to a gym incorporating martial arts and is contacted the next morning by the friend.
“Hey it was good to meet u [sic] yesterday at the gym,” says the hypothetical friend, who belongs to a political group called “Youth Action,” in the simulation. “I’m going out tonight, wanna join?”
“Do you think you could spot the signs of right-wing extremism?” asks the Bedfordshire Police in a tweet describing the interaction.
— Bedfordshire Police (@bedspolice) July 29, 2017
After choosing to drink with the friend and go to a political rally with him or her, the player apparently beats a Muslim to death. The simulation ends with hate crime statistics in the U.K., and the Bedfordshire Police explaining that targeting someone because of their race or religion constitutes a hate crime.
Twitter users taunted Bedfordshire Police for the tweet and simulation.
“Cross The Line aims to help young people, who might be at risk from radicalisation, to recognise the signs that they are being influenced or controlled by others,” said Jackie Sebire, assistant chief constable of the Bedfordshire Police, in a press release. “We at Bedfordshire Police, and our partners across the eastern region and nationwide, will not tolerate those who seek to provoke tensions within our communities, or who target others because of any aspect of their identity.”
“I wish the Cross the Line app had been around when I was younger, as I think it would have given me a chance to see what I might be getting into before I actually made the mistakes that I did,” said Ivan Humble, a former right-wing activist organizer, in the press release.
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