The ability to identify extremism on the web and in real life and react correctly to it – this is exactly what was required of the participants in the quest game “The world is in your hands” (“Antiterror”), which was held the other day in the cultural center “Dialog “.
The game for schoolchildren and students was created based on methodical recommendations from specialists of the regional Youth Center. The regional Ministry of the Interior has also contributed to this. The main goal, according to the organizers, is to protect young people from the dangers that lie in wait for them, from taking the illegal path.
“In our time, the fight against terrorist and extremist activities is becoming more and more relevant. You need to know how to act correctly to protect yourself and your loved ones,” emphasizes Olga Medvedeva, chief specialist in the Department of Youth Affairs of the Committee for Culture and Youth Policy of the Veliky Novgorod Administration. “Our game only aims to develop active citizenship among children, teach them how to fight extremist propaganda, show them how to behave in the event of a terrorist attack, etc.”
Such quests have been held in Veliky Novgorod since last year. Seven school teams competed in the final game within the walls of Dialog. Another one joined the non-competition game – NovGU Cyber Team, whose work is closely related to the search for “dangerous” content on the Internet.
Each team was given a route sheet – according to it, the participants had to visit nine thematic stations. Some just needed to answer questions, others needed to behave correctly in a simulated situation. The time to complete each task is five minutes, the maximum score is five points.
The hall on the ground floor has become a “station”. Here the players were met by five actors – four portrayed ordinary visitors to the station, one – a terrorist with a bomb. It was necessary to determine the attacker by observing how each member of the company behaved. Engaging in conversations with “suspects” and approaching them is prohibited.
“Such a person is usually nervous, hides, hides his face, is dressed inappropriately for the weather. He may keep a suspicious object under his clothes or carry a bulky bag,” explains Zakhar Nazarenko, a youth worker at the Novgorod Youth Center. – “It is the discussion that the participants evaluate here that can receive a maximum of four points. Another point – whether the “terrorist” was named correctly.
They also had to look for the bomb at the Student Auditorium station in one of the rooms on the second floor. According to the conditions of the task, a dangerous object lies in a prominent place, you just need to show a little attention and find out which thing in the interior looks suspicious. Perhaps the main thing that players “stumble” into here is a hand grenade mockup on the cabinet. However, it is not related to the search – this is a matter of the owner of the office.
One of the students immediately shared his experience with his teammates: “Guys, I warn you immediately, when we find it, do not touch it. I already had this: in Pankovka I found it, touched it and there was an explosion.
The curator of the site, a veteran of the military operations in Afghanistan, a member of the council of the Novgorod regional branch of the All-Russian public organization of veterans “Combat Brotherhood” Igor Zagorsky, is also monitoring the progress of the search. You can not only touch a suspicious object, but also get close to it, use mobile phones nearby. The “bomb” is eventually found successfully – it turns out to be a can of energy drink placed in a library.
Participants in the rally also had to answer questions about drug use and propaganda, show their awareness of the rules for holding rallies, analyze various graffiti, quotes from books and posts on the web for the presence of extremism. The results were also evaluated by law enforcement officials. For example, Anton Nikolaev, a special case officer in the counter-extremism center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Novgorod region, was in charge of the Internet station.
“There are a huge number of types of extremism,” he says. “At the same time, there is no place more public than the Internet. If you have an inheritance on the internet, everyone will know about it. Besides, the Internet remembers everything. Even posts that you have deleted can be found later and this can harm your career – for example, you will not be able to work in the government, in law enforcement structures.
All teams successfully coped with the tasks. The cyber team that did not participate in the competition collected the most points. With a point less are the teams of Gymnasium #3 and Secondary School #14, who share the first place. The second place goes to high school #4, the third – to school #2.
“Today we received very useful information,” one of the winners, a student from high school No. 3 Sofia Levitskaya, told the “Novgorod” newspaper. – We learned what responsibility can be obtained for the distribution and use of drugs, where it is possible to coordinate rallies and demonstrations … I think it is worth holding such games, involving all children in it. Because ignorance of the law does not exempt from responsibility, and in this way children will be able to learn the law more easily and not break it.