Extremists use Minecraft and Roblox to recreate Christchurch attack

Terrorism monitors say far-right groups are targeting children’s gaming sites

Armed police guard Al Noor mosque in Christchurch in 2019. Getty Images
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Far-right extremists have used children’s gaming platforms to recreate the Christchurch atrocity in New Zealand in which 51 people were killed.

A map of one of the mosques targeted in Christchurch was placed on Minecraft, terrorism researchers revealed.

The map, which had been online for two months, received hundreds of views and a link had been posted on a white supremacist image board on the dark web.

In another instance, a video which included the same music that was used in the live-streamed mosque attack was created in the online Roblox game and shared.

The Christchurch attack saw white supremacist Brenton Tarrant kill 51 people at two mosques in March 2019.

He opened fire on worshippers inside the Al Noor mosque, broadcasting the attack on Facebook Live via a head camera he was wearing.

Tarrant then drove to the Linwood Islamic Centre where he shot people outside and then shot at the windows.

The Counter Extremism Project, which monitors extremist activity online, said: "CEP researchers identified a video posted on Streamable consisting of a recreation of the Christchurch terrorist attack video in the online video game Roblox, as well as a map of one of the mosques targeted in the attack in the game Minecraft, which was then shared on an image board that promotes violent white supremacism."

"The video included a weapon made to resemble the attacker’s rifle and included music originally used in the attack video. The link was posted on 4chan and had 23 views when it was located.

"CEP also located a map and video recreation in the game Minecraft depicting one of the mosques targeted in the terrorist attack. The map had been online for two months when it was located and had received over 330 views."

4chan is an image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images anonymously.

CEP said the map had been uploaded to a Minecraft community fan site.

It previously found footage of a recreation of the terrorist attack in a video game which was posted to Instagram, and the government of New Zealand banned a video game specifically made to digitally recreate the attack.

Last week, British man Michael Nugent was jailed for terrorism offences after sharing explosives manuals and extremist videos, including one of the New Zealand mosque massacres, in far-right chat groups.

He also shared film of the attack on the first anniversary of the atrocity in March last year, and posted Tarrant's manifesto on far-right sites.

Updated: June 30, 2021, 2:59 PM