From the landing page, players set off through five stages: What is Violent Extremism? What are Known Violent Extremist Groups? Who Do Violent Extremists Affect? Why Do People Become Violent Extremists? How Do Violent Extremists Make Contact? As players successfully answer questions, they get to cut the puppet strings and ultimately earn an “FBI certificate” upon completion.
If the problem were simply bad execution it might be enough to laugh the effort off as out-of-touch bureaucrats attempting to connect with teenagers. But “Don’t be a Puppet” is hardly innocuous. It represents some of the worst elements of the federal government’s “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) initiative, which targets entire Muslim communities for what it terms any signs of “radicalism” — violent or otherwise.