Research Note: “When ‘Childsplay’ Gets Lethal”: ‘Ludic Terrorism’ and its Ambivalent Relationship with Postmodernism


  • Samuel H. Patterson Freelance Researcher


Ludic Terrorism, Postmodernism, Alter Ego


The research note offers an intuitive insight into a peculiar type of terrorist behaviour. It does so by combining the concept of ‘ludic’ with terrorism, which is not entirely new (see Shane McCorristine’s work on 19th century anarchism as ‘ludic terrorism’ and its representations in Edwardian literature). But the object of this work is to explore the ‘ludic’ concept both methodologically (by exposing the linkage between ‘ludic’ themes of playing, tricking and irony and the theory of postmodernism) and historically by highlighting two serious yet apparently unrelated mainstream cases – Anders Behring Breivik and Elliot Rodger. It is important to note that the study is multi-disciplinary by nature. It draws on philosophy and cultural theorists as well as novelists and film media in order to get to grips with real life traumas experienced by millions of human beings and externalise the dangerous alter egos and apocalyptic pipedreams which are born as a result.


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