Arma 3 dev says it is still being used to create fake news, offers tips for identifying...

midian182

Posts: 8,481   +104
Staff member
WTF?! Footage of video games purporting to be real-life incidents, particular those from conflicts, is far from a new phenomenon. The practice has been increasing this year following the war in Ukraine, and it's often Arma 3 gameplay that's used as the fake footage. Now, developer Bohemia Interactive has addressed the circulation of these videos and explained how to tell real clips from fakes.

The Czech studio writes that the massive amount of user-generated content and mods, many of them of Russian and Ukrainian equipment, available for Arma 3 make it an ideal game for creating fake videos. "While it's flattering that Arma 3 simulates modern war conflicts in such a realistic way, we are certainly not pleased that it can be mistaken for real-life combat footage and used as war propaganda," said Pavel KřIžka, PR Manager of Bohemia Interactive.

KřIžka said footage from Arma 3 has been used as fake footage from Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and even between India and Pakistan. But it's been an especially popular method of creating clips claiming to be from the Ukraine/Russia war. They often go viral and are occasionally shown on legitimate media outlets that believe they're real.

A clip that circulated in October supposedly showing the Ukrainian military striking Russian Army tanks turned out to be Arma 3 footage. Part of the same clip was also used in a false claim from 2020 that alleged it was an American anti-aircraft weapon destroying an Iranian missile. There was also a case in 2018 when Russian TV showed an Arma 3 clip that it claimed was actual footage from the Syrian war (below).

Bohemia Interactive has tried flagging these videos to platform holders such as YouTube, but such actions often prove ineffective. "We found the best way to tackle this is to actively cooperate with leading media outlets and fact-checkers (such as AFP, Reuters, and others), who have better reach and the capacity to fight the spreading of fake news footage effectively."

The developer gave a series of tips on how to distinguish real footage from Arma 3 gameplay clips:

  • Very low resolution

Even dated smartphones have the ability to provide videos in HD quality. Fake videos are usually of much lower quality, and are intentionally pixelated and blurry to hide the fact that they're taken from a video game.

  • Shaky camera

To add dramatic effect, these videos are often not captured in-game. Authors film a computer screen with the game running in low quality and with an exaggerated camera shake.

  • Often takes place in the dark / at night

The footage is often dark in order to hide the video game scene's insufficient level of detail.

  • Mostly without sound

In-game sound effects are often distinguishable from reality.

  • Doesn't feature people in motion

While the game can simulate the movement of military vehicles relatively realistically, capturing natural looking humans in motion is still very difficult, even for the most modern of games.

  • Heads Up Display (HUD) elements visible

Sometimes the game's user interfaces, such as weapon selection, ammunition counters, vehicle status, in-game messages, etc. are visible. These commonly appear at the edges or in the corners of the footage.

  • Unnatural particle effects

Even the most modern games have a problem with naturally depicting explosions, smoke, fire, and dust, as well as how they're affected by environmental conditions. Look for oddly separated cloudlets in particular.

  • Unrealistic vehicles, uniforms, equipment

People with advanced military equipment knowledge can recognize the use of unrealistic military assets for a given conflict. For instance, in one widely spread fake video, the US air defense system C-RAM shoots down a US A-10 ground attack plane. Units can also display non-authentic insignias, camouflage, etc.

KřIžka finished by asking Arma 3 players and content creators to be responsible with their game footage, such as explicitly stating that the footage they're posting comes from a video game.

Arma 3 isn't the only game used to fake real-life incidents. A Pakistani politician thought a GTA V video of a plane landing and narrowly missing an oil tanker on the runway was real in 2019. There was also the case of the Russian MoD insisting images from a mobile game were "irrefutable evidence" of the US helping ISIS in 2017.

Permalink to story.

 

Kam7r

Posts: 168   +338
Never forget that propaganda are used by the 2 sides... and I'm still wondering where were all the noises from the public when the US did the same as russia for decades ? where were all the Flags of the invaded/attacked countries displayed on websites ? where were all the "scandalized" ppl ? where were all the social medias f*cktarded users when they lied to the UN council about "mass destruction weapons" ? don't get me wrong , I sincerly hope the ukrainians to win this war but ... you condemn everything or you condemn nothing , or it's just hipocrisy and double standard .
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,363   +8,581
Radio Free Europe was America's largest propaganda machine for many decades until it was shuttered by the past administration. It should be noted that their form of propaganda was to spread "real" news to those behind the iron curtain. At times they get it entirely wrong and other times they get it right, but with all the wrong details. For instance, when the first invasion of Iran there were false claims of nuclear and chemical "weapons of mass destruction" that were false but what was found and never reported were biological weapons and one of the first working Rail Guns. Both were destroyed but not made widely known, probably because that administration wanted to focus on their WMD's' in order to save political face.
 

Tantor

Posts: 390   +660
Everyone , Just remember, Propaganda isnt exclusive.
But im thinking, Religion is the blueprint.

Very true. Also, it helps to look up the definition and etymology of a word.

Propaganda - "any movement or organization to propagate some practice or ideology" (1790). The modern political sense ("dissemination of information intended to promote a political point of view") dates from World War I, not originally pejorative and implying bias or deliberate misleading. Meaning "material or information propagated to advance a cause, etc." is from 1929.
https://www.etymonline.com/word/propaganda

Propaganda is not necessarily false or misleading. Any statement for a cause is, by definition, propaganda.

Religion underlies everything in society.
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,827   +983
Wasn't this game used when Putin was showing John Oliver vids of presumably Russian army destroying evil enemies?
That was funny, although for a man who interacts with internet through paper reports printed in 20 font size is acceptable.
 

Tantor

Posts: 390   +660
Meanwhile Putin is still using classic Counterstrike, because Russians don't get the difference.

Putin is playing Total Annihilation. You win by out producing the enemy. It's just attrition. On that basis Russia will always win.

Sun Tzu wrote “There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.”

The West thought that sanctions and that arming Ukraine would deter Russia. They need to activate plan B. Hopefully they have a plan B.

By the way, Russians are avid gamers.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,399   +1,038
Putin is playing Total Annihilation. You win by out producing the enemy. It's just attrition. On that basis Russia will always win.

Sun Tzu wrote “There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.”

The West thought that sanctions and that arming Ukraine would deter Russia. They need to activate plan B. Hopefully they have a plan B.

By the way, Russians are avid gamers.

Hopefully you mean out producing in propaganda.

The Russian economy outside primary produce and resources is really quite pitiful.

You are confusing Russia with USSR - they could afford to lose millions as canon fodder - but please remember USA with british help supplied a huge amount of weapons and supplies.
Did Russia outproduce Afghanistan? .
All these strategic withdrawals - well let's see if they can take Bakhmut - sure are trying hard.

Russia going into old stock - needing Iran, China and Norks.
The money the USA military is spending - compared to other things in their budget is tiny.

Sure Russia can ramp up dumb weapons - but supply side parts for advanced stuff is getting hard for them.

Eventually Ukraine will have a full Air shield - so killing babies will become harder. Add in new western weapons , planes .
Russia needs millions of troops and equipment to take major new ground - where are those well trained , high motivated canon fodder coming from?
Just logistics of replacing artillery barrels , and not having shells taking out by HIMARS - is hard enough.

I said it from day one Russia has already lost - just by how much.\
The smartest young Russians are leaving in droves.

The European former Bloc countries are away head of Russia.

Playing "Total Annihilation" - Russia Telegram channels love that stuff - whooping it up - destroying apartments , hospitals - they want death , death and more death - Think hard about your praise for such killing and misery - it reflects badly on people hoping for it.
This war is just Putin's vainglory - yet many choose to support him - as death of others does not matter -only Russian pride in killing needs to be quenched.
What was 98% of Kherson residents wanted Russia overmasters ?
 

pmshah

Posts: 196   +49
Putin is playing Total Annihilation. You win by out producing the enemy. It's just attrition. On that basis Russia will always win.

Sun Tzu wrote “There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.”

The West thought that sanctions and that arming Ukraine would deter Russia. They need to activate plan B. Hopefully they have a plan B.

By the way, Russians are avid gamers.
Biden the bµdhdhµ though that sanctioning Russia and freezing Russia's US$ accounts would yield similar results to what Gorbachev suffered. It just screwed EU over. Russia shifted to gold in payment and started selling in ₹ to India and Yuen to China. In fact instead of getting higher production out of Saudi Arabia it got massive reduction in production. When the petrodoallr finally dies US & Ukraine will hopefully realise their idiocy and come to negotiating table with ALL the concessions demanded by Russia.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,348   +2,023
Fake arma3 "Ukraine News" videos were all over my YouTube feed at one point. I think more from channels that wanted traffic & ad money from viral videos vs. making propaganda points.

I started flagging on sight and within a few days I never saw them again. Not sure if YouTube got smarter as a whole, or if it just stopped showing them to me.
 

Rhythmattic

Posts: 23   +3
Very true. Also, it helps to look up the definition and etymology of a word.

Propaganda - "any movement or organization to propagate some practice or ideology" (1790). The modern political sense ("dissemination of information intended to promote a political point of view") dates from World War I, not originally pejorative and implying bias or deliberate misleading. Meaning "material or information propagated to advance a cause, etc." is from 1929.
https://www.etymonline.com/word/propaganda

Propaganda is not necessarily false or misleading. Any statement for a cause is, by definition, propaganda.

Religion underlies everything in society.
Religions.