Bohemia Interactive, the developer studio behind the military simulation Arma, has issued a statement in response to fake videos related to the real-world Ukraine conflict. Content from the game would be faked in edited form as supposedly real videos of the war.
These fake videos with edited scenes from the current Arma 3 are being distributed on social media, according to the Bohemia statement. In some cases, even the media or governments are said to fall for the fakes and share them. Due to current events, this is happening primarily with reference to the war in Ukraine.
Arma 3 provides good templates for fakes
< p class="p text-width">Despite being based on a fictional conflict in 2035, the game Arma 3 provides a relatively realistic template for such fakes. The wide range of weapons and vehicles can be expanded with mods. And the terrain can also be adjusted, for example to recreate historical events in the game. More than 20,000 mods for Arma 3 are now available in the Steam workshop.
It is precisely the many options and freedoms that make the military sandbox an ideal basis for spreading fake News. Bohemia now wants to help to unmask such fake videos more easily and gives a whole list of characteristics that speak more for a fake.
This is how the fakes can be identified
The fakes should mostly be in low resolution with a shaky camera and in the dark, making it harder to distinguish between game content and reality. In addition, they usually have no sound and no moving people, since such animations in video games still seem unrealistic. This is different when moving vehicles.
Viewers should also be aware of unnatural particle effects or inconsistent equipment, uniforms, or vehicles. An easy identification feature is again the illustration of elements of the head-up display (HUD) from the game, which shows the selected weapon or its ammunition at the edge of the screen.
The The following video by Bohemia provides examples of typical features of such a fake:
Media should help with clarification
Bohemia goes on to say that fake videos related to conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine or India and Pakistan have been dealt with before. Recently, however, the Ukraine war has increasingly come into focus. Attempts by Bohemia to report exposed fake videos as such on social media are in vain, however, because they spread far too quickly.
We have tried to take action against such content by reporting these videos to platform providers (FB, YT, TW, IG, etc.), but it is very ineffective. With every video removed, ten more are uploaded every day.
According to Bohemia, a better way is to “actively engage with leading media and fact-checkers (such as AFP , Reuters and others) to work together”. These would have “greater reach and the ability to effectively combat the spread of fake news material,” it said.
A call to content creators from the Finally, there is still a player community: Please treat your Arma 3 content responsibly, clearly mark it as content from a video game and refrain from lurid clickbait titles.