Arma 3 developer Bohemia Interactive is speaking out against the use of in-game footage to spread false information, specifically about the war in Ukraine.
In a public statement, Bohemia Interactive is speaking out against the use of Arma 3 mods intentionally being made to look like real-life war footage and passed off as genuine.
“These user-made videos have the potential to go viral, and are massively shared by social media users; sometimes even by various mainstream media or official government institutions worldwide,” Bohemia Interactive says in its statement.
Arma 3 is set in a futuristic conflict set in the year 2035, but Arma 3 is also incredibly popular thanks to its robust modding and customization options. Users have created over 20,000 modes for the game set across all kinds of different wars, real and fictional, over many different periods of time.
We are fully aware that fake videos from our #Arma3 title appear on the internet, pretending to be original videos from various armed conflicts.
However, Bohemia Interactive is fighting against mods that are purposefully being created to resemble the war in Ukraine and shared online as real-life footage. “While it’s flattering that Arma 3 simulates modern 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,” says Bohmeia Interactive PR manager Pavel Krizka.
Krizka says Bohemia Interactive has tried to fight the proliferation of fake war footage created in Arma 3 by flagging the videos to platform providers like Facebook and YouTube, but says the process is “very ineffective.”
Instead, the team has turned to cooperating with leading media outlets and fact-checkers like AFP and Reuters as they “have better reach and the capacity to fight the spreading of fake news footage effectively.”
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Bohemia Interactive has also published a guide for users to distinguish between in-game videos and real-world footage. Bohemia Interactive highlights aspects like low resolution, shaky camera, dark or nighttime footage, lack of audio and people, and unrealistic vehicles and uniforms as things to look out for when distinguishing fake videos.
Lastly, Bohemia Interactive is asking users to use game footage responsibly and “refrain from using ‘clickbait’ video titles,” and stating clearly that video originated in a video game before publishing game clips online.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022 and has been an ongoing conflict ever since, impacting countless lives.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.