The clip was really gameplay from the military simulation game Arma 3, which the Indian news outlet Republic wrongly claimed was evidence of the Pakistan Air Force assisting the Taliban against Afghan resistance in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley.
Arma 3 is a popular PC game that is recognized as one of the most realistic military shooters available. Because of its realism, it has been mistaken for real-life conflict on multiple occasions.
Arma 3 is set in a near-future war that is imaginary. The Vietnam War expansion pack for Arma 3 was published earlier this year, and it’s one of the few parts of the game that is directly linked to a historical event. Rather than adapting real-life wars as they occurred, the game mostly draws inspiration from them.
Despite this, it gives a realistic simulation of general, modern fighting, and news outlets such as Republic have taken notice of its gameplay.
The clip was attributed to Hasti TV, which claimed it showed Pakistani airstrikes assisting the Taliban against Afghan resistance. This was incorrect, and fact-checker Mohammed Zubair went deeper into the narrative, discovering that the clip was taken from a YouTube video of Arma 3 gameplay.
When you watch the entire video, you’ll see a lot more: The gameplay seen on Republic’s broadcast is mostly zoomed-in footage of a fighter jet flying in a black sky, but the entire gameplay video includes more video game-like camera movements and close-ups of an anti-air canon that is clearly a video game element.
Republic then removed the film from its official channels, claiming that it wasn’t the only media that had broadcast the “incorrect” video. MSNBC was erroneously accused of utilizing footage from the movie World War Z as b-roll during protests in Philadelphia in 2020, in a similar occurrence.
The footage made it appear as if the protestors were destroying the city, however, MSNBC never utilized a clip from World War Z in its coverage; instead, someone else overlayed the scene with MSNBC’s overlay.
The Arma 3 clip was really broadcast on news networks in this situation. Some people were clearly fooled by the game’s realistic graphics and skillful editing that it was actual.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in Arma 3: Earlier this year, social media users mistakenly claimed Arma 3 gameplay was footage of Israel’s defensive system, according to Reuters.