Iran Joins The Using Video Game Footage To Pump Up Your Own Military's Reputation Arms Race

from the fake-it-til-you-make-it dept

I suppose this was inevitable. As video games become more refined as an artform and as those games evince more realistic graphics, animations, and all the rest, I suppose it had to be that some folks out there would try to pass game footage off as real footage depicting their own power. I just never really thought it would be established nations that otherwise purport to be players on the world stage doing this. Yet, as we have seen done by Egypt, North Korea, and even Russia in the past, so too do we now find that Iran is trying to brag about its own military capability using game footage.

This all started with Iran’s state-run media releasing a video it claimed to be of an Iranian sniper taking out members of ISIS.

That guy’s a really good shot, right? Well, if the above footage looks somewhat familiar to you, even through the grainy capture and the fact that it’s clearly video shot of a television showing the actual video, that’s probably because you’re played the video game Medal Of Honor.

But something about this video doesn’t seem right. That’s because the footage is actually from the video game Medal of Honor. Several details show this. First of all, when this imaginary commando kills a supposed IS group terrorist, a little symbol pops up in the bottom of the screen. It’s exactly the same symbol that appears in Medal of Honor when a gamer shoots his enemy in the head (“a headshot”). Secondly, while the soldier is shooting, you can see the words “Mfou” and “Wfou” written at the bottom of the screen. These stand for the different visors that players can use in Medal of Honor.

Oops. This isn’t to say that Iran doesn’t indeed have military assets taking on ISIS/Daesh. They certainly do. But when an easily debunked effort to pass off video game footage as victory marks for the war effort is put out, it will only serve to make the world wonder just how well the real effort is going. Probably horribly, because, you know, war. War never changes (See? I can do it too!).

But we’ll set that aside for the moment and instead welcome Iran into the group of fake-it-til-you-make-it folks. There are snacks in the back, but they’re just pictures of Mario Bros. mushrooms, so, you know….

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Comments on “Iran Joins The Using Video Game Footage To Pump Up Your Own Military's Reputation Arms Race”

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29 Comments
Matt Effect (profile) says:

Operation double-cross

I sort of get the feeling you gave fallen victim to a spot of ‘misinformation’!! Recently the Congress approved exponential increases in the ‘propaganda’ budget of the US agencies. That is to come up with ‘planted’ stories to use on unwitting press and public in the US and other Wearern countries! This smacks of the very thing. For a start, Iranians don’t speak Arabic, this is all in Arabic with only Arabic symbols. Then there is the fact that I saw the same storey in Telegraph claiming it was Hizbualh in Lebanon doing the exact same with the same footage!!

Ummmm!! Curious!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Operation double-cross

this is all in Arabic with only Arabic symbols.

Not quite…

Then there is the fact that I saw the same storey in Telegraph claiming it was Hizbualh in Lebanon doing the exact same with the same footage!!

You also saw it in the source cited in this very article, it’s just bad reporting. What doesn’t change is that it’s Iran’s state news network that produced this. Iran has done this before and you can check the primary source to verify, you’re just a conspiracy theorist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Operation double-cross

I’m sure he’s much more than just a conspiracy theorist. It really looks like it’s bad reporting on the state news network’s part, and then on those reporting the reporting. Who knows who fed the original footage to the INN — possibly THAT was a US tactic; it is in line with previous tactics as well as with a regular chain of incompetence, so could go either way with full plausibility.

Matt Effect (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Who knows who fed the original footage to the INN -- possibly THAT was a US tactic

Are you sure this from the Iranian state run TV or just taking the report at face value even? Why would this not get run on Press TV if indeed it fooled the Iranians? This is just full of holes and the Arabic speaking sniper a blatant giveaway. I can imagine some guys in Langley laughing their heads off by the gullibility of the public. Call it Iranian and the public is prepared to put aside any evidence not to believe the worst! But this one really takes the biscuit.

Matt Effect (profile) says:

Re: Re: Operation double-cross

Why not quite? Are you saying talking French is the same as talking English?!

Primary source as in a rinsing news agency! You call me a conspiracy theorist as if it’s a dreadful insult. Surely you realise every item here is in essence a theory unless it a direct observation? What none sense is all that about?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Operation double-cross

Let’s run with that shall we?

The US creates and plants false video in an attempt to make Iran look bad by making it seem like they’re falsely pumping up their operations against the idiotic butchers by using video-game footage and trying to pass it off as legitimate.

Assuming the efforts in disguising the source of the video works, who comes out looking bad in this, versus who can easily spin it in their favor?

The US? No, propaganda that gets found out tends to backfire pretty badly against the ones who created it, and making someone that’s fighting against a group that opposes pretty much anyone that isn’t them look worse doesn’t do the US much good.

Iran? Yeah, they come out looking all kinds of stupid, and any real reports of their successes in the future are likely to receive a hefty amount of skepticism.

The losers with guns and bombs? Oh yeah, now they can run with this and turn it to their favor. All it would take is one person realizing that they can use this to claim that Iran isn’t being nearly as successful fighting against them, because clearly they’re just so powerful that an entire army can’t stand against them.

So running with your idea, the US gets nothing while risking blowback, Iran gets nothing but egg on their face, and the losers get an excellent opportunity to crow about how awesome and powerful they are as their enemies are reduced to faking successes against them. If this was a US op then it failed at anything beyond giving the enemy a chance to make themselves out to be more powerful.

Or we could just assume that Iran screwed up all on their own with a pathetic attempt at propaganda that backfired when people spotted the obvious discrepancies. A US propaganda op which helped no-one but the enemy, or a government botching propaganda like other governments have before, which do you think makes more sense?

Matt Effect (profile) says:

Re: Re: Operation double-cross

I think you miss my point. This was not intended or directed at a western audience. Remember Iran had elections just a week ago. What would make the hardliners look bad other than some fake footage that gets exposed just before voting? It just gets picked up by various news agencies and re-reported as real news in US for example. There is little incentive for either party to deny or at least indicate it might be true. As per observed lack of crowing from the Iranians or indeed the US side. But I bet you it will be sited as a whole army of politicians to illustrate how stupid Iranians or Hisbualhis are when it needs to be brought up.

Why would you think it was directed at a US audience?!

Matt Effect (profile) says:

Re: Re: Operation double-cross

Really at the very least I would have expected the government to get the right lingo used? The video is completely in Arabic. Would you spot a guy talking French when it’s meant to be an American sniper in combat? Why would Iranians think they could fool their own people by having someone talking Arabic when he is meant to be an Iranian? Its just not plausible.

Anonymous Coward says:

Are you really that clueless? Don’t you think that the militaries of the world do these things? Are games not based on real life?

Iran’s military isn’t as advanced as the United States, so of course their tactics and weaponry are not as good as the US, so they are limited.

If you took true video of US troops, you would think it came from a Halo video, but would in fact, be real.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: I've often argued...

Maybe we should have video games that depict war with brutal realism.

Children on the field that get wiped out, or worse, not-quite-wiped-out-to-die.

Soldiers on the ground screaming for their mothers.

Random deaths due to the unlucky artillery impact.

Games are conspicuously softened for sake of entertainment and offense, but I suspect that facilitates the narrative that going to war isn’t so terrible.

Much like Jack Bauer torturing the victim of the week to save the world (and torture works every time) was instrumental in torture becoming an acceptable measure for the United States to take.

Not all games have to be so brutal, but right now, no games are. Efforts like Six Days In Fallujah are nixed for being too offensive and against the US-military-action-is-good-and-righteous narrative.

Matt Effect (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I've often argued...

Absolutely. There is reason why journalists are now listed as enemy combatants practically. They are really in the way military sees them even if they doing it all according to the book. The savagery often shocks the most ardent supporter of war into saying enough is enough when the basis for military action is not altogether solid.

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