from the fake-it-til-you-make-it dept
This seems to be something of a regular occurrence now. In the recent past, several foreign countries have celebrated how stunningly real video game graphics have become by using them to pretend they are really great at war. The Egyptians did it to pretend that Russia was fighting ISIS, the Iranians did it to pretend that their forces could shoot people from a really long way away, and the North Koreans did it to pretend that they could deliver a nuclear ICBM to our soil.
Well, perhaps there is some synergy to be found over Korea's DMZ, because the South Koreans recently released footage detailing how super-awesome their new fighter jet program is, and that footage included several clips from both Battlefield 3 and Ace Combat.
The South Korean military has a new program to co-develop fighter planes. To show off the project, a web video was created with tax payers’ money. Oh, and unauthorized video game footage.
The Korea Times (via tipster Sang) report that the country’s Ministry of National Defense released the ten minute clip, which features a few seconds of Battlefield 3 and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon to show off the aircraft’s performance.
Here is a sample of a frame from the video and from the game footage it had been taken from, clearly showing that the efforts to disguise the unauthorized usage pretty much amounted to mirror-flipping the image and overlaying a few graphical filters.
It's one thing when a country with a shamble pile of an economy and an overinflated sense of its own power like North Korea does this sort of thing. We've come to expect it, on some level. But there is something really silly when a country with a real economy that is the ally of the United States sinks to the depth of playing make-believe to thump its chest. It's the kind of thing that calls into question the might and capability of the rest of the fighting force of South Korea, which is a terrible signal to send to its northern neighbor.
To induce even more head-shaking, it seems that everyone is blaming each other for all of this.
The military acknowledged that the footage wasn’t authorized and said it will cease using the clip. It also blamed the company that produced the video, and that company is, in turn, blaming the Agency for Defense Development and Korea Aerospace Industries, alleging that they had a say over everything.
One would hope that the game publishers in question won't stoop to the level of trying for a copyright claim over all of this. Instead, they ought to beam proudly that their game footage was deemed realistic enough to attempt to pass off as real-life warring. South Korea, meanwhile, will need to wipe that egg off of its face.