ITV documentary makers mistake game footage for real life, use Arma II clip to "show" IRA attack

You'll notice that I've held back on my traditional charming, deftly-executed snark for that headline up there. The reason? The reality of this story is too funny and abominably ludicrous for me to be able to add anything to it.

The mainstream British media, always ready to tell us that gamers can't tell in-game action from reality, has mistaken in-game action for reality, using footage from Arma II to illustrate a story about a Provisional IRA attack on a British helicopter in 1988. 21 years before Arma II was released. The levels of wrongness this situation operate on are like a journalistic version of the various layers of Dante's Inferno. But then, that's what happens when you seem to research your hard-hitting TV documentaries by browsing YouTube and not bothering to read the comments...

Here's a clip from the documentary:

Notice anything strange about that authentic IRA video? Maybe the fact that it's pixellated, or that the IRA men are unusually stiff and polygonal?

Now compare that footage to this YouTube video, posted in March, in which a troller tried to troll by passing off Arma II footage as an Provisional IRA attack on a British helicopter in 1988. 21 years before Arma II was released. Notice anything strange about it? Like the fact that it's the same goddamn footage? Or the fact that it's even more pixellated, has completely unconvincing smoke, and seems to have been filmed in an area of the world with particularly low texture resolution?

Look outside, ITV. Real grass is not that angular.

Cheers, PC Gamer

September 27, 2011

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.