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Video games or reality? How not to get tricked by images online

Anthony Saint-Léger, journalist at France 24.
Anthony Saint-Léger, journalist at France 24. © France 24

Very realistic sequences are presented to you as real war scenes? Be careful, you may be faced with images taken from video games. On the occasion of the press and media week in schools in France, Info or Intox helps you see things more clearly.

Soldiers fighting… Airplanes shot down by missiles… Video games today are so realistic that they can easily feed misinformation.

But often, by observing details, especially explosions or smoke, it is possible to distinguish this type of content. These video game images in particular are often shared with degraded and pixelated quality on social media to make them difficult to spot.

Last November, we interviewed the creators of the video game Arma 3 – one of the games most used to misinform – to find out how to spot content in this game taken out of its initial context.

But the misappropriation of video game images for the purposes of disinformation is far from being a new fact: in 2019 we showed three examples, sometimes even broadcast in the media.

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