You know video games are getting “too good” when in-game footage is used by accident in a serious television documentary. That’s just what happened on UK broadcaster ITV, which accidentally included a cinematic from ArmA II in place of real life IRA combat footage.
The documentary – part of the Exposure series – included a clip showing Provisional IRA troops shooting down a British helicopter. The footage was intended to show off Libyan leader Gadaffi’s influence on the IRA, but in an accidental mix-up, a shaky video of in-game footage was used instead.
In the hours which followed, ITV quickly scrubbed the egg from their collective faces and issued this public statement:
The events featured in Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA were genuine but it would appear that during the editing process the correct clip of the 1988 incident was not selected and other footage was mistakenly included in the film by producers. This was an unfortunate case of human error for which we apologise.
It is very weird to see our game used this way, especially considering the journalists were simply unable to tell difference between reality and game footage and described a short film clearly made using our game Arma II with what they call real IRA footage from 1988.
The video itself was presented as a real-world clip, an illustration of the “great level of freedom” offered to gamers inside ArmA II, but Spanel is bemused at how anybody could make “such an obvious mistake”.
On a somewhat more positive note, we consider this as a bizarre appreciation of the level of realism incorporated into our games.