When video game graphics truly become indistinguishable from reality, it’ll be worse for separating fact from fiction than Photoshop.
Already, videos that are clips from games are mistaken as real and used as propaganda. The most recent example (there are many!) is this video that played on Iranian state TV and that’s been picked up and reported a number of other places, purporting to show a Hezbollah sniper taking down six Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL (known by the name Daesh in some countries) soldiers in under two minutes. As Gizmodo reports, it’s not real—it’s Medal of Honor.
The video is blurry as hell and weirdly distorted, but as the Gizmodo story points out, you can see that it’s pretty much identical to this 2012 YouTube video of footage from the game. The giveaway is the little icon that shows up at the bottom-center of the screen: it’s a headshot medal. It’s the game congratulating you for being awesome.
Whoever’s manning the virtual sniper rifle controls in the video is pretty good, to be fair, and if we can start fighting wars with an Xbox controller soon, ISIS had better look out.