A short video circulated by middle eastern news outlets reportedly showing a sniper shooting six ISIS soldiers is actually gameplay footage from the 2010 reboot of military shooter Medal of Honor.
According to Factually, Iranian and Saudi Arabian television stations showing the clips have claimed the sniper is a member of Hezbollah, and the enemies are Daesh, AKA ISIS, soldiers. One Iranian news outlet claim the gun used in the video Iranian-made “Arash” weapon.
Medal of Honor, a modernized reboot of the World War II shooter franchise, follows U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The footage shows a sequence from the game where players systematically snipe enemy soldiers. If you go back and listen closely to the TV clip, you can hear dialogue from the game. It’s easier to spot after watching this 2012 “Let’s Play” video showing the same sequence.
In addition to the fact that the footageseems to be shot through an oddly grainy sniper’s scope, the video briefly shows an icon at the bottom of the screen signaling a successful headshot. Also, the video was clearly shot by a phone or camera pointed at a television.
Sadly, news outlets can’t seem to stop mistakenly airing clips or screenshots of video games in reports about real-world news. In 2013, Danish news network TV2 used an image of 12th Century Damascus from Assassin’s Creed to depict the 21st century version of the city. In 2015, RT.com used an image of child soldiers from Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain in a segment about hip-hop artist Emmanuel Jal, who was conscripted as a child in Sudan. Even world-renown media outlets have done it: In 2012, the BBC used the logo of the Halo series’ UNSC — United Nations Space Command — to represent the United Nations Security Council.