Iranian state TV recently broadcast a film clip of Hezbollah snipers taking out a number of Islamic State fighters, but France24 journalists noticed that the successful hits did not take place in Syria, where Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces are fighting on the side of the Bashar Assad regime, but rather in a computer game.
According to the French report, the clip was broadcast on state television and distributed in a host of Iranian media outlets under titles such as “Hezbollah sniper kills Da’esh fighters,” referring to the Arabic name of ISIS, and “Hezbollah sniper hunts Da’esh beasts.”
The news agency Mizan even noted that the sniper was using an Iranian-made 20mm Arash rifle.
The clip, filmed as a close-up, depicts what seems to be a rifle sight, but at a certain point a sign appears at the bottom of the sight, which the France24 journalists recognized as belonging to the video game "Medal of Honor." It's displayed in the game when a player hits a target in the head. In addition, at the bottom of the clip appear the phrases "Mfou" and "Wfou," abbreviations of different kinds of sights in the game’s 2010 edition, whose theme is soldiers from elite units battling terrorists.
This is not the first time that computer games have been enlisted for propaganda by blurring the lines between reality and the digital world. PCgamer noted, for example, that last year the Egyptian news agency used a scene from the "Apache: Air Assault" game in a report about Russia’s air superiority over ISIS in North Korea. In another instance, a scene from "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" was used for a propaganda film portraying the collapse of “the den of snakes” — the United States.