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Russia Caught Using Video Game Screenshot in Anti-US Propaganda

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Propaganda is something we all have to deal with. Someone always wants to politicize something, be it using a church shooting to push gun control laws or to support the lack thereof or using a terrorist attack to paint every member of a religion as a dangerous extremist. Even video games aren’t immune from propagandization, although usually they fall into two categories: someone either claims a video game is part of an evil government conspiracy (coughAlexJonescough) or makes a video game to push an agenda. However, once every blue moon, someone gets the bright idea to use a video game and pass it off as real life for the sake of creating propaganda. It tends to backfire in the most spectacular of ways.

Yesterday, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) posted several pictures on its Twitter feed and Facebook page and claimed they provided “irrefutable evidence” that the United States is aiding ISIS. One of the images is of some blurry-yet oddly polygonal vehicles:

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Some might chalk this up to bad image quality, but many Twitter users, including journalist and researcher Eliot Higgins, saw it for what it was: a screenshot from the in-development (and possibly in development hell) mobile game AC-130 Gunship Simulator.

Another Twitter account, The Conflict Intelligence Team, discovered that wasn’t the only intentionally misattributed picture, as another was apparently taken from a 2016 Iraqi Ministry of Defence video:

The Russian MoD has since removed all of its tweets and Facebook posts with the pictures, but you know what they say: nothing is ever truly deleted from the Internet. Other sites, including Kotaku and The Hill, have posted their own articles on this situation, and they all agree that the inclusion of these images destroys any credibility the Russian MoD had regarding its “the US is aiding ISIS” claims. But, the problems don’t stop there, as this isn’t the first time the Russian MoD has tried to pass off misattributed pictures and videos for the sake of propaganda. According to Gizmodo, in The Putin Interviews, Russian President Vladimir Putin showed Oliver Stone a recording of what he claimed was Russian forces fighting ISIS militants in Syria back in 2016. However, eagle-eyed viewers immediately identified the recording as a 2009 video (warning: it is graphic) of American forces attacking the Taliban in Afhanistan. While we do not know if Putin actually believes his own claim, the Russian MoD provided him with the video, which demonstrates the Russian MoD has a history of intentionally misleading the public in order to tell a narrative that simply isn’t true. This is indicative of the growing fake news problem and how the best solution to that problem is some good old research.

All you have to do to get my attention is talk about video games, technology, anime, and/or Dungeons & Dragons - also people in spandex fighting rubber suited monsters.

Gaming

Helldivers 2 Players Face Overwhelming Hordes of Factory Striders

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In the ongoing conflict against the Automaton invasion fleet, the Helldivers 2 players have successfully halted their advance. However, the situation has now reached a tiresome stalemate. Yet again, the machines refuse to take a break from their relentless pursuit of progress, with reports emerging of the Factory Striders being deployed in record-breaking quantities.

There have been reports of alleged machines that were supposedly encountered during Operation Swift Disassembly, which was just the beginning of a larger campaign. However, these accounts should be taken with a grain of salt, as they are unverified and seem to be more on the imaginative side. Factory Striders have gained a reputation as formidable weapons platforms that can produce more Automatons while enduring significant damage. If the machines are able to withstand such a relentless assault, it will be necessary to develop innovative strategies.

Have you come across groups of Factory Striders in Helldivers 2? Which strategies are proving to be the most effective in taking down these armored brutes? The Orbital Railcannon Strike will prove to be a valuable asset in the comments section below.

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Todd Howard affirms that the timeline of the Fallout series is coherent and well-constructed

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The recent release of Amazon’s adaptation of Fallout has ignited a renewed interest in the series and brought attention to the captivating alternate history that forms its foundation. Fans have expressed concern that the TV show’s events might be at odds with the plot of the Obsidian Entertainment video game New Vegas. Warning: Spoilers ahead for New Vegas and Amazon’s show!

Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard and Fallout TV executive producer Jonathan Nolan recently sat down with IGN to discuss the timeline. Howard was taken aback when showrunners Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson-Dworet presented him with the surprising concept of obliterating Shady Sands, the bustling capital of the New California Republic, in the aftermath of the events in New Vegas. Howard eventually warmed up to the idea: “After discussing it, we realized that this could be a significant story moment that many things hinge upon.”

It seems that they had to make some tough decisions to ensure everything fell into place, but Howard emphasizes the importance of preserving the integrity of the Fallout timeline: “We take great care with the timeline. There seems to be some confusion in certain areas. However, all the events from the previous games, including New Vegas, did occur. We take great caution in that matter. We’re really pushing the limits here, but the explosions occur right after the events of New Vegas.

What are your thoughts on this? Is it up to par? Even though it may not have a significant impact on the overall quality of the games or show, it is comforting to know that those in charge are paying attention. We value your feedback and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Evaluating Fallout 76’s Value in 2024

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If you’ve been keeping up with the new Fallout show on Amazon Prime, chances are you’ve been relying on PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium to access and enjoy one of Bethesda’s legendary RPGs. We decided to bypass the highly acclaimed Fallout New Vegas and Fallout 3, opting instead to explore the vast landscapes of West Virginia in Fallout 76. Infamous for its initial reception, Todd Howard’s “Fallout with Friends” has evolved significantly over the past six years. However, does that imply the game is of high quality? Is it worth playing in 2024?

As we ventured out of Vault 76 for the very first time, we were determined to find the answers to those burning questions. Recalling our escapades on the Push Square YouTube channel, we encountered quest-giving NPCs—a feature that was surprisingly absent upon release—awe-inspiring bases built by fellow players—and an abundance of loot that could easily burden us 76 times over.

In the midst of the vast array of open-world online experiences, we found ourselves quite enthralled by the combination of 50s classics playing in the background as we obliterated the heads of ghouls. And to top it off, we were able to enjoy all of this with our friends. Exploring the wasteland in the company of a ragtag band of survivors adds a unique element to Fallout 76, setting it apart from other games in the series. However, does it manage to prevent us from uninstalling and transitioning to one of the mainline entries in the series? To discover more, be sure to watch the complete video!

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