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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

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Sets Dates for the Next Multiplayer Beta

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is getting closer and closer, and Activision has announced when players will be able to get their hands on the next game. This means that there will be several chances to try it out before it comes out. If you paid a lot, you might be able to play for more than a week at the end of August and beginning of September.

Call of Duty Early Access will run from Friday, August 30th, to Wednesday, September 4th, as announced on its blog. This is two days after the Call of Duty Next showcase, which is set for August 28th. To play, you must have already bought Black Ops 6.

The open beta is the following weekend, and anyone who wants to can join. The fun will start on Friday, September 6th, and end on Monday, September 9th. The full release is set for October 25th of next month on PS5 and PS4.

How excited are you for the next Call of Duty game? Are you going to play Black Ops 6 in either the Early Access or Open Beta versions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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