Facepalm: It might be several years old now, yet thanks to the numerous graphical mods, GTA V still looks stunning. But is it good enough to pass as real life? It certainly fooled one Pakistani politician, who tweeted a clip from the game believing it was actual footage.
On July 5, Pakistan’s Awami Tehreek Secretary General, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, posted a clip from GTA V showing a plane landing and narrowly missing an oil tanker on the runway.
“Narrow escape of an aircraft which could have ended in a great disaster. Miraculous save by the pilot’s presence of mind,” he wrote in the now-deleted tweet.
Another Twitter account, Physics-astronomy.org, also appeared to fall into the same trap, calling the video a “Terrorist attack in Algeria,” for some reason, which failed because of the “pilot’s immense skill.”
Terrorist attack in Algeria, which fails to work because of the pilot's immense skill pic.twitter.com/vnHXzjSULk— Physics-astronomy.org (@OrgPhysics) July 9, 2019
Gandapur isn’t the first person to mix up video games and real life. Back in 2016, the Russian government tweeted an image from Command and Conquer to warn of extremists in Syria, though it did add a "image used for illustration purposes only” disclaimer. In 2017, however, the country’s MOD said a screengrab of a promotional video for mobile title AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron was “irrefutable evidence” of the US helping ISIS. We’ve also seen CNN use Fallout 4 to illustrate Russian hacking activities, while in 2018, Russian TV tried to pass off an ARMA 3 clip as actual footage of the Syrian war.