Sometimes there are things which just want to make you bang your head against the nearest surface. This is one of them.
The head of Danish television channel TV2, Jacob Nybroe, was forced to issue an apology last Sunday for using a video game image to represent the Syrian conflict.
In their news report on the 26th of February last month a screenshot of the Damascus skyline from the original Assassin’s Creed was used as a backdrop for their presenter when commenting upon the ongoing conflict. None of the reporters involved had realised their mistake until long after the report was broadcast and the damage had been done. The image itself had been taken from a YouTube video by one of the studio’s employees after mistaking it for the real thing.
Nybroe stated that the event was a “reminder to us all of the importance of verifying the sources of pictures.”
This is also not the only occasion where a video game icon or screenshot has been mistaken for the real thing in recent years. With many no doubt remembering when the symbol for Halo’s United Nations Space Command was used to represent the United Nations in an BBC news broadcast. Or more infamously when ITV used an in-game clip from ARMA 2 to represent a conflict in Libya in a documentary focusing upon the now deposed dictator Muammar Gadaffi. Believe it or not that last one had also been lifted from a YouTube video.