Video Games Leaked “Classified” And “Restricted Access” To Military Secrets
Plans of different NATO tanks have been leaked by professional military personnel in the official forum of the War Thunder video game in the hope that their creators will solve flaws in the design and mechanics of these tanks during the games.
Betray your country by filtering military secrets online in a public forum so that your favorite war video game can correct errors in the design of the tanks. This statement is not the plot of a Netflix movie or video game. It is a real problem that has occurred on different occasions among the players of the popular video game War Thunder and that has caused headaches to different NATO armies and the developer of the video game itself.
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War Thunder is a massively multiplayer online video game with a wide community of players created by Gaijin Entertainment, an originally Russian company that moved its headquarters to Cyprus. Among its main attractions is that it is a free title with a multitude of scenarios and a wide arsenal of weapons and vehicles in the game, which boast of realism.
Anyway, being a video game about war and military vehicles, the representation of tanks, planes and ships has inaccuracies in its design and creative licenses. Some inaccuracies that players who are military professionals notice and protest to be corrected in the official forum of the game.
However, some of these players have decided to go a step further and share in (the official War Thunder forum) manuals, plans and other classified materials about the tanks of their countries in the hope that the game designers will take note and correct the errors. Something that has already happened on different occasions.
This same week, a French professional military man who works as a crewman on a Leclerc S2 tank was upset that the rotation speed of the turret of this tank in the game was lower than real life. Which means that in the game you cannot aim and shoot as fast as in military maneuvers.
After protesting repeatedly, he decided to document his claims and to do so, he decided to share his country’s military secrets in this public forum.
The user, identified by the name of Red Corss in the forum, shared plans with technical specifications to demonstrate that the real rotation speed of the turret of the Leclerc S2 tank gun is 40º per second.
Far from appreciating his contribution, the War Thunder company proceeded to eliminate the documents from the forum and sanction this player for sharing classified documents on its website.
“Guys, it’s no fun leaking classified documents on modern equipment. You are putting the lives of those who work on these vehicles at risk every day. Keep in mind that these documents will be erased immediately and you will face penalties. Thanks for reading,” said a War Thunder moderator.
However, this is not the first time this has happened. Months ago this year, a British military man unhappy that the game’s designers had “not correctly modeled” a Challenger 2 tank. This document was partially censored and was labeled “declassified” [a statement that was not true] and “restricted access to the UK”.
In addition to attaching the materials, the user, identified by the alias of Fear Naught in the forum, made a detailed explanation of what, in his opinion, should be changed to make the tank design more realistic.
“The artillery trunnion is positioned in the center of the rotor. The trunnions support the rotor in the turret structure and the rest of the subcomponents are all mounted on the rotor”, assured the user.
Before the publication of this material, the video game company contacted the British Ministry of Defense, which assured that the material that had been shared by the English tanker was still classified.
“We have written confirmation from the Ministry of Defense that these documents are still classified. By disseminating them you are violating the official secrets act, the penalties of which amount to 14 years of military confinement,” a Gaijin representative pointed out in the forum.
Likewise, from the War Thunder forum they remember that when users filter this type of military material they are putting the War Thunder developer company and its workers at risk since it would be illegal for the video game forum to host this type of secret blueprint.
However, the company’s pleas fell on deaf ears at the time and “classified” military materials continue to be leaked by soldiers in the hope that tanks will be more realistic in their favorite video game.
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