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Classified Documents To Arguments About Video Games Have Come Under The Spotlight

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

By: Derick Zhang

Video Games are known for players who insult each other, false accusations of cheating just to get their target out of the game and much more. But some people take it too far by putting classified documents on the table for the whole world to see, just to get buffs for video game tanks.

Since early 2021, players on “War Thunder” a free-to-play combat video game have 3 times dealt with classified tank information from British, French and Chinese origin. One player posted documents about the British Challenger 2 tank asking the game developers to make to gun more accurate. Another player, who stated that he was in a French tank unit had also leaked classified information about the Leclerc S2 manual while in an online debate about the tank’s rotation speed. The last piece of leaked info was about the Chinese DTG10-125 tank and the piece of material us not clear. All these posts were removed by Gaijin Entertainment, the game’s primary publisher and forum’s host. Gaijin have said that they will permanently ban people who leak this kind of info and that these people are risking everything for nothing.

If you have to know how it is being taken, you have to look from different standpoints. From a war historian standpoint as Steven Zaloga, a senior analyst at the Teal Group and has been at this job for 50 years is it isn’t too serious. He says, “I didn’t see anything I’d jump up and down about, tank manuals will be classified at various levels even though a lot of information in it is not especially sensitive.” Another senior analyst, Sonny Butterworth says “It was from a user manual, so it’s classified, but it’s distributed fairly widely to anyone who uses the tank, supports it, or maintains it. We explain to the users again and again that it’s pointless to give us any documents that we cannot and won’t use, but we probably can do more to explain this.

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent people from publishing something on the internet. We delete the posts and permanently ban those who break the rules, so our users know that they risk everything essentially for nothing.”

But also as Butterworth says, “If publications keep getting leaked, something that looks innocuous could be quite important to someone who knows what to look for.” And these people who still want to leak still can because Gaijin is a Hungary based company and they have no laws against these leaks. So, all they can do is ban and delete. This could turn into a whole big mess that we can’t clean up because some people can’t learn their lesson.

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