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CNN illustrates Russian hacking story using footage from Fallout 4’s hacking game

Fallout 4

CNN used Fallout 4 to source background footage for a story on Russia’s alleged hacking interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Since Deus Ex and BioShock, hacking games have cropped up often in the best sandbox games on PC.

Spotted by redditor Poofylicious, the footage aired on December 28. What gives it away are the blocks indicating the player’s remaining attempts, above several lines of code formatted similarly to those in the minigame.

Mainstream news outlets feature videogames in b-roll more often than you might think, whether deliberately or otherwise. In 2012, the BBC used the UNSC logo from Halo in a story, instead of that of the United Nations. Here’s an image, apparently from Russia Today, of child soldiers from Metal Gear Solid V in a report about actual child soldiers. A recent ITV documentary about Colonel Gaddhafi’s support for the IRA tried to pass off footage from Arma 2 as real.

By comparison with some of these errors, CNN using Fallout 4 to source a couple of seconds of vaguely hackerish code is fairly innocuous. Still, to a gamer, the implication that Fallout 4’s hacking minigame was used to turn the USA’s presidential election is pretty funny.