7 reasons you didn't think Call of Duty's fake attack on Singapore was real
If you didn't already know, Singapore has been hit by a terrorist bomb attack in the Marina Bay Area.
Of course, that only applies if you believe that a video game's Twitter account can be a credible source of news.
The official Twitter account for Activision's Call of Duty (CoD) franchise tried to generate hype for its upcoming Black Ops 3 game by disguising itself as a news site early Wednesday (Sept 30) morning and changing its display name to Current Events Aggregate.
This screenshot from gaming news website IGN shows the skin adopted by the CoD Twitter account for the duration of its publicity stunt. SCREENSHOT: IGN.COM
After padding their timeline up with some bogus movie and fashion news, the account then started tweeting about a fictional terrorist attack on Singapore.
A further 18 tweets later, the account reverted back to its original profile name and pictures, tweeting:
Many weren't impressed.
In an opinion piece, IGN writer Mitch Dyer slammed the stunt as "irresponsible" for "exploiting people's empathy and fear of tragedy to drive retweets and pre-orders".
There was similar sentiment on Twitter once confusion from gamers wondering what happened to the Call of Duty account settled down.
Whether you liked the campaign or not, the stunt was a pretty obvious fake.
Here's a few reasons why you'd have to be really gullible to have believed that Singapore really had been under attack:
1) THE TELLTALE TWITTER HANDLE
This is probably the most obvious tell.
Even if you didn't know what Call of Duty was, the fact that the handle and the display name didn't match up should set most alarm bells ringing.
2) THE TIME STAMPS DON'T ADD UP
Here's a "photo" of the reported attack as tweeted by the CoD account:
Notice that the scene is clearly set in the evening with sunlight still illuminating the city.
Here's the time stamp for the original tweet that broke the "news":
Clearly, that took a while for the news to reach Current News Aggregate.
Adding to the failed attempt at realism was a made-up statement from bogus Singapore Armed Forces commander James Chung that said the attack took place at 8am in the morning.
A statement coming in a full 19 hours after an event of such a magnitude taking place?
Singaporeans would've flooded Twitter with calls for his head by then.
3) 30-MILE QUARANTINE ZONE?! SINGAPORE GOT SO BIG MEH?!
We all know Singapore is a tiny red dot, but it seems the folks at CoD don't quite get how small we really are.
Here's James Chung again talking about the supposed quarantine zone that had been established in the aftermath of the attack:
Firstly, Singaporeans don't use miles – we obviously use the metric system here.
Secondly, the 30-mile radius is practically the length of Singapore alone as the island measures 50km (or 31 miles) from east to west.
Here's what a 30-mile quarantine zone around Marina Bay Sands looks like:
Aside from engulfing the entire land mass of Singapore, the proposed zone would be impossible to police even if Malaysia and Indonesia somehow agreed to let us take care of Johor and Batam in this emergency situation.
Call of Duty article deserves a Call of Duty meme.
4) SINGAPORE MARINA?
Let's go back to the original tweet that started this entire ball rolling, shall we?
Activision is clearly referencing Marina Bay here – after all, the area is now famous around the world thanks to Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Grand Prix – but who on earth calls it the Singapore Marina?
That poor naming should have given the game away from the start.
5) THE BOGUS NAMES
Speaking about names, I've already mentioned James Chung twice, and anyone who's up to date with local affairs will know that the SAF is led by Chief of Defence Force, Major-General Perry Lim (below).
Two more bogus names were dropped amid the 19-tweet spree.
Ever heard of the Coalescence Corporation or of Singapore Research Laboratories?
6) DUDE, THAT LOOKS NOTHING LIKE SINGAPORE
Another dead giveaway were the photos used to depict the supposed scenes of destruction.
PHOTOS: TWITTER / @CALLOFDUTY
Seriously? That's Marina Bay?
Where's Gardens by the Bay? MBS? The Esplanade? What about the ArtScience Museum?
For reference, here are some actual photos of what the Marina Bay and Central Business District areas look like:
ST FILE PHOTOS
7) WE WOULDN'T BE WORRIED ABOUT THE HAZE
What was the first thing on your mind before stepping out of the house today?
If it's anything other than "what's the PSI like" or "do I need to wear a mask", you're clearly reading this article from overseas.
As bad as the haze might get, a bomb going off in Marina Bay would certainly scare enough daylight out of the entire country to forget that the suffocating smog from Sumatra is upon us.
Sources: Twitter, IGN