When Gamers Go Too Far

By Garret Vorisek

War Thunder is a military online action game made by Gaijin entertainment located in Budapest, Hungary. This game has been in the spotlight on many gaming forums due – not the game, but its player base. Players are known for getting into heated arguments regarding nationality, political views, and balancing issues within the game (along with countless other topics). Due to these disagreements classified documents have been leaked to the public five times on the War thunder forums. The following are all examples of when a player starts to only think about being right, and not the consequences of their actions.

British Challenger 2 Tank
The first instance of article leaks happened on May 12th, 2020, A British player took to the forums after accusing Gaijin of incorrectly modeling the interior fighting compartment of the British-made Challenger 2 tank. The user backed up his claims with the tank’s classified user manual. Shortly after it was posted it was removed from the forums. While the player was banned from the forums, he did get what he wanted, as a future update remodeled the Challenger 2 tank’s internal compartment. While this was the first time classified documents were leaked, it also wouldn’t be the last.

Chinese DTC10-125 Anti-Tank Missile
In another instance, a Chinese player got into a very vocal disagreement regarding how Chinese weaponry is portrayed unrealistically in-game. The argument continued to escalate until the player ended up posting pictures of the Chinese DTC10-125 Anti-Tank Missile. The picture showed the weapon’s tungsten penetrator, along with classified documents stating the weapon’s specification and performance against NATO armor. The post was taken down shortly after and a moderator stated that,
“Materials related to the DTC10-125 are classified in China” and warned users that posting classified information was a bannable offense.

US F-16 Fighting Falcon
The most recent document leak occurred on January 15, 2023. Due to the previous update, the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” was added to the American tech tree, while most players rejoiced due to it being the best aircraft in the game at the time, one player was upset due to his belief that the in-game version of the aircraft was unrealistic (I bet you can see where this is going). This player went to the forums to post his finds and to prove that the F-16 was unrealistic. One piece of evidence the user provided is its use of radar-guided missiles. he states, “Interesting thing I found during my research. During early AMRAAM testing you can see how F-16A would equip the AIM-120 and use TWS on the non-MFD stores control panel “SCP”,” The post was taken down by the moderators, but the user argued that the content was so old, that it didn’t violate any sharing regulations, but the mods knew otherwise. The mods explained that the content “violated U.S. regulations on exporting sensitive military information” The content in question was legal to view in the U.S, but due to it being posted on the internet, users from other countries could view it, which is when it becomes illegal. This is the main reason for most information leaks – that the content is legal in the country of origin, but illegal if shared with other countries.

Gaijin entertainment has made many public statements regarding classified material including, “We remind our users again and again that it’s both illegal and pointless,” The War Thunder community is still puzzled how someone smart enough to find and steal classified documents is still dumb enough to post them online and not expect any backlash for doing something highly illegal.

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