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Media Mistakes a Minecraft Screenshot for China’s New Aircraft Carrier

By Johnson Ge
Jun. 17, 2022 updated 08:41

On June 17th, 2022, China launched its new aircraft carrier. However, about a month ago, many media outlets posted a “photo” of the new carrier and made assumptions about the carrier from the picture without realizing it was taken from Minecraft.

South China Morning Post (SCMP) released a piece of news about the new carrier on June 1st, 2022, with the “Photo” they believed to be the 003 Aircraft Carrier. Soon afterward, the picture appeared on social media and other news outlets as well.  However, when someone took a closer look at the “photo”, they noticed the gantry crane had unnatural aliasing as if it was built with Lego bricks. SCMP soon exchanged the “photo” with another one and claimed the one they used before  “showed another Chinese carrier”.

In fact, the image was a screenshot from a video made by a fan group called SuperNova. They made a model of the 003 Aircraft Carrier in Minecraft, then recorded a rendered video in Lumion. The final result had a photograph level of texture and shadow effects if you didn’t look too close. It seems somebody took a screenshot from the video and posted it on social media like Twitter, and later on, some press mistakenly used the picture as though it were a real photo.

A comparison picture of the fanmade model and the real aircraft carrier.A comparison picture of the fanmade model and the real aircraft carrier.

On June 16th, 2022, news media like The Paper clarified that the recent widely spreading “Photo” of the aircraft carrier was a fanmade model.