Life (Kind Of) Imitates Art for ArmA Devs

ArmA III developers held in Greece on charges of espionage.

A Greek court has denied bail for two game developers working on ArmA III. Czech citizens Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar were arrested in September after authorities construed their actions as possible espionage. The upcoming military game is to be set in Greece, and they were photographing Greek military installations at the time of their arrest. If found guilty, they can face up to a 20 year imprisonment.

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Bohemia Interactive has officially claimed that their employees were simply in Greece on holiday, not to break any laws.

Dean “Rocket” Hall, creator of DayZ, has created a petition for Buchta and Pezlar’s release. They lament sub-par conditions (it is jail, after all) and have begged for help from their families, who have pointed criticism at the Czech government, claiming that they haven’t done enough to help two of their own countrymen.

Especially with global tensions at a fever pitch, it is frowned upon and highly suspicious to photograph military areas. I’ve spent all but three of my 25 years living on US Army installations foreign and domestic, and the concept of OPSEC, or operational security, comes to mind in situations like these. Vigilance is key in these types of places, and any suspicious activity will be seen as a threat and is prone to be reported. The suspicion is only heightened when something like this is done by foreign citizens. I know that, at least on US posts, signs warn against unauthorized photographs, diagrams, or any other such representation of the grounds. The signs also direct interested parties to a media liaison who makes sure that media requests are meet military protocol. 

The Czech devs were doing their job – I get that. But without proper clearances? Probably Obviously not the best decision. The Greek government is doing their due diligence to protect their national security and interests, as they should be expected to. 


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Imayen Etim
Imayen Etim is a freelance writer and GameSkinny contributor based in Gainesville, Florida. She can be contacted at imayen.e [at] gmail.com