Yesterday morning, false reports were being spread that acclaimed game director Hideo Kojima had assassinated Japanese politician Shinzo Abe. This morning, Kojima Productions tweeted out that it will not tolerate false information and is considering legal action.
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Japan was stunned yesterday when news broke that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had been assassinated. While an investigation was underway to determine how he was killed, Japanese authorities already had a suspect in custody that was found at the scene. As the internet does in situations like this, it made jokes that the suspect resembled Kojima and it seems that one politician didn’t understand the joke.
#KojimaProductions strongly condemns the spread of fake news and rumors that convey false information. We do not tolerate such libel and will consider taking legal action in some cases. pic.twitter.com/fDi0FR9kB0
— KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS (Eng) (@KojiPro2015_EN) July 9, 2022
In a now-deleted tweet, French politician Damien Rieu posted pictures of Kojima with the caption “the extreme left kills.” This was later picked up by a Greek news station where the disinformation reached a much larger audience. While Rieu did issue an apology following the incident, the damage had already been done. Kojima Productions didn’t name Rieu specifically in its tweet, it seems likely that he is the man the company is referring to about legal action.
Never Be Game Over
Many fans on ResetEra are likely happy that Kojima is now considering legal action for what is a very clear case of libel, but it’s hard to ignore how Kojima created a game 21 years ago that warned about the dangers of just such an incident. Metal Gear Solid 2 was a bit misunderstood in its day, but the central message came down to digital manipulation of information to rewrite history. While Rieu misunderstanding a joke is hardly the same thing as government agencies working behind the scenes to influence an entire population, it’s still remarkable that Kojima’s life is somehow one step closer to the fiction he has written.
As long as giant robots and injectible nanomachines don’t become real, I think we can rest easy in the knowledge that Kojima wasn’t a prophet.