Hideo Kojima, of Metal Gear fame, has, in the wake of the horrific assassination of former Japanese president Shinzo Abe, been falsely linked with the crime. This is not a joke – both in the sense that the scenario I describe sounds ludicrous despite its veracity, and in that I’m disgusted there are folks out there with a facetious enough sense of callousness to try and drag the good name of an innocent party through the mud, piggybacking off one of the most severe geopolitical incidents in decades. For those unaware, Abe was shot during a speech in Nara earlier this week, passing away after being in critical condition for some time. The culprit, Tetsuya Yamagami, was charged with the assassination in a flurry of headlines that are sure to be penciled into history books for years to come.
Kojima strikes back
The relation to Kojima, then, began brewing in the days following the assassination. Certain online circles – particularly on sites such as Reddit and 4chan, where moderation is not necessarily always the order of the day – have allowed conspiracy theories to circulate, claiming that Kojima was secretly in on the assassination plot. I won’t reprint any of them here, as some of them are fairly graphic and patently false, but they are easy to find with a spot of Googling. Aside from being untrue, these tales are quite harmful to Kojima’s professional and personal life, and therefore he and his legal team are responding.
Their response is a pursuit of legal action, in fact. “Kojima Productions strongly condemn the spread of fake news and rumors that convey false information,” states the Tweet in which they declare their intent. “We do not tolerate such libel and will consider taking legal action in some cases.”
One need only browse the replies to the Tweet to see that, on the whole, gamers have rallied behind Kojima’s cause, and is a fantastic look at the united support we as a community can offer. “Own those clowns, Hideo,” says one user. “Free Kojima,” says another. You get the idea.
Do you stand with Mr. Kojima? Will you be following this ongoing legal battle? Let us know.