Last night at The Game Awards, as many expected, Elden Ring took home Game of the Year in the final award tonight. But when director Hidetaka Miyazaki, his translator, and his team took to the stage, something strange was going on behind them.
There was a child lurking in it. Maybe a teenager. He looked out of place among the middle-aged Japanese men standing there, and everyone was asking on Twitter who exactly he was. one of their children?
Then take the microphone.
The best version of what he said in a kind of indefinite tone is “I think I want to thank everyone and say… I think I want to nominate this award for Reformed Orthodox Rabbi Bill Clinton, thank you all.”
At that point, it became clear he wasn’t meant to be there, and he quickly stormed off the stage. Jeff Kelly, The Game Awards organizer and host, chirp Soon after that he was arrested. Then the internet positively exploded with memes and jokes based on the Elden Ring and… disbelief, trying to make sense of what they had just seen.
Here’s what we think we know about this kid and what he was doing there, though I’ll refrain from publishing his name because it seems underage.
- A Twitter account that appeared to belong to the child posted about the interruption, crediting him. It’s an old account, linked to his past online activities mainly protesting police brutality and government repression in Hong Kong.
- Previously, this kid did something similar back in 2019 at BlizzCon where he interrupted the World of Warcraft panel by shouting “Free Hong Kong.” This is documented on the same Twitter account.
- Also in 2019, he appeared on TV at a Clippers game holding a Hong Kong jersey that the photographer had to take away:
- He has a TikTok primarily about Hong Kong and, at times, has set a tone similar to what we heard in that incoherent Game Awards speech.
- Perhaps oddly enough, he appeared on the conspiracy network InfoWars two years ago, which described him as “one of the young stars of the conservative movement” and had him speak out about the Hong Kong protests.
- There are unverified DMs that show he claims he was going to do this stage walk ahead of time, posting it in the moments leading up to it.
- It turns out he does follow me on Twitter, so I asked him to verify who he was and comment on why he did what he did on stage, and will update if I hear back.
Of course, what he said when he got up there was not connected to Hong Kong, and the references to “reform orthodox rabbi Bill Clinton,” nonsense though, seem like it could be linked to some sort of anti-Semitism and Clinton-focused conspiracy of which there are thousands of variants online. Or he’s just a kid trolling.
But it’s more than just phishing, because for Keighley Awards and The Game Awards, a show that was last watched by 85 million people in 2021, this is a serious security breach. While the kid just got up there and spouted nonsense, it’s easy to imagine a different scenario in which a troubled kid strolls around the stage in an enormous black trench coat during an event watched by tens of millions of people full of industry celebrities and things went… very badly, if he had bad intentions. Security fixes would have to be made next, as well as examining how he was in the show in the first place, how he was in a position to just walk on stage, why he was left there for so long and why he was even allowed to speak without cutting his microphone.
This is what we know so far. It’s a kid who’s done this kind of thing before but now, on the biggest stage in the industry. We’ll see what happens next from here, and I’ll update on any developments.
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