Oscar winner Al Pacino may have opened up about it Game Awards 2022, a night of industry acclaim and expensive marketing for the world’s biggest games, but it was a new breed of internet stardom that ended it. “I would like to propose this award to my Reformed Orthodox Rabbi, Bill Clinton,” said a long-haired young man who suddenly appeared on the stage Elder Ring was named game of the year. Wearing an ill-fitting coat, he snuck onto the stage from behind the stage Elder Ring development team.
security followed, and Chaos reigns on the Internet while everyone tried to figure out what the heck just happened during host Geoff Keighley’s otherwise heavily orchestrated three-hour event. But that was far from the first time the young man whose name my city Believed to be Matan Even, although perhaps his strangest, had found brief internet fame through internet pilling trolling.
After the ceremony was over, Keighley tweeted that the “person who interrupted the event” had been arrested. Five hours later, however, Even was already tweeting. “Today there is much talk and speculation,” he wrote. “More information will be released on all fronts sooner or later.”
When asked what happened after the incident, the LAPD Bureau of Media Relations disagreed with Keighley’s account, saying a report had been made but no arrests had been made. A spokesperson for The Game Awards provided a more detailed account when asked to reconcile.
They said Even was taken to a “secure area” at the Microsoft Theater by TGA security personnel, where he was then questioned by venue security as well as “on-site TGA-hired LAPD officers.” They said he was then taken into custody and taken to a local police station in their squad car by LAPD officers hired by the TGA. When asked about this version of events, an LAPD representative only confirmed that the person had been transported to a station. Since no arrests were made, it is unclear how long he was held for questioning.
Though this may have been Even’s first time risking arrest, it was a far cry from his first publicity stunt. Before sneaking onto the stage in front of an audience of over a million people at one of gaming’s biggest events of the year, Even crashed a BlizzCon panel, went viral for pranking the LA Clippers fan cam played, and performed on the right conspiracy show Infowars At least twice.
The Clippers stunt took place in October 2019. Amid the Hong Kong protests, Even made a temporary appearance on fan cam at the team’s home stadium. only to be about to hold up a black t-shirt which read: “Fight for Freedom Stand with Hong Kong.” China had Blacklisted the Houston Rockets after her general manager tweeted a picture of the same t-shirt just a few weeks earlier.
The next month, even interrupted a Blizz Con 2019 Panel with a similar message in support of the Hong Kong protests. Blizzard had suspended over watch per Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai the previous month for doing the same, and came under fire along with the NBA and other companies at the time for failing to speak up on behalf of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.
As motherboard mention, that, made Even a mature target to be co-opted by right-wing political actors who saw an opportunity to attack the apparently liberal hypocrisy on the issue. But Even was apparently already a big fan of at least one of them Infowars‘ Host, Owen Shroyer. He said so during an appearance in 2019, calling Shroyer his “favorite person”. Infowars‘, while Shroyer dubbed Even ‘one of the young stars of the conservative movement’ in a second appearance in 2020.
While Even’s own social media activity seems almost exclusively concerned with the Hong Kong protests and censorship by the Chinese government, his journey from protester to Infowars guest is a perfect example of this as well Ambient reactionary online pipeline This can take you from Googling political issues to landing on right-wing content channels. (Even was apparently 12 when he first appeared in Infowars.) That’s also one reason why some were quick to interpret his nonsensical comments about Bill Clinton and Orthodox Judaism as potentially antisimetic.
Before last night, Even’s last tweets were from March 2021 and concerns about the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans. Infowars, meanwhile, has seen founder Alex Jones successfully sued by the parents of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting for hundreds of millions. Most recently, however, the site has attempted to hold court with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who used the gig to praise Hitler, a reversal that comes amid a larger wave of anti-Semitism in conservative circles.
With that in mind, a worried Even’s stunt was secretly a racist 4Chan deepcut. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Bloomberg‘s Jason Schreier, who was interviewed earlier today, said he seemed to understand Hebrew and called him “almost certainly a Jewish prankster.”
He also denies his past Infowars appearances, though he continues to troll the news with fellow journalists.
“I was never an avid spectator [of Infowars] nor am I now,” he said motherboard. He reportedly called Clinton “a true inspiration, especially in gaming.”