Skip to main content

Italian doctor says his image was illegally used in MGS5

Remember Sergio Canavero, the Italian doctor who gaming conspiracy theorists think may be part of (another) super-secret promotional campaign for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain? Inquisitive internet sleuths apparently led Canavero to file a signed-and-sworn affidavit with the Italian police, saying he believes his image was illegally misappropriated for use in the game.

The affidavit, obtained by Motherboard, is attributed to the Polizia di Stato Compartimento Polizia Postale e delle comunicazioni. That's the branch of the Italian State Police who oversee offenses related to telecommunication, including the internet. So if you're ever in Italy and need to get a bunch of red-string-spooling forum goers off your back, now you know who to call.

Denuncia Canavero

"The trailer features a video with a doctor with my physical likeness and a series of very violent scenes, some computer generated (presumably, they used an authentic video of me, which was then digitized, probably obtained from one of my TED Conference talks)," Canavero says in the affidavit, adding that he's willing to take legal action against the people responsible.

So even if there are dozens of delicious connections to draw to MGS5, both from Canavero's appearance and his body of work, this affidavit should seriously curtail the speculation that he's a willing participant in this bizarre scenario.

Kojima may well have drawn some inspiration from Canavero in creating the story, and even in selecting an actor to portray the mysterious doctor. But unless "forging police documents" is the new "starting a cryptic Twitter account" for viral marketers, folks should probably just let Canavero proceed with his totally coincidentally named research.

Connor Sheridan
Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?