Head transplant story goes insane – is it viral marketing?

I didn’t link to this story on DN because it sounding like another Raelian cloning fantasy or other nonsense. I’m glad I waited because this stuff just got wacky…

Is the recent head transplant proposal news story a hoax to hype a video game? Or, is it an legally questionable move by the game company to use a real person’s image? People have found some strange connections.

Meet The Head Transplant Doctor at The Centre of a Metal Gear Solid Conspiracy | Kotaku UK.

For almost a week now, some parts of the gaming internet have been going nuts over the visual similarities between the doctor that features in the trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and the controversial real-live Dr Sergio Canavero, the neurosurgeon who recently found sudden fame when he claimed that he was ready and able to perform the first human head transplant in medical history. He’s even found a prospective patient, a Russian called Valery Spirodonov, who suffers from a terminal muscle-wasting disease.

From Kotaku.

From Kotaku.

Canavera is a real doctor, alright and claims he had nothing to do with this. Did Hideo Kojima, head of “Metal Gear Solid”, persuade Dr. Canavero to participate in the game? Canavera denies it and hints he may sue for use of his image which the developers may have picked up from his TED talks.

As the Kotaku piece points out, some speculate that “Dr. Canavero might even not be a real doctor, but just somebody hired for the craziest viral marketing campaign ever.” That’s unlikely.

Business Insider has another piece based on this question.

HuH faceWe didn’t run the head transplant story because 1.) it was not from a reputable source [RT link here], 2.) it sounded like ridiculous. No reputable scientists were quotes beyond Canavero. Now I look like I genius for the delay because it got so much more crazy!

We can’t really say what’s going on here yet but conspiracies are flying high. Does the truth matter if game sales are all that counts? Hmm.

  2 comments for “Head transplant story goes insane – is it viral marketing?

  1. J
    April 25, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    Maybe the “head transplant” is the key to the hoax, as it’s just a joke on how the guy’s head is used in-game, taken from a recording that happens to correspond to certain themes in the story.

    Other than that, it’s still interesting if not for the game reference and oddness of it all. I’m sure we’ll see an update soon enough.

  2. Russian Skeptic
    April 28, 2015 at 2:20 AM

    Yes, I have seen the story in Yandex news, but we have already had all sorts of absurd and disgusting media hoaxes in the last years (such as a Russian toddler allegedly crucified by Ukrainians), so I did not pay much attention to it.
    However, this one about the head transplant may not in fact be a hoax, but perhaps a fraud. Someone wanted to get money, I mean.

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