The 2022 Game Awards ended with a random kid sneaking up on stage and muttering nonsense about “reformed Rabbi Bill Clinton.” The 2022 Game Awards is now, understandably, trying to pretend that never happened, blurring the kid out of a picture celebrating Elden Ring developer FromSoftware’s second Game of the Year win.
“FromSoftware is the first studio to win 2 Game of the Year awards at The Game Awards,” the event’s social media account tweeted on Wednesday. The studio won in 2019 for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and again earlier this month for Elden Ring. “Congratulations FromSoftware,” it concludes. Attached was a picture of director and studio president, Hidetaka Miyazaki, holding the award alongside a member of the team who was translating his acceptance speech that night.
But it didn’t take an eagle-eyed observer to notice that the Bill Clinton prankster from that night, who had been standing behind both men, was sloppily Photoshopped out of the image. “LOSING MY MIND THAT THEY BLURRED THE KID LMFAOO,” quote-tweeted Twitch streamer GamesCage. “Hahaha you gotta use ‘content aware fill’ tool in photoshop to remove background assets next time,” added FromSoftware dataminer, Lance McDonald.
The kid who crashed the Game Awards that night was later revealed to be Matan Even, a high schooler with a penchant for clout-chasing IRL stunts, who later gained notoriety on the internet. He previously trolled an NBA fan cam with a freedom for Hong Kong t-shirt, and interrupted a BlizzCon panel with a similar message. He’s appeared twice on InfoWars to discuss Chinese censorship, but his social media presence shows no allegiance to one particular political ideology, and he has since distanced himself from InfoWars host Owen Shroyer, whom he had previously called his “favorite person” on the right-wing conspiracy network.
Even’s stunt at The Game Awards was seemingly devoid of any larger substance or meaning, but it did momentarily steal the spotlight away from the rest of the ceremony. Host Geoff Keighley laughed it off as security escorted the minor off stage, and though he later tweeted that Even had been arrested, LAPD claim he was only escorted to a local police station before being released without any charges.
The blurred tweet would seem to indicate that Keighley’s Game Awards still feels besmirched on some level by the interloper that night. Apparently not besmirched enough to get someone with more Photoshop experience to fix the image, however. It took Kotaku’s own Zack Zwiezen less than fifteen minutes to properly edit the kid out of the image. Or as one person pointed out, The Game Awards could have simply used one of the many other stills in which the kid is out of view.
The Game Awards did not immediately respond to a request for comment.