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How Metal Gear Solid 2 Actually Predicted The Future

How many times have television shows seemingly predicted the future? The Simpsons has long been notorious for predicting events that happened years after its episodes premiered. A 2011 episode of Black Mirror about virtual audiences and living behind a screen is scarily close to quarantine life in 2020. Of course, there have also been quite a few creepy video game predictions, like that time Homefront predicted Kim Jong-il's death almost to the day. 


Interestingly, video game designer Hideo Kojima has seen a few concepts in his games become reality. Death Stranding, for example, predicted both society's dependence on deliveries and America's isolation as it endured COVID-19 lockdowns. The Metal Gear series has a few of its own eerie parallels to real life, like references to drone warfare and algae-based fuel.

Perhaps one of the more uncanny resemblances of a Metal Gear game to real life comes from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and its focus on societal manipulation.

The Patriots and controlling human thoughts

Metal Gear Solid 2's plot revolves around a young rookie agent named Raiden being manipulated by an organization called the Patriots and the group's S3 Plan (the Selection for Societal Sanity) to influence world events and the decisions of individuals. When a terrorist group known as the Sons of Liberty take the United States President hostage, Raiden is sent in to rescue him. As Raiden comes to find out, the hostage situation was all part of a plot staged by the Patriots to control humanity and manipulate Raiden's behavior as a soldier.


In the closing scenes of Metal Gear Solid 2, the truth about the Patriots and the group's intentions are revealed. A lengthy dialogue between Raiden and his commander, Colonel Campbell, describes the digitized world being flooded with "trivial" information (memes and rumors), which drowns out anything worthwhile and informative.

The game predicts a world where a person's digital history is tracked and used to curate misinformation directed toward them, oftentimes in the form of fake news that contradicts valid reports. Moreover, Metal Gear Solid 2's plot serves as a warning about profiling personal data and behavioral engineering.

The 2016 election and fake news

The plot has eerie similarities to the events leading up to the 2016 election and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. At the time, Facebook exposed data on up to 87 million users to a Cambridge Analytica researcher associated with Donald Trump's campaign. Cambridge Analytica used this data to create personal profiles and tailor ad content to each individual, though some believed that Cambridge Analytica intended to plant "fake news" on social media.


In February 2018, United States Justice Department senior counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals for their involvement in a campaign to influence the election by stealing social media profiles and posting "derogatory information about a number of candidates," including Hilary Clinton. Ultimately, according to Mueller's report, the organization's goal was "to sow discord in the US. political system."

Some fans of Metal Gear Solid 2 immediately drew connections between the Russian indictments and the Patriots' goals. YouTuber Nick Robinson even used the indictment text as Colonel Campbell's famous Patriots speech in the game. Also, the Russian charges were eerily fitting to the game's themes, giving the impression that Kojima really had predicted the future, once again.