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The Awkward Way Final Fantasy Interrupted An Italian Senate Event

Politics and gaming rarely intersect, but it always makes for an interesting story when they do. The Italian senate recently hosted a virtual event that was streamed to several politicians and academics, as well as Nobel Prize-winning physicist Giorgio Parisi. Overall, it wasn't the sort of thing that typically makes headlines overseas, particularly among the gaming community. However, it seems like the attendees got more from the conference than they had bargained for.

The event was streamed from the Palazzo Guistini, the sixteenth century palace that serves as the Senate President's official residence. It's also the home of the Zuccari Hall, Life Senators' and former Senate Presidents' offices, as well as some offices and departments of the Senate Administration. In other words, it's a big, fancy deal. According to local news outlet Ultm'Ora (via Google Translate), the event was titled "For a transparent PA, open data for the political decision-maker" and was organized by the Italian Five Star Movement. All on the up and up so far, right? 

Here's where the story gets weird. Someone managed to get into the virtual event and started playing a pornographic clip featuring Tifa Lockheart from "Final Fantasy 7" – right in the middle of the presentation. Whoever said politics were boring?

Tifa's political debut

Reviews for the "Final Fantasy 7: Remake" have been mixed since its 2020 release — but some fans clearly enjoyed it more than others, as the lewd version of the martial arts-loving bartender featured in the offending clip was rendered in full modern HD graphics. Needless to say, those attending the event were shocked by the sudden intrusion. 

Luckily, the organizers of the event worked quickly to get the offending party kicked out. Before they managed to do so however, the perpetrator minimized the video to reveal a Discord page full of similarly smutty content featuring characters from various other gaming and anime franchises, including "Mass Effect," "Dead or Alive," and "Genshin Impact."

According to ForeignPolicy.com, the Five Star movement has long been considered "one of the most successful anti-establishment parties in Europe," but has recently become more willing to work within the system. It's possible that this stunt might have been some kind of a political protest intended to embarrass a party that many view as moving away from the populism upon which it was founded. Then again, it is also possible that an internet troll simply gained access to a fancy virtual event and dropped the video in because they thought it was funny. The world may never know.