Kamikuishiki-mura Monogatari
Kamikuishiki-mura Monogatari
June 29, 1995
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Upon its discovery by English-speaking audiences, Kamikuishiki-mura Monogatari was widely speculated to be a propaganda game by Aleph (formerly and more infamously known as Aum Shinrikyo), a Japanese apocalypse cult and terrorist organization most notorious for perpetrating the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack in 1995. The game sees the player control Aleph founder Shoko Asahara, who expands the cult's influence throughout the game before eventually carrying out the sarin attack. Successfully carrying out the attack results in the player winning the game, while repeated mismanagement of the cult triggers the apocalypse that Asahara prophesied. Various photographs, propaganda footage, and news coverage tied to Aleph is also featured throughout the game, most prominently on the title screen.

Despite these elements, the idea that the game was created to advertise Aleph was eventually disproven in a 2019 investigation by Vice. According to the article, the game was published shortly after the sarin attacks with the intent of mocking the cult instead of endorsing them. Developer HappySoft's advertising campaign emphasized their hatred of Aleph and highlighted the fact that players could sell Asahara's bodily fluids to "stupid believers." Additionally, the live-action footage featured in the game was picked specifically to demean the cult, as featured news coverage is negative in tone and shows Aleph spokespeople frantically trying to avoid reporters, while the propaganda footage consists of clips that were widely mocked in Japanese media following the sarin attacks. Vice attributed the misconceptions to a combination of language barriers and limited international knowledge about Aleph beyond the sarin attacks.
person VinchVolt calendar_month May 27, 2024

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