Come for the Jet Set Radio soundtracks, stay for the 5G conspiracy theories (2023)

The stress and anxiety of 2020 was enough to give even the sanest person a bad day, but bad days come and it turns into a conspiracy crank saying COVID-19 is a political destabilization tactic used by China, the death toll about COVID-19 is a hoax, abort culture is part of a “global reset” by powerful elites, and 5G was smuggled around the world as a secret surveillance tool by none other than – you guessed it – China.


There are probably places where this kind of fear-mongering could come from, and then there's the unexpected radicalization of a Twitter account role-playing as Professor K, the radio DJ from Sega's Jet Set Radio Series who helped out the game's graffiti gangs has to commit cool crimes.

This is no ordinary RPG account either; It's one with nearly 20,000 followers for creating Jet Set Radio Live, a vibrant community celebrating Jet Set Radio's great soundtracks. Even Hideki Naganuma, composer of Jet Set Radio, is following this report, who claimed in April that we should fear 5G because it is dangerous for the water molecules in our bodies because "microwaves heat water molecules". 5G networks will cook us, all of you.

19 years have passed since thenFuture of Jet Set Radio, one of only two games in the franchise, but Jet Set Radio's cultural influence is still making waves decades later. And while Sega hasn't shown much interest in keeping Jet Set Radio relevant, fans didn't give up, and so did a project like Jet Set Radio Live, where people could listen to radio stations packed with musical bangers inspired by Naganamua's music became so popular that it also started hosting a chat room, a TV channel, a graffiti wall to customize, and more.

Neither game has a huge story, but there's an undeniable focus on celebrating art and running away from angry cops. In that sense, it's a game about challenging authority and the power it has over you. There were plenty of reasons to be suspicious of those in power in 2020, but Jet Set Radio Live has been around since 2016, and while the account's tweets have always been eccentric, that was in line with what people were expecting from this role-playing professor, K.

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Then in late March, as most of the world went into lockdown, they tweeted the following:

As far as I can tell, that's when Professor K started cracking up, because just a few weeks later, seemingly out of nowhere, they were upset about memes mocking 5G truthers:

"Wow, now you're using your platform to spread misinformation," one fan wrote. "Bye."

In response, Professor K linked to a rambling 5G conspiracy video in which the host claims he "doesn't make over-the-top videos." The video remains available on YouTube so far.

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"Dude, people have been saying things like that from cell towers since the dawn of the airwaves," said another fan, when people became confused and realized that this was a serious claim. "Your [sic] cool and all, but how can a radio host character not know that?"

Professor K has been in constant communication with fans throughout Jet Set Radio Live's existence. There are, of course, the many retweets signaling boost material to the larger jet set radio community. There was an email for people to contact and Professor K would respond in character.A 2018 profile of Jet Set Radio Livecontained an "interview" with Professor K in which the person running the site did not break the illusion.

"[I used it] mostly to find new music," said a longtime Jet Set Radio Live fan, coming online from CrystalForce. “[...] In the really early days of the site, I even emailed the siterunner [Professor K] some songs to add to the list. I really appreciated what they did.”


The conspiracy tweets didn't get the same engagement as anything Jet Set Radio related, and given the frequency at which the account has tweeted, sometimes pumping out dozens of tweets a day, it would be fairly easy to let them zoom by or accepting them is a tacky joke.

But what really put people off was the COVID-19 footage.

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Occasionally, they'd share something relatable, like "Billionaires in healthcare is a term that shouldn't exist."

It's unclear what happened that prompted this fan to stop posing as an over-the-top game character and instead spread misinformation. Professor K didn't respond to a request for comment from VICE Games, and her public response has been to keep doubling down on conspiracy theories, between retweeting fan art and praising Jet Set Radio Live. (And sometimes Jet Set Radio-inspired pornographic art?)

"Not many people really supported Prof. K. in terms of conspiracy issues," said Cubicle Lemur, a fan who appeared on Twitter as Beat, one of Jet Set Radio's characters. "I feel like me, he [Professor K] and maybe a few other people are the only ones supporting the conspiracy theories. And I don't even support all the theories like 5G and covid denial/no masks and whatnot. I'm more of a political theory guy. [...] I didn't necessarily give him the ideas for conspiracy theories. I just kind of supported it and I was like, yeah, the government is going to woooooooo shit.


What it did do, however, was divide the community for people who were paying attention. If you just visited Jet Set Radio Live and treated it like a website, then everything was fine. But when you were part of the broader Jet Set Radio community, you were suddenly faced with the realization that someone you were supporting was also spreading harmful information.

"It pissed off pretty much everyone," CrystalForce said. "A lot of my friends were talking about it and it really sucked as the site itself was really good for the JSR community and just generally cool."

The reason I started looking into this was what happened out of nowhere late last year: Jet Set Radio suddenly went offline. no more music This was preceded by a series of cryptic tweets in which Professor K said they received a letter from Roboy 2024, a character fromjet set radio future,He stated, "The calculated results just weren't good."

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Shortly after, the website went down and fans looked for ways to put a backup online.

However, Professor K was always hungry for attention and retweeted the people who were shocked and upset by what had happened. This act prompted conspiracy theories for Jet Set Radio Live itself. Japanese video game companies are notoriously sensitive to fans using copyrighted content, so maybe Sega had forced the site to shut them down? It wasn't a ridiculous concept.


On Wednesday, the account tweeted a cryptic image, which is now her pinned tweet, teasing that something will happen on February 1st. A reasonable assumption would be that Professor K will revive Jet Set Radio Live, and maybe it was all just a bored diversion.

That turned out to be true when Jet Set Radio Live revived this morning and Professor K claimed - I think so anyway - that he was a robot from the future, meant to save us from making the same mistakes that their timeline Has. At least the radio stations are back and they are (still) very good.

The question is, now that Jet Set Radio Live is coming back, are the conspiracies coming back?

Keep following PatrickTwitter. His email, and privately available on Signal (224-707-1561).

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