A couple of weeks ago, there was news in the gaming-related media that Near, the developer of SNES emulators, has reportedly died by suicide.

However, the proof of this is an anonymous document posted by somebody who claims to be Near's real life friend. I could not establish the veracity of this document, and the person on Twitter posting it only offered his word on it. This was widely republished as proof of the alleged suicide. I could find no other sources.

The same person from Twitter (Hector Martin) also claims he has spoken to the police about it, and that they have confirmed this information. This seems untrustworthy to me, since police are typically reluctant to share such information with strangers.

What I would be interested to find out here is if there are any reliable, independent sources confirming the passing away of Near, and if the claims of Hector Martin can be verified?

Please remain respectful of the person in question while answering, and follow the advice on discussion of suicide.

  • 20
    not that it matters, but really don't know if this is (or should be) an appropriate question for skeptics.se. It revolves entirely around insider information; it's a painfully current event about a single person.
    – 0xDBFB7
    Jul 17, 2021 at 8:07
  • 3
    From Wikipedia archive.ph/2021.07.23-171613/https://www.usatoday.com/story/… (apparently I don't have enough rep to answer)
    – qwr
    Jul 27, 2021 at 0:33
  • 1
    This articles seems untrustworthy as it republishes untrue information. The author doesn't seem to have done his due diligence. Jul 27, 2021 at 9:00
  • 3
    What is untrue - the usatoday article quotes the person who employed them
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 27, 2021 at 12:44
  • 2
    The latest U.S. Citizen Deaths Overseas does not report any death in Japan at the end of June. travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/… Sep 2, 2021 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


I could not find any information that Near (also known as byuu) took their life that does not cite the Tweet by Hector Martin.

All news sources that I could find in both English and Japanese cited the Tweet as their source. There is no indication that Near is still alive, as their social media accounts have not been active since his supposed death.

Null, an operator on Kiwi Farms, wrote a response to the Tweet's accusations that Kiwi Farms led to his suicide: https://kiwifarms.net/threads/my-response-regarding-byuu-near.93719/ Null alleges that there is no evidence that Kiwi Farms users harassed Near.

However, I could find evidence of criticism of Near on Kiwi Farms that predates their alleged death.


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