Friday, 3 August 2007

Hideo Kojima - The Man, The Myth, The Legend!

It's not very often that, after playing through and completing a videogame that you want to find out more about the person responsible for it's creation. For me, Metal Gear Solid was one such exception. You could pretty much tell from start to finish, this was much more than just a video game. It was an experience, and what's more, it's an experience I would recommend to anyone who asks me if it was worth it. My praise goes to the man responsible for changing the landscape of videogames for the better: Hideo Kojima.

Before MGS on the PS1, I was only familiar with the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) version of Metal Gear. I had never played the game, but was interested in what appeared to be a military style combat game, where you got to use a ton of different weapons and equipment as you progressed through the game. It gave me the impression that the game was kinda like a present day RPG (Role Play Game). I had no idea that the concept of stealth was it's core element, but if I had had a chance to play it, I probably would've been hooked.

Pretty much every element of Metal Gear Solid was designed to go beyond the conventional action game. The first rule of thumb is that you can't just rush in guns blazing. That kind of thinking gets you killed VERY quickly. The second rule is to always use your eyes and ears first before you push forward, because one false step can get you in trouble, or even kill you. Third rule, be careful who you trust. One thing that quickly becomes apparent as you progress through the game: nothing is as it appears.

There are a lot more rules that I could tell you about playing through a Metal Gear game, and they're all because of the architect behind the wheel of the rollercoaster ride. Hideo Kojima's main task was to make the gamer think outside the box, and change the way we perceive how to play an action game. From what I've read about Kojima-san on his "Hideoblog", even from his younger days as a Videogame designer, he wanted to make games that were different from the norm, to break conventional thoughts of what a video game should be. There are not that many games on the market that make the player stop what they're doing to admire where they are, or question what they are doing in the game that they are playing!

It's interesting that the construction of a videogame is not unlike making a Hollywood movie. The cutscenes in the Metal Gear games could easily be described as such, with all the intensity, depth, passion, pain and remorse you can find in any modern day cinema equivalent. Hideo Kojima is a man that, as humble as he is, can be considered a progenitor and a grandfather of modern videogames. His tireless passion, focus and shear attention to detail ensures that the Metal Gear franchise will be remembered for a long time to come. I know I will never forget it!
You can make up your own mind whether I'm right or not by visiting his blog at:

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