Hideo Kojima is a writer, director, producer, editor, voice actor, and entrepreneur in the computer gaming industry. In short, he's a video game designer. He is considered one of the more revolutionary and creative people in his field for over a decade. His name in the industry is only surpassed by Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario Brothers and The Legend of Zelda. He is best known for his Metal Gear series staring the legendary hero and video game star, Solid Snake.
Kojima the man:
Hideo Kojima was born on August 24, 1963 in Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan1. As a child, Kojima admits to having something of a fascination with horror movies, despite his sensitivity to the content. He loved the tension, suspense, helplessness, and black humor of horror flicks, specifically Dawn of the Dead2. Kojima is the former vice president of Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and has moved on to start his own video game production house, Kojima Production. It seems the administration of Konami was too much for him and he wanted to focus on creativity and game design over profits and numbers. The guy is a genius and knows it.
Kojima the game developer:
Kojima often uses elements from his favorite films in his games. Characters, settings, camera work, and more obviously blatant statements or images are often placed in Kojima's games as homage to these films. Aside from brief movie references, he tries to portray a fairly philosophical view in his games and offers distinctly human feel to a medium that is more commonly than not base and void of all insight or thought. Kojima's love for the human element and traditional elements of film results in great character and story depth. In fact, many gamers are put off by his style because it can be too deep for the average gamer. My roommates and I have sat down and played multiple games in the Metal Gear series in the fashion one would sit down with friends and watch a movie. In fact, The Lush bought one of these game, and never played it. He had me play the whole game through and watched the story unfold, and he was still happy with his purchase.
Kojima loves to put innovation, creativity, and thought into his games. If you've ever played a Metal Gear game, you know that you're more apt to live if you hide from your enemies than if you try to kill them in a head on assault. This idea was revolutionary back in 1987, and no one was able to mimic the idea very well until Splinter Cell came out. Today, Kojima is still trying to place realism and innovation into his games. I've never played a game before where if I save in the middle of a boss fight I can be killed while the game was off, and if I did I don't think I would think it made as much sense as it did in Metal Gear Solid 3. These tiny elements that Kojima uses in his works to immerse players into the worlds he creates are, in my opinion, amazing. By using fourth wall breaches, cleaver camera angles, and tedious game play, Kojima produces games that have a unique feel and play to them. Unlike shooters that require unthinking reactions and unlike strategy games that focus on micro-management with seemingly no point, Kojima produces games that have reason, story, and thought. The gameplay is only part of what he produces. Kojima, in the Metal Gear Solid series at least, creates cut-scenes that take up about as much time as the actual game play. Kojima gives games life, and it would seem that his games give him life too.
Kojima's games:1 2
- Penguin Adventure - MSX
- Lost Warld - MSX (Cancelled)
- Metal Gear - MSX
- Snatcher - MSX2
- Snatcher CD-ROMantic
- Metal Gear Solid - PSX
- Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions - PSX
- Metal Gear Solid: Integral - PSX
- Metal Gear: Ghost Babel - GBC
- Zone of the Enders - PS2
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - PS2
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance - xBox / PS2
- Boktai - GBA
- Anubis: Zone of the Enders - PS2
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - PS2
- Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes - GC
- Boktai 2 - GBA
- Metal Gear Acid - PSP
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistance - PS2
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - PS3