I have come to the conclusion that, in light of having finished Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Hideo Kojima really is the Quentin Tarantino of video games. And some of that is good, in fact, a lot of that is GREAT, but there’s also some bad that goes with that. That having been said, I believe that despite the racy content in Ground Zeroes, MGSV: The Phantom Pain is going to be amazing!
Hideo Kojima did exactly what he promised he would do and has pushed what people are comfortable with in video games up to and just past our traditional comfort zones.
And yes Kojima has included some content that genuinely sickens me (one tape in particular, but others have written more on that with better words than I would conjure here), but remember that once upon a time, Clark Gable saying “frankly my dear I don’t give a damn” was also considered racy and controversial. The 1931 version of Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff made people faint in theater aisles– eventually it happened regularly enough that nurses had to be present at screenings. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was the first film to show a toilet on screen, and it was widely derided at the time for being “lewd”. Also that shower murder. That might have also put a few people over the edge.
My point is, none of these things carry anywhere near the same connotations today. Clark Gable is just talking. Karloff’s performance is campy and not very scary. The toilet is simply sitting there, being a piece of utilitarian hardware. And the murder is a murder, not the murder of a SCANDALOUSLY NUDE WOMAN.
Kojima is a HUGE movie buff. He’s doubtless seen every movie I just listed. He’s gone on the record to say that “90% of my life is made up of movies”. He has long said that he wants to bring video games to the same kind of presentation as films. He wants games to be regarded in a similar way as films, and he knows full well where the two mediums currently differ, having a foot in both worlds.
And, I believe that it takes guys who are slightly unhinged like Hideo Kojima and Quentin Tarantino to really push that envelope and really take a medium someplace it hasn’t gone before.
I for one applaud his efforts so far, and once games get past this untamed wilderness that’s off the edge of the map… That map will expand, and the medium will be able to further mature.
Often, the trailblazer has to be crazier and less bolted down than the people who start following the trails post-blaze.
So the question now becomes: who and what will follow down this brave new road?