Kojima: Creation is making the impossible, possible
Konami's auteur director talks technology and culture at Gamelab
Hideo Kojima, vice president of Konami Digital Entertainment and creator of the Metal Gear Solid series, has spoken about the way he sees technological progression affecting the way games are made.
Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz in a brief interview at Gamelab in Barcelona last week, Kojima revealed that he feels technology is making cultural differences more apparent thanks to increased verisimilitude.
"With recent technology there's more capability for expression in games," said Kojima in answer to a question about the expression of culture in games. "We are able to put in more cultural differences from each country, racial differences. So we're facing a similar situation to that which faced Charlie Chaplin. He didn't need words to express himself in his movies but suddenly he had to include words in order to stay relevant.
"With this increased capability of expression through games, I think it's a matter of learning how to use it," he continued.
"Before, when Japanese game directors used Japanese settings, like Tokyo, there was no cultural barrier to the rest of the world because the technology meant that you couldn't tell whether it was Japan or anywhere else. Now it is possible, so it becomes more difficult. Instead of using Japanese settings, games have to become more Hollywood."
But that technology also offers directors the chance to do things which were previously impossible, something which Kojima expresses mixed feelings about.
"First of all, I've never created something that completely satisfies me. I don't think that, even as technology continues to improve, I will ever be able to create something that completely satisfies me.
"Creating something is about turning impossible things into possible things, things you want to be able to do. If it gets to the point were I'm able to create anything I want, I'll probably stop making videogames."
Kojima was in Barcelona primarily to accept a number of awards at the Gamelab closing ceremony, with the Kojima Productions title Castlevania: Lords of Shadow picking up a slew of gongs for the Madrid-based developer Mercury Steam. Kojima also picked up a special lifetime achievement award for his work, as did Lionhead head Peter Molyneux.
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