After speaking at some length yesterday about PT and the pitfalls encountered by that project, I think it's only apt to talk about the man who is half the team behind that project.
That man is Hideo Kojima, and he is some kinda something.
Kojima is the creator, director, and writer for one of the most popular gaming franchises in history, Metal Gear Solid. For this series and for his overall contributions to video games as a whole, Kojima is touted as one of the industry favorites by people all over the globe.
In 1987, Kojima had the ability to oversee the development of a new game called Metal Gear. This would be the first installment in a multi-game series, and one of the first games to define the stealth combat system. This game would go on to moderate popularity, and secure his postition at Konami.
In 1990, Kojima released Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which further explored and evolved what stealth combat games could do. In it, the player could crouch, duck into hiding spaces, distract guards with noises, and also included a radar system to plan ahead with.
in 1998, Kojima became an overnight celebrity in the gaming world with the release of Metal Gear Solid for the original Playstation. The game used 3D rendering, voice acting, and employed the use of cinematics. Critics regarded the game highly for these elements and its overall design.
In 2001, Kojima followed up on the overwhelming success of Metal Gear Solid with MGS2: Sons of Liberty. In this installation, Kojima pretty much flipped the script, with a compelling narrative and a change of character.
The marketing was ridiculous. In order to keep the fact that the game was basically entirely Raiden, all of the stills and other parts released to tease the game featured Snake, even in parts of the game played through as Raiden. This is where Kojima's genius began to come through. He wanted the players to be completely taken aback by the change of direction. And they were.
Kojima was also director for MGS3: Snake Eater, MGS4: Guns of the Patriots, MGS: Peacewalker, and the upcoming MGS5: The Phantom Pain. All of these games could potentially be a card in and of themselves.
What makes Kojima so genius, though, is the way he understands the potential for players to connect with the game, and vice-versa. Kojima approaches games like Spielberg approaches film. He cares for every minute detail, and fills the interactive medium with possibilities.
Some of the most iconic moments in gaming have come as a result of Kojima. Above is a picture of Psycho Mantis, a boss the player faces in Metal Gear Solid. As a telepath, he can "read your mind" and talk about the saved game data on your Playsation's memory card. He was also able to "take control" of your controller, making it vibrate.
It was impossible to defeat him, until you dicovered that you had to take your controller out of port 1 and put it into port 2. Plenty of broken controllers before that was determined. More than that, Kojima has put loads of this kind of stuff into his games, puzzles and such that can only be figured out by thinking way outside the box.
Kojima really wants to bring gaming back to a point in time where players needed to communicate with each other in order to advance.
Nowhere is that more evident than in PT. Without going into all the details (which would take forever), the puzzles in PT are staggeringly difficult. Flashes of sentences in different languages, translating a phrase across walls, and getting those goddamned baby laughs to trigger, all just to view a trailer for a now-cancelled game.
Some of the puzzles in PT are so ridiculously complex that the popular solutions for some of them take into account the fake developing studio as a code for a word, which you can use to determine a name to trigger a baby to laugh. You also have to go into the menu and increase the brightness to fins a piece of a picture that unlocks a different puzzle.
All of the thought and effort that went into the game just reeks of Kojima's level of depth when creating videogames. He has gone on the record to insist that games are not art forms, though he still approaches games with all the methods that an artist would.
It would be impossible to understand the mind of a man like Kojima. I wouldn't even want to try. But we can be glad that a mind like his is out in the world, doing good things.