Hideo Kojima: lo stealth game nel videogioco per trascendere la guerra = Hideo Kojima: stealth game in video game to transcend warfare


Throughout gaming's history, the idea of personal success has been associated with every type of video game. Originally, winning a game meant not having to "insert another coin"; later, beating another player in a fighting game was an example of such victory. Over the years, though, certain game developers have shifted this concept and gone down a different road. This is the case of Hideo Kojima - one of Japan's most famous game designers, visionary and original, the forerunner of a way of designing video games that is increasingly akin, in its visual approach and themes, to a 'cinematographic' one. The stylistic signature of his productions is less about resolving the conflict by defeating the opponent, but avoiding the conflict at all. To win, in the wake of Paul Virilio's Essay on Dromoscopy, one must disappear. This is the 'victory' in the video game genre first devised by Kojima: the stealth game. In this article, we will take a sociological approach to examine the close connection between production life and the works of the Japanese game designer. This means being able to connect ethical reflection, human nature, and anti-militarism without being banal or worse, didactic. The author's gaze, even before being sociological, is cinematic: the video game's protagonist, Snake, is a survivor undoubtedly inspired, even in his character design, by Bob 'Snake' Plissken, the protagonist of John Carpenter's cult film '1997: Escape from New York' (1986). Cutscenes, which are non-interactive, cinematic sections in contemporary video games, are engineered to be intense and extra stimulating to draw in viewers to the story of war. Kojima claims that anyone who gets involved in war has no chance of leaving without being psychologically shaken. Currently, players are becoming aware of how to find satisfaction beyond simply securing a win: these players, known as "conscious gamers," find enjoyment in games that put them in an immersive story. For instance, "This War of Mine" recreates the difficult choices one must make in an embattled city, and "Papers, Please" offers players a detailed insight into life under a totalitarian regime as they decide who to let in or force out of their city. Before Kojima's works, all this would have been, if not completely inconceivable, at least alien to the game-design tradition that originates from his works.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n22p109

Keywords: Videogames; transmedia; Stealth games; Conscious games

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.