In an interview with Sky News, Hideo Kojima talked about his gaming influences, VR, movies and his goals when making games. 30 years ago, when he got into the industry, gaming technology was a lot less advanced and games were more simplistic in terms of characters and story.
“I don’t think of my games as dark. I’m trying to make them more realistic. When I started making games 30 years ago, they were far from realistic. Characters had no background, there was no real story to them. So I made it my mission to depict these elements of the story. I didn’t want my characters to be lines of code, I wanted them to be people. Living, organic things. I also wanted to convey the struggles that these characters have been through, some of the more difficult background they have had. So I see this not as adding dark elements to the game, but rather adding depth.”
Film and television have had a big influence on Kojima, and for him they are an important inspiration but also a source of energy during the demanding development process of his ambitious games.
“I love film, but there are two big reasons I watch movies to help me. One is that they show me things I don’t know about: people, worlds and eras that spark my creativity to make games. The other reason would be the energy. Making games is a long process. It can be very difficult at times, with a lot of struggles. If I’m going through a difficult patch, and I watch a great movie, it reminds me that there are so many creative people out there all over the world pushing hard to accomplish great things. That really motivates me to keep going. So I guess these are the two reasons why I make sure I watch movies every day.”
Kojima was also asked about his favorite game of all time.
“That’s a question that I get often. But I guess the one that influenced me the most, the one I played before joining this industry, was Super Mario Bros. It’s a simple game, all you can do is jump and run. You have two buttons, and it’s a sidescroller, and that’s it. There’s nothing more to it. But just by adding the element of having to time when you use those actions, the game gains so much depth. It’s the game that I played the most in my life. I played hundreds of hours of it, and it’s the one that made me realize the possibilities that gaming has. I don’t think I’ve seen another that surpasses that.”
Because of the rise of mobile gaming, does Kojima think less people will play the long, big narrative games he is famous for?
“It’s important to look at how you can use new technology to expand your options, but I don’t think this kind of thing is a replacement. I don’t think if something new comes along you say: ‘okay, this is the new thing, and it’s the only thing we do’. On the contrary, I think the more options we get, the wider variety of games we can see.”
Kojima was also asked how he thinks Virtual Reality will change gaming, and wether it will be a similar jump as we saw from 2D to 3D.
“Originally, I think when technology changed from 2D to 3D, it essentially stayed the same as movies and tv. You were always restricted to this frame, to this square frame. But now the frame is gone. So I think it will make an even bigger difference than the jump from 2D to 3D.” Kojima also thinks this will go beyond just games and make a big impact on society.
You can check out the entire interview below, or by going to Sky News’ Youtube account.