NEW YORK – Japanese videogame developer Hideo Kojima will unveil on Friday his latest creation since he broke into the business with Konami in 2015 – “Death Stranding” for Playstation 4 – and he has one mission: for players to “enjoy the story” but also to connect with each other and feel “that they’re not alone.”
The legendary creator of the “Metal Gear” saga, who is presently involved in a world tour, gave a presentation in New York on Thursday in which he said that he had created a system to “provide a sensation of a different connection while you play” that will allow users to “rediscover” what it means to “concern yourself with others.”
“At this time, there isn’t enough caring in games and social networking. That is the current situation but with this new system (there will be an) impact on the rest of the world of my actions and it will be possible to rediscover consideration for other people in communications. I would like people to rediscover that fundamental thing when playing the game,” he said.
Kojima wants players to “enjoy the story, of course,” but also he admits that “traveling along the road completely alone” in videogames can be a “cruel” and “lonely” experience, and that “many are facing doubts in society or they feel excluded from their community” in real life.
“But there are so many other people in the world in the same situation because there are many millions of people playing the game around the world and by indirectly connecting with them I think they’ll be able to feel they’re not alone. That’s really what I want to emphasize,” he said.
Kojima has spent three years developing “Death Stranding” along with a cast of actors headed by Norman Reedus as the protagonist Sam Porter Bridges, who is “not a superhero, but a character who connects with people or delivers things,” he said.
“Making a game today, using models we can come up with a very unique person with the depth of the character and (by) using a very strong actor, that will create a more dramatic image. So I made offers to my favorite actors whom I’d been thinking I wanted to work with,” Kojima said regarding building the cast including Lindsay Wagner, Troy Baker, Mads Mikkelsen and Lea Seydoux, with cameos by Guillermo del Toro and Nicolas Winding Refn.
Wagner, who started in the 1970s television series “The Bionic Woman” and is currently 70, said that “to be honest, I didn’t know anything about the gaming world at all” when Kojima contacted her but he convinced her with his passion for “bringing people together.”
Kojima went on to say: “It’s been 40 years since games have been around and for the last 10 or 20 years the Internet has connected the world online and games can be played globally so there are a lot of interesting games with shooting or hitting with sticks or having enemies in common. But, on the other hand, social networking has grown but has a lot of bullying, abuse and fighting with words and a lot of people get sick and tired of the Net.”
“I wanted those people to once again think about how could they connect via the Net; not directly, but indirectly,” he said about the hidden aspects of “Death Stranding,” which enables players to undertake beneficial actions for other players, like building a bridge to cross a river, which others will learn was the builder’s idea.
“For the first time, I understand that the action I took for myself is actually helping the whole world. What is special is that it’s all likes and nothing negative so it’s different from social networking. What’s good for me is also helping others,” he said.
“That’s how caring for other people begins,” he concluded.
Kojima spoke at the “Fractured Worlds: The Art of Death Stranding” exhibit in New York as part of his Death Stranding World Tour.