Big Boss as Che Guevara

BIG BOSS AS CHE GUEVARA:

A LATIN PATRIOT’S VIEWS ON PEACE WALKER,
THE CIA, AND KOJIMA’S POLITICAL COMMENTARY

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If there’s one thing we have no shortage of in the world, it’s the perspective of the USA’s media and public.  Rarely do we hear intellectuals from other nations; they’re not relevant to “Americans”, no matter how deeply we’ve impacted their culture and history.  This insulated and ignorant way of living is why the Metal Gear series has always tried to include international viewpoints, raising awareness of global issues such as nuclear holocaust, oil shortages, and abuses of the military industrial complex.  The characters we meet are not usually one-dimensional bad guys for the USA hero to destroy, but outspoken victims of war themselves, reflecting the tragic aftermath of the struggle between self-interested superpowers.

This guest article explains the ongoing importance of Che Guevara around the world today, and how a silly little PSP game like Peace Walker can open old wounds that most Americans know nothing about.  The Latin folk hero of the 1950’s and 60’s may be “iconic” in North America, but in the most reductionist sense of the word, appearing on t-shirts and capitalist merchandise without a shred of irony.  And although Peace Walker focuses heavily on the Latin American struggle for independence and justice, few fans realize the significance of its political and historical commentary on issues that still burn with significance in the hearts of millions around the world today.

I hope you’ll share my interest in how Kojima designed Peace Walker and Big Boss to pass on a message of international sensitivity and awareness in a world dominated by US propaganda.  As we’ve seen, this awareness is only growing deeper and darker as we approach Metal Gear Solid V, and I think the words of our friend A. Sylazhov should be kept with us as we look forward to the politically-charged and insightful next chapter of the Metal Gear series.  Enjoy.

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More thoughts on the CIA, American exceptionalism, and the culture gap

A reader of the site from Puerto Rica now living in the USA has decided to respond to the Big Boss as Che Guevara article, focusing on the misunderstandings and culture gap between Americans and the rest of the world.  It’s not nearly as long as the original article, but it does cover quite a few relevant issues, with a more balanced view of the situation.

I’m glad that Mr. Sylazhov’s article has struck a note with more than a few readers.  I’ve already seen criticism that his views are too black and white, but I’ve always been a fan of hearing very opposed views from people who don’t hold back how they really feel, and then decide where the truth is for myself, having looked at all sides.  I’ve never felt comfortable discussing the real-life political or historical issues, but as I said before, Kojima is trying to wake up a sense of international sensibility with these games, and I am glad to provoke some discussion if I can.

Again, check out the great response blog post here.

New year, what’s up

These are exciting times, aren’t they? I should be updating with all sorts of news, commentary, articles, comics, and so on! But instead I’ve been an apathetic lump of coughing and self-pity, as I’ve been sick for two weeks. I’m getting over that now though.

Looking forward, I intend to finally get around to editing and finalizing a mega-article submitted by a guest writer, which I find terribly exciting. I wanna do some more comics, since I found out that apparently Hideo Kojima retweeted one of my comics that somebody showed him, which is great.

There’s a huge to-do list of things I still want to get around to, like my MGS4: Sold Out series, so maybe look forward to that. For any questions, guest article submissions, etc. go ahead and email metagearsolid@gmail.com

Kept you waiting, huh? [Insert product announcement]

Ever notice how your brain gets a little bit excited and stupid whenever you hear the phrase?  Like a quick injection of Metal Gear anticipation that makes you want to enjoy whatever comes next?  Maybe that’s because we’ve been conditioned to associate it with our favorite memories and products, and now it’s being used to condition us as consumers to act like excitable children at the drop of a hat.  Ravi Singh talks about how badly the phrase has been abused in the new article, “Kept You Waiting, Huh?” is a Corporate Meme.

Personally, I’m a cynical guy, and I’m aware of corporate social engineering, the co-opting of youth culture, viral marketing, and so on.  Hell, I still think about how badly the “Now THAT’S how an assassin operates…!” phrase failed to catch on, with the Peace Walker cross-promotion with Assassin’s Creed:


Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker – Assassin’s Creed

I think this is one of the worst examples of trying to force feed Metal Gear fans a meme.  As the beginning of the video says, it was created for “rampant internet consumption”, complete with a big exclamation mark (!) and uses lazy repetition to try to make people go crazy for the novelty of a straw box that you can use to beat up guards with.

The cardboard box is even more iconic than “Kept you waiting, huh?” and we all know that Kojima is hyper-aware of its status in the gaming world thanks to the explosion of box-related items announced for The Phantom Pain not long ago.  It’s much like how diving into a bunch of hay is iconic to Assassin’s Creed.  So to make a collaboration combining these to elements is kind of funny and amusing, I’ll admit; but when you see a 6 minute video jamming the “meme” into culture it just feels gross.  Almost as gross as Kojima and the dude from Assassin’s Creed wearing masks and sneezing, because GET IT, IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE “VIRAL MARKETING”.  So now we’re viral marketing a running gag about how it’s a viral marketing video?  How internet-savvy and meta.  Oh and Kojima throws out “Didju rike it?” at the end, following by Kaz repeating “Now THAT’S how an assassin operates” just for good measure.

I really enjoyed Ravi’s article on the “Kept you waiting” corporate meme, and I recommend checking it out.

MGO is going to be revealed, and it’s not just base invasion!

Kojima has confirmed that there is an entirely new Metal Gear Online in the works (presumably developed by KojiPro L.A.) and that invading bases is not all there is to it.

The full reveal of MGO will be seen at The Game Awards: