From #GamerGate to President Trump

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We can now see that #GamerGate is the true turning point. It’s where the neofeminist, neoliberal establishment went too far and got too lazy in their corruption, and accidentally provoked a grassroots cultural backlash which ultimately exposed the modus operandi of the entire leftist agenda for the millennial generation. It wasn’t Alex Jones, Mike Cernovich, Stefan Molyneux, or Milo Yionnaopplosujlus.

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Metal Gear Survive

This website has always been devoted to analyzing Hideo Kojima’s games, not the “Metal Gear” series including all the spinoffs. There are tons of stuff related to the Metal Gear “brand” that I don’t care about at all. Most of it, in fact. I understand that it’s a brand, and that brand is connected to Kojima’s intellectual property, but that’s all it is to me.

Today Konami revealed a new game trailer. It’s for something that technically has the words “Metal” and “Gear” in the title, and it technically uses assets and models from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Konami is still using the FOX Engine, which means the game should be easily ported to many different consoles and systems, and the budget should be next to nothing. Speaking of next to nothing, that’s what it is. It’s technically not nothing… although it doesn’t register in my mind as anything more than an improvised, offhand hypothetical concept that a jaded Metal Gear fan might make to his buddies when they’re sleepy and can’t think of a good joke. It feels like nothing. Even as a way of stirring up controversy by insulting fans it feels profoundly lacking. The reality is that real employees of a big company which has shareholders actually sat down and produced things to make this trailer and the game it presents.  That doesn’t even click in my mind. If they had written this concept on a wadded up piece of paper and threw it at me, it would have sailed directly past me and into the trash bin next to me, never to be thought of again. It makes no impression. It takes effort to acknowledge that it exists by writing about it here.

I initially watched the trailer sans audio (because I find that you can get a much more objective sense of how interesting something is if you mute it first), and the basic gist is that apparently a dimensional rift has opened up and transported generic nobodies from the Metal Gear universe into a generic alternate reality with generic zombies. The generic people have generic zombie survival struggles in a generic wasteland, using generic weapons, and I suppose need to find a generic way back home. There you go. That’s the thing. It seems to be a cooperative multiplayer game too, so you can check that off the list of generic corporate selling points too.

Already, “fans of Metal Gear” (including those who don’t know how to distinguish real installments from corporate filler) have come out mocking the piss-poor attempt. Boardroom discussions memes, appropriate “zombie” analogies, and more have cropped up. I’d be impressed if Konami even managed to anger the fanbase with this, because it’s such a transparent recycling of content and branding that only the most braindead followers of the series will get confused about what it really represents. The fact that they straight up went to “alternate reality” is the funniest aspect, because it’s a total admission of creative bankruptcy.

I will say this, however: if they bothered to make a ton of carefully-designed levels that emphasized stealth and strategy, with clever enemies and features, I would totally be interested in the game as its own thing. I wouldn’t refuse to indulge the final product if it was high quality on its own terms, and I could overlook the marketing/branding in order to enjoy the gameplay. But assuming that the game design is as hollow as the rest, Metal Gear Survive pretty much exists in a vacuum of interest, aggressively demanding to be ignored.

Konami finally makes it official, and Kojima does too!

 

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Hideo Kojima is creating a new independent studio named “KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS” and has already made a deal with PlayStation for a “collaboration” on a new project.  This confirms reports from just a few hours ago, and means a new era of Kojima works are on the way.  We can assume that his old team is joining him, which means we should expect extremely high quality and solid development times; especially since Konami was pretty notorious for having an awful work environment for creators to begin with, and that is no longer a problem.

Of course, this is the best possible news in the wake of the Konami fiasco.  They are undoubtedly very jealous of this, and were acting out of spite against him until now — using all of their legal power to hold him down until the very last second.  I have to admit, I can still hardly believe how absurd they behaved, even for as cynical as I am.  Then again, I also never thought that his departure from Konami would be a bad thing, because — as we can clearly see today — he is perfectly fine without them.  In fact, he leveled up in the process, judging by that sweet beard.

Will the next title be anywhere near as fascinating as a new Metal Gear?  Not from a “meta” angle, I’m sure.  But I’m a fan of Kojima’s work in general, so I am very excited to see what he comes up with.  Personally, I hope he builds a new fictional universe that’s filled with social commentary and philosophy, and grounded in solid action/adventure genre that his team knows best, not some risky attempt to be a futurist.  Kojima might have so many pent up gimmicks in his brain that he won’t be able to resist making some PlayStation VR technology showcase requiring 3 peripherals to even experience properly.  (According to the new badass logo, he might want to pursue stuff you wear on your head.  That is supposed to be a robotic knight’s helmet right?)

Right now I’m focused on my book about Kojima and the Metal Gear series (although it also includes Snatcher, Policenauts, and spinoff games!) so if you want to truly appreciate his life and legacy until today, you have something amazing to look forward to still.  Not bad timing, I must say!  My deep interpretation of the series has only been reinforced by evidence over the years, and the book pushes everything to a new level.  I’m very excited to share it with you, as I stay tuned what comes next.

Let’s also have a moment of silence for the great, fun, and promising ruse theories, which spoke to so many people’s imaginations as well as their high regard for Kojima’s trickster legacy.  He was in a league of his own, and if there was ever a creator who could have somehow pulled a ruse on that scale it would have been him!  Since I no longer have any choice but to believe all of the negative reports and rumors in the past, I have to wonder even more what was truly behind the conflict and toxicity.  Maybe it will come out in the wash.

The Ideology of Torture

Mr. Sylazhov returns with his latest guest article the day before the release of Metal Gear Solid V, to examine the extremely important matter of torture, in both the real world and the fictional one Kojima uses to show his views.

The methods, reasons, and history of torture are discussed, along with a personal story that drives home the reality of the barbaric practices used by military and spy agencies around the world.  This article was finished quite a while ago, but I’m publishing it on the eve of The Phantom Pain to emphasize the seriousness of its controversial subject matter.

Warning: Some graphic content follows.


The Ideology of Torture

A personal, political, and philosophical study of torture in the MGS series and the real world

I would like to dedicate the following piece to the victims of
the dictatorship in my country, and to all victims of
political repression from any side of the political spectrum.

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Kojima and the Soviet Union

The following guest article was written by a friend and author, Alexander Sylazhov, who you ought to remember fondly from his Big Boss as Che Guevara article; I titled that article in order to highlight one of my favorite aspects of it, but it certainly went well beyond that.  I’m deeply honored to be able to present his new article, which is the kind of analysis I would love to be able to do myself.  With the upcoming release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain less than a month away, this in-depth exploration of ideology, politics, and pop culture in the Metal Gear series is a fascinating must-read from a talented writer from a different side of the world.

Expect to see more from him soon, and please check out his science fiction novel series if you want to see more from him and support his work.


 

Kojima and the Soviet Union

An analysis of the political overtones of the MGS series and Hideo Kojima’s ideology

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Path of Exile and Star Citizen both get more interesting

Path of Exile has announced a new expansion, The Awakening.  On top of a new Act, bosses, items, and all that good content, there’s also a big addition to the legendary Passive Skill Tree: radial passive boosts.  I love this idea, because it turns the physical layout of the skill tree into a puzzle that players can play with.  Basically, certain gems you can earn will have a circle of influence in the skill tree that affects compatible nodes.  If the gem is related to Intelligence modifiers, it will give a boost of some kind to all of the Intelligence-related nodes around it.  I don’t know how you place them (I haven’t researched all of it yet, but I’d guess that skill nodes have colorized sockets now too?) but this alone means that GGG is moving the game in an even crazier, rewarding direction.

Star Citizen has written about their First Person Shooter system, which I find highly interesting.  Like Dark Souls, it will involve a stamina-management system, forcing players to play cautiously and “spend” their stamina on worthwhile action.  Three different “stances” will emphasize different aspects of combat and interaction, and I suggest you read more about how breathing control factors into fighting in space!