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.
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.
Here’s something I’ve personally been anticipating for a long time. Solid Kenny–who you may remember from his huge analysis of Metal Gear Rising –has made another video. This one is narrated by ItsDragonBlade, and whether you’re a fan of MGS2 or a hater, it should give you a new appreciation of the Raiden-Rose relationship. 14 years after the game was released, it’s amazing that there’s still more to think about in the game.
With 64% of the vote and a widening margin, it seems you have chosen Metal Gear Solid 2 as the game you’d like to be reviewed first! And so it shall be.
I admit I’m surprised, though. The Last of Us has been dominating sales charts and the hearts of critics everywhere, and it started off strong in the poll. Thankfully it shouldn’t take nearly as long to finish the review of MGS2 as it did to complete the other six parts of the Breakdown.
Believe it or not, after 12 years of analyzing MGS2, this will be my first time judging the game as a critic first and foremost. Having delved into the farthest depths of the game’s madness, I feel a certain obligation to deliver a fair judgment, without personal bias. I’m excited to see what I think.
If you enjoy my articles, you will certainly enjoy this deconstruction of Metal Gear Solid 2. Unlike me, he actually puts a hell of a lot of effort into production, going to locations and intricate editing to make it really watchable. I dare say it’s the best video analysis of MGS2 I’ve ever seen from a technical and analytical point of view.
Don’t just watch the video, however, do the guy a favor and spread it around! He deserves major attention from game news sites, forums like NeoGaf, etc. Think about how many shitty fluff pieces get promoted on Destructoid, and then think about how substantial and interesting this is. A true MGS fan will spread the word, just as (Raiden’s cobbled together idealized VR manifestation of) Snake taught us to!
My notes? I think the video could have been improved by having symmetry at the end. It starts off talking about postmodernism, but it ends with the digital age. Bringing up such powerful ideas without paying them off is a tiny bit of a shame. I respect that he doesn’t speculate too much on Kojima’s motivations for the postmodern themes. I love the fact that he deals with the VR theory, which is unforgivably neglected in most reviews and analysis, and I think it’s about time it gets a respectable presentation.
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