Welcome to the supplement page for THE KOJIMA CODE book series.
Over time you will find extra notes, behind-the-scenes information, corrections, and comments related to them. The purpose is to create a free online resource for readers, allowing me to respond to feedback or flesh out ideas that could use extra attention.
At first this page will be sparse, but if you bookmark it and come back you may find additional content later. I have quite a few ideas in mind.
A Stealth Game:
The Kojima Code, Part II
Some readers may suspect that A Stealth Game was, in part, written as a reaction to the tragic societal spiral we have seen in 2020, especially in regards to the blatant technocratic power grabs we’ve been subjected to. But as noted in the preface of the book, A Stealth Game was fully written in 2019, before any announcement of a pandemic or viral outbreak. Early preview readers remarked since then that they can’t believe how prescient and relevant the book’s main commentaries have been. I think that’s a major credit to the book. But just to be clear, A Stealth Game’s manuscript was finished in 2019 and entered the editing process in January of 2020, and I had no idea what was going to take place internationally, societally, in hospitals, or in public policy. In fact it was only in the final round of touch-ups and minor edits that I slipped in a note about the pandemic in the preface, just in case there was confusion later. That would have been around March, before anyone knew how far it would go. However, I sensed that the pandemic was going to be a defining narrative of 2020 and could foresee how the themes of the book were going to seem reactionary, rather than neutral and analytical. It just so happens that the trajectory of Hideo Kojima’s work points in this direction, and that my analysis was centered on that dimension of his stories this time around.
Metal Gear Solid 1
Gulf War Syndrome Conspiracy Theory: In A Stealth Game I discuss Kojima’s choice to contradict the official story behind the Gulf War Syndrome in MGS1. Here I want to make a note further appreciating the way the game handles the topic. During an optional Codec call in MGS1, Natasha Romanenko discusses the theory of spent nuclear fuel being responsible for the Gulf War syndrome, and speculates that the side effect was harming the affected soldiers’ genetics. Although Fukushima or somebody else on the writing staff probably wrote this optional conversation, the choice to include the conversation at all would have been outlined by Hideo Kojima. For him to tie together the themes of genes, nuclear radiation, and government coverups in the Gulf War all at once is very timely and appropriate. It can easily be overlooked in the chaos of that game’s plot. Kojima shows that he understands the official story quite well, but then makes sure to have Liquid Snake debunk it as a lie, and replace it with his own theory of a genetic test program. This makes it even more clear that Kojima wants to shift player awareness to government injections, vaccines, and high-level experimentation.
Metal Gear Solid 4
Old Snake, a stoic hero: Diehard fans of MGS4 and especially Project Itoh tend to disagree with my analysis on Old Snake because it fails to show him as a tragic hero. The disagreement is one of framing, not substance. They prefer to frame his mission as a stoic journey to save the world despite not being loved or appreciated, rather than a miserable last attempt at cleaning up the mess he helped to create. It’s indisputable that his mission is about cleaning up his own messes, and that this is the meta allegory for Kojima as well, so objecting by saying the character in the world is also heroic or setting some kind of good example is not wrong, but it’s also not relevant. Old Snake obviously still “cares” enough to do his mission, just as Hideo Kojima still “cared” enough to hide messages in his (supposedly) final MGS game and make sure fans were happy enough to let it end, but no matter how it’s framed, the point of this story was to kill Snake and permanently end the “Solid Snake Saga” because Kojima was tired and no longer cared about Solid Snake’s story. It was not about showing that Snake was some great hero in the fiction he wrote. We can’t use Project Itoh’s embellished and fanciful rendering of the story as an example for anything, because he had no grasp of the meta side. He was a fanboy, not an analyst, and the insistence on glorifying Old Snake beneath my analysis; we can all be fans of the characters in the story and derive lessons from them, but those coexist on a separate layer of interpretation, and cannot replace the bigger picture about Kojima’s failure to pass on his messages and his self-portryal as a worn out mercenary no longer invested in the world.
The Kojima Code (Part I)
The Russian version
As readers of the site will know, after the publication of The Kojima Code I received an offer from the biggest Russian book publisher to sell the Russian translation rights to them, and I took it. During the process of translation they took the liberty of changing the title to “Kojima Is A Genius” in order to capitalize on a popular Russian meme about Hideo Kojima. Unfortunately, while that may have been a good sales strategy, it changed the perception of what to expect from my book, leading many Russian readers to be disappointed, giving it middling reviews that become aggregated with the rest of the online reviews at GoodReads. When you look up review scores, the negative ones are all Russian! This was rather unexpected, because readers were specifically supposed to be interested in my own brand of theorizing and analysis about the games, and the connotation of “The DaVinci Code” was meant to help readers understand that pitch better.
In the introductory sections of the book I mention Cultural Marxism once as an example of a cultural force that is attacking video games with political correctness. Since the publication of the book there has been a feeble and lazy attempt by hack political blogs and Google to reduce the conversation around Cultural Marxism to exclusively Jewish conspiracy theories, inciting paranoia and antisemitism against them in order to deflect from the well-known political ideology transcending race or nationality. See: A Note On Cultural Marxism.