BIG BOSS AS CHE GUEVARA:
A LATIN PATRIOT’S VIEWS ON PEACE WALKER,
THE CIA, AND KOJIMA’S POLITICAL COMMENTARY
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.