I won’t embed the video here since there is a special page for it over at the SnakeSoup. It’s probably best to go there and see the introduction and follow-up material provided by Ravi Singh. On this page I’ll give my impressions of the video and reply to its arguments.
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:
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.
What can I say about the work that Mr. Lázaro Martinez here? Aside from literally laughing out loud at the jokes and feeling inspired to think seriously about just how crazy the original Metal Gear really was, I just have to be insanely jealous. This is crazy, man. He’s even got lips synchronized, facial expressions, and so much other extra goodies which I happen to know were not in the original script (but which are hilarious) I feel lucky to have been part of the first “Cliff Notes” video series. That cameo of Ravi Singh is priceless too, this guy really knows how to do a likeness!!
Please do this guy a favor and share this with as many people as you can. Make the thing spread around the internet like you know it should!
Congratulations to The Snake Soup! Long-time affiliate and sometimes-collaborator Ravi Singh has kept his shitty old site in existence for a decade. I’m just kidding about the shitty part, check out his articles. They’re almost as good as mine.
In a post titled “Ten years of ‘Soup!” he explains the shiny new design, which looks very modern and slick. The forums have been redone too, and presumably all this hard work was for something more than a quick hello. We’ll see what becomes of it, but seems like he’ll be making tweets and posts every now and then. Makes me feel a bit guilty for assuming he was just leaving it all for dead!
Feels good to have a real partner in the Metal Gear community. His opinions and style of writing are a refreshing change from anywhere else, and we need him to keep going, even if its just an occasional hobby.
A long, long time ago, SnakeSoup administrator Ravi Singh approached me for collaborating on an epic Metal Gear flash animation revolving around the very first game in the series, which most Metal Gear fans don’t even realize exists. I agreed. Continue reading →
Today Ravi Singh, the creator and owner of The Snake Soup, has announced his retirement from the website. While commenting on Kojima’s recent statements about not wanting to be be defined by the Metal Gear series, he says:
It’s not failure, Mr. Kojima, as long as you do not give up. You can, and should, pursue other projects and leave Metal Gear behind. With that said, I think this is an appropriate time for me to announce my retirement from The Snake Soup. It’s been a nice run, but I got better things to do like make coffee. This has always been a hobby of mine and it’s stopped being fun. I’ll still have a limited role here because, after all, I own this place!
This does not mean the website is shutting down, of course. Other moderators and contributors will, to whatever extent, keep the site updated while managing the forums. The Snake Soup has operated for 10 years, and has frequently been updated with news and commentary thanks to Ravi.
Hell, there’s nothing wrong with retiring. The glory days are in the past, both for the series and the community that once existed around it; trying to stay interested can be a challenge. One of the biggest reasons I’ve stayed interested in this site is the fact that I feel no sense of obligation to anyone, and because I still have things I want to say. Whether we’ll end up seeing more from Ravi down the road or not, he’s done a lot for the community and has absence will be felt. Enjoy the coffee, bro.
I know most of you probably visit TheSnakeSoup already, but it’s worth linking to this new editorial by Ravi Singh, in which he methodically points out how stupid the backlash to Revengeance really is in context.
Rather than discussing the motive for the game’s revamped style, he thoroughly blows apart the whole misconception that the Metal Gear universe is somehow sacred and in danger of being ruined, exposing the inconsistency and ignorance of those who believe Revengeance is a new low that poses a threat to the franchise.
And while I wholeheartedly agree with Ravi’s points, I do want to acknowledge that the reputation of the Metal Gear name is in legitimate danger thanks to Revengeance. Yes, there are plenty of good reasons why the game is being made the way it is, and the backlash may be founded on ignorance, but the fact remains that the majority of gamers don’t know or care about these things — they only know that its a full-blown, high definition, multi-platform Metal Gear game, and it looks campy and ridiculous.
Richard George’s opinion is naive, but it’s popular enough to make a difference. Unless Kojima Productions does more to educate the game media and players about the fact that this isn’t a “canon” story and isn’t meant to be taken seriously, gamers will be confused and angry. On the other hand, once people find out that it’s not canon and not serious, there’s an equally big danger of destroying any interest that existed before; people won’t be mad, but instead they simply won’t care. This is why it’s so stupid to use the Metal Gear name in the first place. (Unless you’re Hideo Kojima, secretly allowing the series’ reputation to be ruined in order to give yourself freedom to pursue new projects, in which case it’s a sacrifice for the greater good.)
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