“I think stimulation is needed to grow,” says Kojima.
Hideo Kojima has always been a man who likes to push boundaries with his game design, and his products, more often than not, end up offering experiences that are very different from what we usually find in the industry’s mainstream space. The upcoming Death Stranding exhibits that same tendency to challenge conventions, and that, as you would expect, is part of Kojima’s vision for every game he makes.
Speaking during a BAFTA panel (which you can view below) during his ongoing Death Stranding World Tour, Kojima talked about why he’s always liked making things that are far from conventional. Kojima’s intention with every game he creates is to make an experience that stands out and sticks in the player’s memory, as per him, as opposed to something that’s ordinary and easily digestible.
“I think simplicity is good, but it gets consumed very quickly,” he said (transcribed by Metal Gear Informer). “It’s like food: anything that’s really digestible, it just goes out. […] And it doesn’t remain in the body. But something that’s awkward, that is not really digestible, it remains in your body. And you don’t know what it is. And human has this intellectual feeling that kind of lingers: what is this? Like for instance a movie, if that lingers in you, you watch it again over and over, or you talk with your friends about them, what was that about? Or maybe take time to rewatch again, or rethink of it again. And you kind of start to understand the real meaning. And it begins to be a real body, your blood and meat. And it remains in your body fluid, and not just comes out. And I want to create that kind of thing.”
“I grew up watching movies or things like that, so I just do that in games,” he continued. “Everyone says it’s complicated, but I think everyone should just keep it and maybe nourish it for five or ten years, and maybe they will start to understand. And I really want to create those kind of things.”
Kojima went on to add that in his view, without stimulation and experimentation, there’s no room for growth (a sentiment that one would find very hard to disagree with). Sticking with his appropriately bizarre food and digestion-related analogy, he also said that though he wants to make something that is difficult to digest, he still wants to make sure that it’s “delicious”- whatever it ends up being.
“I think stimulation is needed to grow,” he said. “You kind of find out things you don’t know, that’s why you grow. So anything you know, or anything [that’s] easy to eat, you won’t grow. Or your brain won’t grow. It won’t be an experience. So sometimes I want people to kind of eat something that is not really easy to digest. […] But I really want to make that thing delicious, mind you.”
Well, Death Stranding is plenty weird, there’s no doubt about that. In our review, we said: “Death Stranding is definitely an acquired taste, and its slow pacing and deliberate gameplay might not be for everyone, but its mechanical depth, its desolately beautiful and haunting world, and its confident and stylistic storytelling nonetheless make for a continental trek worth experiencing.” You can read the full thing through here.