10 Things You (probably) Didn't Know About Hideo Kojima
I haven't written many nice things about Hideo Kojima, or his games. First person shooters and I had a falling out many years ago, and I'm so cowardly I can't even play BioShock, let alone Silent Hill... and there's always the fact that I think many of Kojima's decisions can be read as a little sexist in a Western context.
Still, with the recent Konami/Kojima separation and P.T. still on our minds, I find myself wondering more about the legendary video game auteur and the properties he has masterminded. So here's what I dug up. It doesn't necessarily make me like Kojima's games anymore, but I can better appreciate him as a creator. Here are ten bits of trivia about Hideo Kojima.
1.) Hideo Kojima Hates Being Called "Kojima-San"
In Japanese, Kojima-San roughly translates to "Mr. Kojima". Instead, Kojima prefers to be called Kojima Kantoku, Kantoku being a title that many Japanese movie directors use.
He is the only game director to be called this in Japan. His explanation? He believes the Japanese game directors are superior to movie directors... and by extensions he thinks he belongs up there with them.
2.) Hal "Otacon" Emmerich is named after Kojima's favorite film director, Roland Emmerich
Roland Emmerich is one of Kojima's favorite directors, so he snuck in a reference in Metal Gear Solid. Otacon's first name, Hal, is also a direct reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Easter eggs like this make me realize just how in control he was in the making of games.
3.) Hideo Kojima is friends with the Wachowski Siblings
In 1999 Hideo Kojima and the Wachowskis were interviewed for an issue of Famitsu. The Wachowski siblings even approached Kojima at a later date to discuss making a Matrix video game, though that never panned out.
4.) Solid Snake was inspired by Snake Plissken from John Carpenter's Escape From New York
I feel like this bit of trivia is pretty obvious to people familiar with the MSG series, but it's an excuse to add a picture of Kurt Russel. In general, despite my lack of familiarity with MSG, I've always been impressed with how well some of the characters rock that eyepatch.
5.) Hideo Kojima tries to watch one movie per day
While he has multiple favorite movies, Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver and Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Spacey Odyssey top his list. What can I say, Kojima's got good taste in film after watching a movie every day.
6.) Big Boss canonically believes in Santa Claus
We don't know if this reflects Kojima's personal beliefs, but we do know that the Kojima Productions offices certainly decorate for Christmas.
7.) Kojima is a recruitable character in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
There's a long history of creators adding themselves to their own fictional universes. I, for one, am tired of seeing Stan Lee in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet Kojima may be one of the first major video game creators to do such a thing. Way to get meta, Kojima.
8.) Kojima's 70-yr-old mother played completely through Metal Gear Solid 3.
She was over 70 years old at the time, and it took over an entire year to complete the game. That's some true motherly love right there. I can't even get my mom to read my articles, let alone play video games.
9.) Every single soldier has a unique appearance in Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
Each soldier's appearance is based off a real photograph and none of the faces are duplicated. More than anything, it's this attention to detail that really impressed me about Kojima and his games.
10.) Kojima is friends with Japanese model/porn star Minako Komukai
Komukai is a known Metal Gear nut and somehow became acquainted with Hideo Kojima. She did some commentary at a Metal Gear Online event and appeared on Kojima's HIDECHAN Radio show three times in 2006. Notably, Komukai didn't start work in the porn industry until 2011, which is some time after her work with Kojima.