4 predictions from Hideo Kojima games that came true
Hideo Kojima has been known for a lot of things over the years. The man is considered an auteur among video game designers for his contributions to the industry. Over his career spanning more than three decades, Kojima has been credited with creating and revolutionizing the stealth genre, his game's narratives, and an uncanny penchant for predicting the future.
Expanding on the last point, Kojima's oeuvre has been repeatedly cited for its social commentary and exploring themes that have come to fruition in real life later on. Be it the exploration of post-truth or alternative news in Metal Gear 2 or the Wolbachia bacteria in The Phantom Pain, his games have shown a keen understanding of how humanity and its various facets work.
This article points out four things from Hideo Kojima's titles that later came true in real life.
4 topics from Hideo Kojima games that became a reality
1) Fake news and post-truth
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid's direct sequel, was released back in 2001. It told the story of a terrorist group called Sons of Liberty, their demands for ransom, threats, and more. The title was initially polarizing, with critics divided in their opinion, especially regarding its themes.
Among a slew of topics, MGS2 focused on the idea of information, censorship, artificial intelligence, and freedom of thought. Through a topsy turvy narrative with various twists for players to follow, Kojima showcases the fallacy of truth and how information can be used, manipulated, and disseminated.
Kojima has created a narrative that was dense, and this was done intentionally to reflect the effects of digital information and how it's used to manipulate society at large. This is perfectly encapsulated in the dialog between Colonel Campbell and Rose.
"In the current, digitized world, trivial information is accumulating every second, preserved in all its triteness. Never fading, always accessible. Rumors about petty issues, misinterpretations, slander. All this junk data preserved in an unfiltered state, growing at an alarming rate. It will only slow down social progress, reduce the rate of evolution. The digital society furthers human flaws, and selectively rewards development of convenient half-truths."
"Everyone withdraws into their own small gated community, afraid of a larger forum. They stay inside their little ponds, leaking whatever "truth" suits them into the growing cesspool of society at large. The different cardinal truths neither clash nor mesh. No one is invalidated, but nobody is right. Not even natural selection can take place here. The world is being engulfed in "truth." And this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper."
It was only later that the notion of misinformation in the digital world came into the fray in both social and political life, with many drawing comparisons to the reports of Russian interference in the 2016 election in the United States.
2) Strandings and delivery personnel
Death Stranding was, in a way, Hideo Kojima's boldest statement yet. Having parted ways with long-term collaborating partner Konami and starting off on his own Kojima Productions, people were intrigued to see what the man would bring as his first title under the new banner. When it finally came, people were not disappointed.
Death Stranding is unapologetically polarizing. For some, it is merely a walking simulator with long cinematic cuts and real-life actors, while for others, it is a masterpiece pushing the very boundaries of video games as a medium. Whatever the case may be, the world of Death Stranding strangely predicted the world during and after the 2020 pandemic.
The world of Death Stranding, which came out in 2019, is scattered into people mostly living underground because they fear invisible threats. The most important links between these settlements are the delivery personnel who risk environmental hazards and the invisible beings to make their journey with cargo. It does sound eerily similar to the situation during the pandemic.
Upon being asked if he predicted the pandemic, Kojima joked that if he was a prophet, he would have made a better selling game.
3) Drone warfare
UA-drones or Unmanned Aerial Drones have been a staple of the Metal Gear series that have often caught unsuspecting players in their traps. These machines were generally found defending bases.
According to the Metal Gear wiki, a UA-drone is "equipped with a 5.56mm machine gun and will sound an alarm and engage an intruder with its machine gun should the latter enter its visual field."
Despite being more of a hindrance to players when Kojima introduced UA-drones, their importance in regular warfare has increased exponentially over the years. A look at the ongoing conflict in Ukraine will show the same.
4) Algae fuel
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the critically acclaimed 1990 overhead action-adventure-stealth game, expanded upon the stealth mechanics of its predecessor and established Solid Snake as the protagonist. Between tactical espionage and unmanned war machines, the game dealt with the topic of algae fuel and its promise as an alternative energy source.
In MG2, the world is running out of petrol deposits and is scampering to shore up the last remaining bits. Amidst this, Czech scientist Dr. Kio Marv is able to bio-engineer OILIX, a new species of algae that can be used as an alternative fuel.
Although there are numerous hurdles present at the moment that science needs to overcome to make algae fuel viable, it is indeed considered to be an alternative to liquid fossil fuel. The past decade has seen a number of important strides made on the matter.