When Hideo Kojima started out in the games industry, he met a lot of people like himself, would-be creators like him who had set other life goals for themselves. The famed game designer wanted to make movies but never found a path to that aspiration and he worked with many others who got into games unexpectedly. A great two-part interview at The Guardian talks about how people reacted to the Metal Gear creator’s decision to go into games as a career and who Kojima’s unlikely peers were:
“When I announced my decision, all of my friends and lecturers begged me to reconsider. They thought I was crazy, to be honest. It was only my mother who told me that I could do whatever I wanted to in life. She was the only one.”
“There were many people joining the industry at that time who wanted to make films, to be directors or to write comic books but, for whatever reason, hadn’t been able to ‘make it’.’ Some were in a band and had released a record but it hadn’t sold well. Others were struggling artists who wanted their own manga series. The industry was full of dropouts, people who felt like games offered them another chance. I met many people in that same situation; we bonded together through that in some sense.”
One touching anecdote has Kojima talking about how his mother decided to play through his games later in her life:
“It took her an entire year to complete Metal Gear Solid 3. She would get her friends to help her. When she defeated The End [a character the player faces off against in one of the game's final missions] she called me up and said: ‘It is finished’.”
Kojima’s career isn’t finished, even if he’s keeping coy about what he’s working on next. Just imagine: a whole genre of game wouldn’t exist of Kojima wound up in a director’s chair.