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‘Influenced by Tarkovsky’: Video game icon Kojima on Russia’s impact on his work, as local cult following hails him as a GENIUS

‘Influenced by Tarkovsky’: Video game icon Kojima on Russia’s impact on his work, as local cult following hails him as a GENIUS
Hideo Kojima, a renowned Japanese video game designer, has said that his creative work has been heavily influenced by Russian culture and art, as he visited Moscow to promote his mysterious new game, 'Death Stranding.'

“I was influenced by various… people of art and Russian culture figures played a major role here,” Kojima, best known to gamers worldwide for the 'Metal Gear' series, told his fans in Moscow. He then singled out the iconic film director Andrey Tarkovsky – and mentioned a certain writer and philosopher with a knack for human psychology.

In school, I always carried around the book ‘Crime and Punishment’ by [Fyodor] Dostoevsky.

“Game design is a complex discipline that unites various forms of creativity and art,” Kojima told the gathering at the Moscow contemporary art museum Garazh. “Every day, I seek to watch a movie and regularly read a lot.”

Kojima’s love for Russia appears to be mutual as the creator enjoys a significant local fan base – and has even become a gamer meme. Referred to as “Genius,” often ironically, Kojima could not escape questions as to whether he agrees with his nickname.

“I don’t think that I’m a genius,” Kojima told the late-night talk show, 'Evening Urgant,' where he was invited ahead of his appearance at Comic Con Russia and the IgroMir game exhibition. “But if everybody calls me like that, I’ll probably become one someday.”

The Japanese auteur game creator came to Russia as part of a promotion tour for his first independent project, 'Death Stranding' – a game that, despite nearly an hour of CG trailers being released and another full hour of gameplay showcased by Kojima himself, still puzzles most people as to what it is actually about. Kojima describes his creation’s genre as something completely new, while doing his best to not give away too much about the plot.

Despite the disturbing, horror-inducing and often violent imagery of the trailers, Kojima insists that the game is all about connecting things, while the fighting is done as a last resort, and will always carry consequences.

The first tool invented by people was a stick – to hit others and defend themselves. Later, the people created a rope to tie things together… The gaming industry is 30 years old already. Yet it has nothing except for the stick. It is high time a game about ropes came out.

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