The latest issue of the Japanese games magazine Famitsu has an interview conducted by Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond, who talks to Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima. Ms. Raymond asked how Mr. Kojima feels about violence in games and the discussion of the issue is quite interesting.
Ms. Raymond spoke of the differences in culture and play style between different game markets, and asked Mr. Kojima how he creates games that are anticipated in both his native Japan and the West. He responds:
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“The fundamentals of game design, and how the game controls, come from listening to my instinct, so those aspects get made first. The rest we adjust depending on the region. For example, the new system where you can read books to restore your spirit is in all versions of the game, but things like the speed of the recovery are changed depending on region.”
Raymond then asked how he feels about violence in games, given the current issues surrounding games and the Japanese market.
“I don’t think there are many games that tackle violence head on. When you hit someone or inflict pain, faces get disfigured for example, and I want to make games that show that sort of thing. If you don’t see the pain, you can’t understand what you’ve done, and you’ll pass through battles without taking responsibility for your actions. I don’t want to ignore that. I want players to think, even if it’s just a little, about what violence and war are.”
Finally, talk turned to the recently released Assassin’s Creed, which Raymond admits takes much inspiration from Metal Gear Solid. Kojima heaped the Ubisoft Montreal development team with similar praise.
“I’ve got to choose my words carefully so that I’m not misunderstood, but I think there are fewer developers around today who think about making a good game. As a creator, I find that sad, but when I see teams like the Assassin’s Creed team it gives me confidence. I want Assassin’s Creed to sell well.” — Translates Developmag
In this video Ms. Raymond talks about meeting Mr. Hideo: