Bob’s Metal Gear Rant

Okay, here’s a way too long post that I’ve been meaning to write for a while about my thoughts concerning the new “Metal Gear Solid” game. Only subject yourself to this if you’re willing to slog through what essentially amounts to some kind of first-draft essay.

Expressive Design in “Metal Gear”

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what ideas are best communicated through video games, and how usually the easiest ones to relate between an author and audience are the simplest. Miyamoto’s games all function on the theme of exploration, which he varies throughout all the “Super Mario” and “Legend of Zelda” iterations. Will Wright’s games all meditate on various aspects of authority as expressed through micromanagement, as seen in the civic, global and interpersonal installments of the “Sim” series. Ueda seems primarily concerned with intimate, one-on-one relationships, as seen in the pairs of mutually dependent characters found in “Ico” and “Shadow of the Colossus.” What sets these designers apart from most creators is the fact that they’ve usually found ways of expressing their ideas as part of the concrete, cause-and-effect balance of gameplay itself.