If games are to be thought of as more than just that--games--they need to broach sensitive subjects, according to Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. During a roundtable interview with the veteran designer attended by GameSpot, Kojima outlined his vision for how video games can reach the cultural level of movies and books.
"If we don't cross that line, if we don't make attempts to express what we really want to express, games will only be games," Kojima said. "If we don't try to go beyond that, we won't be able to achieve what movies or novels have achieved. I didn't want to stay away from these things that could be considered sensitive. If we don't go that far, games will never be considered as culture.
Also during the interview, Kojima likened himself and his team at Kojima Productions to the characters from Breaking Bad, who stop at nothing to make their message known.
"In Breaking Bad, I also see that these guys are trying to go to the limit; trying to take it as far as they can to try to get their message across. For us as well. In games we have to go to the limit; we want to stay within this limit of how far...pushing the boundaries of conveying our message. We look around and we don't see too many games like this; that is unfortunate," he said.
For Metal Gear Solid V, the game's central theme is that of revenge. And to get this point across, prologue Ground Zeroes will feature some scenes that Kojima expects will be controversial. That said, he explained that he's not going to tone down the game's content just because some people might take issue with what he has to say.
"One of the main topics of Metal Gear Solid V is this chain of revenge. That is something that I really didn't want to step back from, I really didn't want to go around it," Kojima said. "I know that I will probably face a lot of criticism because of it but I really wanted to portray that accurately."
Finally, Kojima stressed that though Metal Gear Solid V is going to push the envelope, he doesn't think all games need to do this. "I don't think necessarily that all games have to go this far; in our case we have a strong message that we want to convey," he said.