In the video game world, Hideo Kojima is the equivalent of what Quentin Tarantino is for film. He’s a beloved director who, frankly can do no wrong. Most notably known for his creation of the Metal Gear series, Kojima is one of the most well-known game designers, up there with the likes of Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario), and Shinji Mikami (creator of Resident Evil.) As a result, his appearance in public is met with much excitement.
I’ve never been one to get star-struck with celebrities, including important video game directors. I imagine it probably gets annoying from their point of view that they can’t go anywhere without fans bombarding them for pictures and autographs. To me, it seems intrusive and presumptive to expect a selfie or autograph from a celebrity. But hey, that’s just me.
Recently, I attended E3, one of the biggest gaming conventions of the year, to get coverage for Game Savvy. Kojima was there promoting his new game, Death Stranding, which if you haven’t seen footage for, do yourself a favor and watch the trailer. After Konami and Kojima parted ways following the release of Metal Gear Solid V, he started his own studio, Kojima Productions, to begin production on his new project. The footage shown at E3 for Death Stranding was, in traditional Kojima fashion, weird and cryptic. This project has been in the works for at least two years and we still don’t really know what it is. Regardless, I’m sure Kojima had a ton of meetings to attend to answer questions about Death Stranding.
If you haven’t been to E3, it’s important to know that being there is freaking bananas, especially since it’s been open to the public for the past two years. Walking the show floor is not for everyone, as you’ll be met with sensory overload and wall-to-wall people. Seriously, there are a few areas that get so congested, it’s impossible to get through without squeezing through a mob of people – Much like being at a concert. Because of this, I’ve gotten used to weaving between people or finding alternate routes to get around.
Another common practice is to book appointments via E-mail or apps, in order to play demos for upcoming games. It’s recommended to do so if you can, because the lines can be absurdly long, some of which have a three-hour wait (cough RESIDENTEVIL2 cough). Anyway, you might see people on their phones often, whether it’s for booking appointments, posting one of the many pictures taken of the show floor, or maybe getting into a Twitter fight about who “won” E3. Unfortunately, there may be people on their phones who aren’t paying attention and run into others by mistake. Pro tip: don’t text and walk the E3 show floor because you may slam into people.
Now that you have context, we can begin the story. Because I’m still an E3 rookie, I’m one of the guys who doesn’t pay attention to where I’m going because I’m too busy posting pictures and messaging people about E3 events. I’m not advocating for that type of behavior, but after running into a few people because of not paying attention, I have learned my lesson. Nonetheless, me from a few months ago was stupidly excited to be at E3, especially after just having played the demo for Rage 2.
I remember walking out of the demo booth, feeling happy because not only did I just play a demo for a fun game, but the Rage 2 booth was giving out free ice cream to everyone who played their game. Shout-out to Bethesda for that. Anyway, I started heading out of this hall to go check out some other stuff, but in the process, I decided it was VITAL that I post a picture of my ice cream to Instagram.
As I made my way out of this hall, out of my peripheral vision I could see a large group of people approaching. However, since I was on my phone, I severely underestimated the amount of people closing in on me. I figured we would naturally pass each other with no problems, but as we got within mere feet of one another, I realized I had to pay attention and move out of the way, quickly. I then noticed that there were two groups of people: the main group heading towards me and a second group surrounding, taking pictures of the first group.
Well, that struck me as odd, because again, I wasn’t paying attention. By this point, I was in the thickness of the mob of people, trying to make my way through. I heard someone yell, “KOJIMA!” Could it be? THE Kojima? And then it happened. I saw him. It was weird because he just seemed like a regular dude. I guess it’s still because I’m new to all this, but seeing someone in person who you’ve only ever seen on video is sometimes surreal.
Time froze for a moment and I thought, “That’s the guy who created one of my favorite games of all time, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.” I didn’t want to bother him and I couldn’t do so, even if I wanted to because of the amount of people surrounding me. Once I realized what was happening, Kojima was a hair away from me, causing me to run into him. It wasn’t hard. But my shoulder totally grazed his arm. I didn’t even realize it was him until it was too late. All I could think to say was, “SORRY”, as I wiggled my way out of the crowd.
It still hadn’t hit me what just happened. But after a few seconds I realized that because of my negligence, I accidentally ran into one of the most famous game directors of all time. I looked down at my shirt and thought, “I’m never washing this thing ever again.” Even though I got to touch Kojima because I wasn’t paying attention, I don’t condone this. Please be kind when walking the floors of conventions and try to pay attention; Otherwise, you may inadvertently run into Hideo Kojima and that’s rude.