I'd been aware off and on that Hideo Kojima keeps (or I should
say, kept) a public blog, but had never taken the time to read through it. Today I started digging into his posts from the beginning, and I think they're quite fascinating. His posts focus very little on game design or theory in any way-- at most he mentions in passing the goings-on of the development process at Kojima Studios. Instead, his blog entries are heavily diaristic, and demonstrate that he is an extremely observant and reflective person. The detail of his descriptions of everyday occurences and abstractions of reasoning are interesting to follow; he has a unique viewpoint, and while I find game-based writing to be useful, I think I enjoy Kojima's observations on life at large more interesting than I would his notes on game design. It's a shame his blog didn't even last four months (late Sept. 05 to early Jan. 06) but the volume of writing during that time is generous.

Upon reading his blog, I felt jealous of Kojima. Not for any of the prestige aspects of his career, but for the simple daily amenities he describes. I miss living in a city where I can walk to anywhere I care to visit. I miss having trains to ride on. I miss ducking into a cafe or record shop on a whim, just because I'm passing-- of seeing people, masses, milling about the sidewalks. I miss the corridors of the city streets. Tokyo and San Francisco are an ocean apart, but the rhythms of the lifestyle aren't so distant. Living in Sugar Land is an exercise in isolation-- when I walk to a shop, it's down long, curved, four-laned streets, lined with nothing but fences until you reach the highway. The sidewalks are empty; there are no other people around, just cars with mirrored windows streaming by. Passing the occasional jogger feels like crossing paths with another nomad in the desert. A city like San Francisco is alive-- the streets are there to be walked by me. The streets here are just for the cars to get to a house or a store. Maybe one reason I like being in the office so much is because I'm surrounded by people there.

I'm also jealous of Kojima for all the photographs of his meals:

I wish my diet were more like that. Here, I'm limited either to what I bring from the grocery store (I'm not big on cooking in the office) or what other guys in the office want to eat out or order in. My grocery stuff is either soup or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and restaurant food normally consists of something like fried meat with sauce and bread. But rice, fish and vegetables-- it's light, always tasty, relatively healthy, and won't weigh you down in the afternoon. It is not Texas cuisine.

Kojima also writes often about the dreams he has. I wish that I remembered dreaming more than I do. The last couple of nights I have had some dreams, but that's the exception. I don't know if I'd dreamt anything before that since I moved to Texas. If I dream, it's usually the dreams of a repressed mindstate-- images of violence, sex, taboo. The recurring dynamic is of movement contrained, and for a long time was of careening down a highway, out of control. Pair those together and the frequent image was of myself in the driver's seat of a car that's gone out of control, constrained to the point of being unable to reach the pedals or turn the wheel. These images make sense metaphorically, but the more visceral blood & sex stuff makes less sense to me. Is my id really so eager to exercise itself?

I'm going to try reading the rest of Kojima's blog entries today or this weekend. I also picked up Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance for the PC the other day at a used book store. I tried playing through it when it was first released and just couldn't make it. The complete absurdity of the plot and the extreme long-windedness of the exposition couldn't motivate me through the gameplay, sparse as it was. I hope I'll make it through this time. I think it deserves another chance.

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