Thu, May 24, 2012 | 15:50 BST
Kojima recounts how an aspiring filmmaker became a renowned game developer
Hideo Kojima originally wanted to be a filmmaker, but there weren’t any schools in his area teaching the profession. To that end, he enrolled in university to study economics when, after seeing Nintendo’s Famicom for the first time, he found another outlet in which he could create “film-like experiences.”
Speaking with The Guardian, Kojima said the console made him realize how important video games would be in the future.
“You know, right away I thought games could become something important in the future,” he said. “That’s what swayed my decision. I wouldn’t describe it as settling so much as working with what was in front of me. And while it’s true that I entered the games industry specifically because I couldn’t find a way into movies, I soon fell in love with games.
“It’s so different to film: it’s interactive and you need to understand people in a different sort of way. I soon fell in love with the art of making games. But at the same time, I do still harbour the ambition to make a film in the future as well.
“When I announced my decision, all of my friends and lecturers begged me to reconsider. They thought I was crazy, to be honest. It was only my mother who told me that I could do whatever I wanted to in life. She was the only one.”
Kojima said even with some of the embarrassment he harbored regarding his chosen career in the face of his peers, he began looking for a company to work for and found Konami listed on the stock exchange.
“They were the only games company to be listed at the time; not even Nintendo had that accolade,” he said. “I guess it was a status thing, but I thought working for a company like that might help people to view my vocation in a more positive light.
“Right from the start I believed I was creating art. I felt like the world was waiting to see what video games could be, what they could become. It was a huge incentive to do my best, to show them.”
At Konami, Kojima found others in his situation. Others, who has wanted to create art in some other form whether it be through films, magna, or music, who for “whatever reason, hadn’t been able to make it.”
“The industry was full of dropouts, people who felt like games offered them another chance,” he said. “At Konami there was this feeling amongst us all that games were somehow important to the future. We believed in the future of the medium and that drove us to create the best possible work.”
Part two of the interview is expected later today.