I am mostly Kojima adjacent as a gamer. I feel strongly that I need to be aware of his movement and current location, like when you see a spider in the house; it’s worthwhile to reserve a few cycles to store this data. I love to watch other people play them, and the strangeness - whatever might be said in the strip - is important. Not just where it is in his work, in its own context, but because of the people it inspires to see the state of play and be like, you know what? Fuck all that.
I’m always trying to know people via their work. It’s an inexact science. What Minecraft tells us about Notch I couldn’t tell you; what Infiniminer means to Zachary Barth now might be interesting. But Kojima is always present. If you look behind you when you are playing, if you turn your head quick enough, you’ll him perched on a bookshelf with a little smile. He will make a beak with his right hand, place it in front of his mouth, and then open and close it. If you look for him again, he will not be there.
It’s like with Bioshock. Whether you’re in a bathysphere being harangued about self-interest, or in an office of rich oak being harangued about self-interest, or when you are murdering a person at their behest, or buying mutations from a vending machine, Ken Levine is there. You can feel his hot breath on your neck, and you are aware at some level that he has no pants.
Kentucky Route Zero I can honestly say is my favorite game; I’m not trying to make a point with that, although is somebody were to tell me that Kentucky Route Zero is honestly their favorite game, I would assume that they were trying to impress me.
What I like about it is the sense that I’m being watched by the game. Games are aware of us through our inputs or position, but these are all reducible factors. It tries to be aware of other things, where your headspace is at, because you’re always putting your stamp on things and it’s always remembering them, like when the diner lady knows on some Diner Lady Level need coffee and doesn’t even ask. And then it pays you for your time and curiosity in unpredictable ways. I always feel like they are there with me, but I don’t want to look, because I’m sure I’d be right and it would be fucking weird. And besides, I don’t need to. I can feel the warmth of a hand on my shoulder, which says, “Look, look at what have made, and you have made it with us.”