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Hideo Kojima reveals girlfriend's name, space travel dreams

Metal Gear creator speaks at Ginza Apple Store.


As promised last week, Hideo Kojima appeared at the Apple Store in Ginza for the shop's sixth installment in its Dream Classroom series, where speakers from a variety of fields discuss their dreams and influences. Rather than a speech, the event was conducted like an interview, first through an MC from Kadokawa Shoten, and then with the mic opening for fan questions.

The event space on the third floor of the shop was filled to capacity, requiring that some stand. Expectedly, the crowd was mostly Japanese, but there were a good number of foreigners, two of whom weren't shy about asking questions during the open Q&A part.

[end_p text="Click for more from Hideo Kojima's Dream Classroom session" /]

Held at the Apple Store in Ginza. The only game footage shown was a trailer for Metal Gear Solid Touch.

Apple will make the entire session available as a podcast in the near future (presumably in Japanese), but here are a few points that I jotted down. I'm sure Kojima die-hards have probably heard some of these little Kojima snippets before.

    [li]The main topics early in the conversation were, rather than games, books and movies. As reasons for why he likes movies and books, Kojima stated that the two introduce him to worlds that he doesn't know. He likes this particular facet more than the story and visuals.[/li]

    [li]There was a time in his childhood when he sat around all day at home and watched television. He apparently learned how to eat spaghetti through TV. He stressed, however, that he had a girlfriend. Her name was Yoshiko.[/li]

    [li]Kojima's first encounter with foreigners was at the 1970 Osaka World Fair. Later during the session, he mentioned his dream of working with people of all types -- a "Team Star Trek," he said.[/li]

    [li]Although he likes books now, he actually didn't read much as a child, causing his parents to worry.[/li]

    [li]He started reading books in the 5th grade. Among the books he read, he mentioned a novelization of Keiji Columbo, the Japanese version of the 70s American television show Columbo. The MC noted that Kojima's book interests leaned towards more adult material.[/li]

    [li]Kojima started writing books in the 5th grade as well. The MC suggested that this was a strange thing for a young child to do, but Kojima insisted that this isn't the case. A lot of people do it, he said, but secretly.[/li]

    [li]During the attendee Q&A part someone asked Kojima if any of the stories he'd written in his childhood will be used in games. Kojima laughed as he said no, explaining that the writing is very poor. He recalled receiving a package in the mail from home containing a couple of the stories. Upon showing them to his staff, there was some talk of using them for a radio drama. He gave a firm no to this.[/li]

    [li]In junior high, he started taking his writing more seriously, writing 10 pages every day after he got home from school and related activities. [Earlier, I mistakenly wrote here that Kojima had gotten his work published in Hayakawa Shobo, an SF magazine. This was incorrect. He actually submitted his work for consideration for a contest run by the magazine, but was rejected. This was the only time he submitted his writing, as he exceeded the page limit with all future projects.][/li]

    [li]One of the reasons he wrote rather than made movies initially was because there were no film schools in Kansai.[/li]

    [li]In middle school and high school, he made movies. These were short films, running 10 to 20 minutes in length. He joked about the quality, revealing such names as "Zombie." I didn't quite get the name he gave to his little production unit, but it might have been "Hidetatsu Productions."[/li]

    [li]Kojima studied economics in college. This ended up being of absolutely no use to him, he said.[/li]

    [li]His real dream was to go into space, and he recalls watching the first moon landing live. He still has this dream, and as luck would have it, a person asking a question during the Q&A session revealed that he has a friend who's working in some capacity with Virgin Galactic and that he'd introduce Kojima if he wanted.[/li]

    [li]Kojima brought up three key games in his life: Xevious, Super Mario Bros. and Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken. For Xevious, he made note of the fact that the game had actual backgrounds, compared to the black backdrops of other titles at the time. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken, a Famicom Disc System title from Dragon Quest's Yuji Hori, made him see the possibilities for film-like elements in games.[/li]


    Kojima discusses some key moments and influences in his life: the Apollo moon landing, the Osaka World Fair, and English rock band Joy Division.
    Three games that had an impact on Kojima: Xevious, Super Mario Bros., and Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (not pictured).

    One of the biggest messages I took from the event was that Kojima has some hardcore fans. The Virgin Galactic guy said, prior to his question, that he and his friends had once made a game where you get to play as Hideo Kojima.

    Another fan expressed his feelings for Kojima by sneaking in a hug:

    Kojima gets to feel the appreciation from one fan. (Please note that although this shot makes it look like Kojima is getting attacked, he's not -- it was just a quick hug).

    This was during a photo session conducted by Apple Store staff.

    Later in the Q&A session, someone asked Kojima to issue a clear statement that he'd continue working for X amount of years. The reason, he said, is that he wanted his own games to be recognized in the future by Kojima and that it would be unfortunate if he died before then.

    Fans ask questions. The guy with the Virgin Galaxy friend to the left, and the guy who wants to be recognized by Kojima to the right.

    This person apparently has nothing to worry about, as Kojima plans on making games for as long as possible. He even went so far as to say that he wants to die making games.

    He's so sure of his desire to keep on making games, in fact, that he put it on this mock resume that was shown during the session:

    Kojima's mock resume.

    The promise is in the bottom right: "I'd like to continue being on the scene making games until I die."

    The only thing that would make him give up on games, he joked, is a chance to go to space. Thankfully that Virgin Galactic space tourism thing is still a ways off, meaning we'll at the very least get Kojima's next game.

    Regarding that next game, the MC was sure to ask about this, but Kojima's basic reply was to check back at E3. Those seeking hints can analyze Kojima's precise wording in the podcast.

    Apple had Kojima and attendees pose for a commemorative group pic.

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