Hideo Kojima: Bringing Techwear into the Gaming World

Father of the blockbuster series, Metal Gear, Hideo Kojima has a vast array of feathers in his hat. The Japanese titan is a well reputed Designer, Author, Director and practically laid the foundation for the genre of stealth action games in the industry. But besides his expertise in writing stories for video games Kojima is also adept at creating memorable characters for these games. Characters of his such as Snake are hard easily recognizable by the community all thanks to Kojima’s keen eye for details. Kojima is such a phenomenon in the Gaming world that the IGN named him the 6th greatest video game designer of all time. 

When Kojima’s first chart topper Metal gear was in production graphics and game mechanics could only go so far for Kojima to accurately design what he envisioned for the game. So instead of focusing on an action-based game, Kojima took inspiration from prison escape novel The Great Escape and incorporated elements of stealth based action into his game. Another retro game Portopia Serial Murder Case also broadened the scope of Kojima’s definition of a video game and pushed him to add more story, drama and humour into this otherwise rather dark and gritty game. Kojima uses humour to contrast the stress and high stakes which his games put the gamer through.

Kojima first joined Japanese video game studio Konami in 1987 where he developed the Metal Gear Series, a title with over 15 successful editions and a rich fictional universe complete with spinoffs and prequels. The series has sold over 60 million units in its lifetime. Through this series Kojima pioneered usage of elements of science fiction which seem staple in today’s pop culture such as AI, post-apocalyptic settings, pot-truth politics and dystopian futures. So rich were the details in his more retro work that at the time audiences found such depth in video games absurd. The cutscenes of the series remain an industry standard and the older titles were some of the first works to incorporate fourth wall breaks. Today his earlier work is deeply appreciated and thought to be misunderstood by previous audiences. The universe he painted has aged like a fine wine.

A key element of Kojima’s character design has been the tech wear he has shown the protagonists to wear. In games like Death Stranding the lead character works his way through a desolate and wild post-apocalyptic terrain of what used to be USA. For this Kojima taps in Yoji Shinkawa to create versatile Techwear inspired by Goretex and Acronym’s tech wear line. The Blue all terrain jacket is resilient through the unforgiving settings the character has to brave and its real-life variant went on sale for a price tag of about 1800 $ only to be sold out in minutes. The J1A-GTKP jacket which the protagonist wears comes in a navy tone and features navy GORE-TEX base contrasting black left shoulder panel and overlay upper pocket done in yellow. Additional decoration comes in the form of functionality marking phrases riddled throughout and elements of Bridges branding. The jacket also features an overlap zip funnel hood and weather resistant Interops zippers, along with a red/white/blue Bridges Porter badge on the AuxZip. In typical acronym fashion the jacket also features an anti-gravity sleeve which helps drop a phone or gun into the wearers grip through simple sleight of hand.

Kojima is perhaps best known for his tact in translating his vision for a character and its design ethos perfectly into an enthralling on screen presence. Fashion, specifically Techwear has become a key instrument for this to attract off and on-screen consumers. 

Written by Aditya Chopra