What’s to become of sensitive children who watch naked people having sex on TV? In Hideo Kojima’s case, fame, fortune, and a life-long obsession with moviemaking. In an interview in The Guardian the Metal Gear Solid creator recalls his parents nightly tradition of gathering around the family television to watch imported movies.
“I wasn’t allowed to go to bed till the film had finished: the opposite of how it is for most children. My parents were huge fans of westerns, European cinema and horror in particular. They wouldn’t just show me kids’ films. I’d even see the sex scenes.”
Kojima’s parents also encouraged the impressionable youngster to go to the cinema, allowing him to see any movie he wanted.
“I was allowed to go on the condition that I came home and discussed the movie with them afterwards. I had to buy the film brochure and bring it back with me. Then we would talk about the movie’s themes and direction; what I felt.”
I had a similar arrangement with my own parents growing up. Nothing was forbidden. I could watch any movie I wanted–often because it featured a brief nipple slip or shot of pubic hair, which drove playground rumors amongst my curiosity friends–but I had to agree to sit through it with either parent and then discuss it afterward.
The experience taught me that most salacious or controversial content in movies was pretty mundane and obviously faked. Which made the rumormongering about Robocop‘s death of Murphy scene or Basic Instinct‘s labial glimpse seem even more absurd.
I’ve always found Kojima’s games strangely reticent and asexual–even when they tease players with cleavage and inuendo–so it’s surprising to hear his parents allowed him to watch imported nudie flicks. Especially in Metal Gear Solid 4, which closes with a wedding where the groom is almost embarrassed about having to kiss the bride. One would think such exposure at an early age would have made him freer with his depictions of sexuality.