What Metal Gear Solid 2 says about the information age

Metal Gear Solid 2: Children of Freedom, the second installment in the Metal Gear series, focuses on digital communication and computer technologies, such as the effects of the Internet and information flow. on the modern world. In an era whose name is tied to the acceleration of information transfer, the game talks about the effects that controlling such developments and controlling the flow of information can have on societies that are becoming more dependent on this information and digital communication. In the heated debate over Internet freedom or censorship, Metal Gear Solid 2 certainly does not have a comfortable explanation for the nature of modern digital communication and its control by governments and private organizations. but Metal Gear Solid 2 tells how controlling access to information becomes an important tool for world conquest.

BingMag.com What Metal Gear Solid 2 says about the information age

Metal Gear Solid 2: Children of Freedom, the second installment in the Metal Gear series, focuses on digital communication and computer technologies, such as the effects of the Internet and information flow. on the modern world. In an era whose name is tied to the acceleration of information transfer, the game talks about the effects that controlling such developments and controlling the flow of information can have on societies that are becoming more dependent on this information and digital communication. In the heated debate over Internet freedom or censorship, Metal Gear Solid 2 certainly does not have a comfortable explanation for the nature of modern digital communication and its control by governments and private organizations. but Metal Gear Solid 2 tells how controlling access to information becomes an important tool for world conquest.

Controlling the world with information control

BingMag.com What Metal Gear Solid 2 says about the information age

Metal Gear Solid 2 revolves around the Patriots: an outlaw group that secretly seeks global control of society, politics, and economics. To achieve this goal, they want to close digital channels and monitor the mass distribution of information. This is exactly what Kojima said about technology and its double-edged sword (when powerful organizations use technological advances for questionable purposes). The group of patriots wants to use this technology and control the flow of information in the society to stabilize and increase its power. As a result, what we see in the story called "Arsenal Gear" is not a weapon, but a mobile and defensive device that can control information through all the digital channels in the world. Emma Emerick, George W(ashington's) lead AI developer for Arsenal Gear, talks about the Patriots' method and their goals:

In this day and age, information is generated from all directions, and distributed freely. The speed of transferring this information also increases almost daily [...] political scandal, commercial corruption; So far, the Patriots have been able to gloss over these and other events that are not in their favor. But with the current information processing system they have, it is no longer possible to control the flow of information on an individual level. But with the new system they built, digital information and its distribution has become controllable. Now it is possible to categorize important information at different levels, filter it and delete it whenever necessary without the public ever knowing about it. By clearing such information, patriots can engineer the course of history as they want.

These concerns about information and its flow in the modern world are similar to what Jean-Francis Lyotard, the theorist of postmodernism, has already said in The book "postmodern condition" had expressed. In addition to pointing to the transformation of knowledge in complex information societies, Lyotard asserts:

Knowledge will become an essential component of international power contests, and modern nation-states may fight over territory as they once did. Tomorrow they will fight over the control of information. [] Knowledge and power are simply two sides of the same coin: who decides what knowledge is, and who has the authority to decide the answer to it? In the era of computers, the issue of knowledge and its flow becomes more of a question for governments.

BingMag.com What Metal Gear Solid 2 says about the information age

Mimetics

Liotard's writings show that controlling the flow of information to engineer the flow of history is a secondary outcome of the postmodern condition of the information age. Metal Gear Solid 2 shows this perfectly and at the same time aligns with Richard Dawkins' theory of memes. Published in 1987, the book "The Selfish Gene" by Dawkins considers memes as a tool to measure the cultural evolution of ideas:

Memes can be, for example, sounds, ideas, phrases, fashions of clothing, methods of making pots or arches of buildings. Just as the gene reproduces itself in the gene vault by jumping from one body to another, through sperms or eggs, so memes reproduce themselves in the gene vault by jumping from one brain to another. This process, if we want to say it very generally, can be called imitation. If a scientist reads or sees a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues and students, or mentions it in his articles and lectures. If others can get this idea, then that meme is reproducing itself and going from one brain to another.

BingMag.com What Metal Gear Solid 2 says about the information age

According to the theory of memes, in an ocean of so much digital information that no one has control over, Arsenal Gear empowers the Patriots to put that information into natural selection and direct the discourse of the public mind, so that Radical or opposing ideas should be erased in favor of the information that the patriots see fit to maintain their power. It brings up something interesting: the Metal Gear Solid series itself, like other cultural forms, is a meme. However, players play the game, think about its themes, talk to other gamers about its content, post and discuss in Internet forums, and give away copies of the game encoded on a disc. The Metal Gear Solid series, now played by tens of millions of players worldwide, has itself become a large and powerful source of memes. It is not surprising that Kojima himself says in the summary of his collection that the theme behind every Metal Gear is the gene [the first version], the meme [the second version] and the curtain [the third version], and he dedicated one version of this collection to this concept. /p>

Hypertext

Deliberate use of memes to convey a message creates a problem and that is the repetition of the game. Although the basis of the transmission and preservation of memes is this repetition, it prevents doing something creative with it (in this case, it means making a new and creative game) and it seems that this game is nothing but an imitation of past memes. In fact, one of the criticisms leveled at Metal Gear Solid 2 was that some of its features are a repeat of the first version: the bosses, the cyborg ninja, Metal Gear Rey, and the interrogation and torture sequence.

Soon after The release of Metal Gear Solid 2, Kojima Productions released an interesting interactive DVD called "The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2", which discusses the same thing, how this repetition and imitation itself refers to a Another postmodern fan is Hypertext. Postmodern scholars mean by this term that a creative work is simply a collection of different sources and inspirations, and therefore gives the reader, viewer, and in this particular case, the player, infinite ways to discover and interpret the text.

The image and sequence are placed. All these images and text that come together at speed intentionally saturate our vision and in a way it says that all the sources that the game refers to are not in a particular order. It is a reflection of the endless flow of digital information itself that forms the backbone of the modern Internet, and a reminder that the Patriots' ultimate goal is to engineer and direct this turbulent ocean with an arsenal of gear.

After this cinematic opening, The DVD includes a dozen more episodes that can be accessed from the main menu. These sections include the story, game map, characters and background. When the player/viewer goes to a certain section, for example the history section, they see the timeline of the game's production. Some of the writings on the timeline are highlighted, and by clicking on it, we reach several other menus and sub-menus. For example, in one section, we see the construction team's research on the Verrazano Bridge in Manhattan, and it includes images and architecture that can be examined individually. Again, in this section, the viewer reaches another menu that shows the rendering of these architectural buildings. Again another menu comes up showing the artists who modeled these and another menu where the designer's portfolio can be seen. [everything refers to something else and thus hypertext is created].

The whole DVD works like this: we see a seemingly endless ocean of information that directs the viewer to images, short films, web links, resources for reading More, it provides the initial plans of the builders and... The Metal Gear Solid 2 documentation shows how the entire Metal Gear Solid series is a secondary result of a hypertext; It consists of various types of artifacts that it refers to and reaches the final product that we see. It also shows the role of hypertext in the writing and production of creative products (in matters as diverse as military research, art design, story themes or building motivations for characters).

Kojima nicely points out that despite all the technical developments in the industry, But most of the games are not completely original products but hypertext, a collection of old ideas that were already firmly rooted in literature, cinema, history, art and other games. Even the completely new games that shout from afar are innovative and claim to create a new "experience", finally we see that the future generations will use their innovations in future games and become part of the hypertext.

BingMag.com What Metal Gear Solid 2 says about the information age

Unknown Unknown [1]

That an organization like the Patriots alone can control the flow of information and ideas in society is really a scary thought. . Since the existence of such an organization is hidden from the public mind, what they do cannot be checked by the people. In the end, Metal Gear Solid 2 leaves players wondering how to take down a secret organization like the Patriots. Since the flow of information is completely at their disposal, no movement can be formed against them, and as a result, there will be no revolution. The story is this The difficult question does not give a simple answer.

Examining topics such as digital information control, memes and hypertext in video games is not a small task, but Metal Gear Solid 2 has successfully demonstrated how these three topics work together and At the same time, how do they affect the information age? This clever combination works perfectly, showing how the Metal Gear Solid series gets more complex and explores more theoretical issues with each passing issue.

1. The author used the phrase "Unknown Unknown", which probably refers to the famous statement of Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense of the United States: "As you know, we have knowledge of knowledge, that is, there are things that we know that we know." Then we have unknown knowledge, that is, there are things that we know that we do not know. But unknown unknown means things we don't know that we don't know." In the text of the article, it is mentioned that the patriots are an organization that we do not know that we do not know that they exist. (m)

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