Establishing Literary Merit in Metal Gear Solid: A close critical reading

Christopher Yap, Shigeru Kashihara and Suguru Yamaguchi


Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear Solid, (MGS) is widely recognized by both gamers and industry professionals as one of the most influential games of all time. Despite this overwhelming general consensus, academic research and analysis as to why MGS enjoys that status remains scant and periphery at best. In this paper I contend that one of the ways in which the value of a game can be explained is through the use of close critical and literary readings of the text, which in this case is a game. In particular, this paper discusses the effective use of long cinematic cutscenes, historical fiction and the incorporation of a discussion of the issue of Nature vs. Nurture within the context of the game to shed some light on how video games have the potential to be studied as significant works of interactive fiction. Furthermore, the investigations in this paper are intended to contribute to current methods to analyze literary merit in other games with a narrative landscape.