Hideo Kojima's Worldwide Tech Tour Sparks Existential Beard Crisis


Earlier this week legendary video game designer Hideo Kojima and scary-smart PS4 architect Mark Cerny embarked on a tour to see the biggest and best video game developers in the world.

Kojima recently founded a new studio and is currently trying to familiarise himself with technology on the bleeding edge of game development.

To what end? We’re not exactly sure. It seems he’s on some sort of vision quest. It’s kind of like Easy Rider but with less drugs (probably) and more expensive cameras.

Thus far, Kojima and Cerny have met with Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams and they visited Sony’s motion-capture studio in San Diego to see the tech used for Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. They also had dinner with Hollywood veteran Kyle Cooper.

The latest leg of his tour took him to see Sucker Punch, the studio behind the Infamous series. While there he discussed what type of Star Wars underwear he was wearing with studio founder Brian Fleming (and probably some other stuff too).

Both of these guys were bragging about wearing STAR WARS underpants! lol Brian had Chewbacca & HK had Darth Vader. pic.twitter.com/T6dReRRjFv

— Ayako (Touchy!) (@Kaizerkunkun) January 21, 2016

But it seems Kojima’s adventure is as much a journey of self-discovery as a tech scouting trip. Among all this, somewhat unexpectedly, he turned to his loyal fans on Twitter and asked if he should shave his beard.

Should I shave?

— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) January 21, 2016

This is a rare moment of uncertainty for Kojima, who until now has always portrayed himself as a confident visionary, ever with his finger on the pulse, tirelessly leading the charge in creating innovative, creative video games.

During his tenure at Konami, Kojima delivered numerous critically acclaimed Metal Gear games, rising through the ranks to eventually become the gaming legend he’s revered as today. Throughout this, he’s been clean shaven (see below for evidence).

Hideo Kojima's Worldwide Tech Tour Sparks Existential Beard Crisis
Pictured: Kojima

But the tumultuous development of Metal Gear Solid V, during which he reportedly clashed with upper management, seemed to have sparked a shift in identity.

When he reappeared in December to announce a partnership with Sony, he looked to be a rougher, more rugged version of himself, complete with a barely contained grimace and the kind of beard a drug lord develops when trying to evade a manhunt.

Hideo Kojima's Worldwide Tech Tour Sparks Existential Beard Crisis
Pictured: Punished Kojima

This journey seems to be having a profound impact on Kojima. At the risk of reading too deeply into his tweet this may be a sign that this trip is about more than just finding cool new technology to use in the creation of his new game. This may be a cleansing ritual undertaken to purge the old demons and begin anew.

Anyways, there’s still a few more days left on his tour and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on where he is and the state of his beard. Also I don’t know if you know this, but Deadly Premonition creator Swery has ridden an elephant and a tiger. What a guy.

I ride on elephant when I was 22 years old. And ride on tiger at 30, ride on camel at 31. What should I ride next on?

— SWERY (@Swery65) January 21, 2016