Hideo Kojima, best known for his Metal Gear franchise, has been presented with the inaugural Bradford UNESCO City of Film Award for Cinematography in Videogames.
Kojima originally started out as a film director, before making the leap to the burgeoning 1980s games industry following exposure to games including Shigeru Miyamoto's Super Mario Bros. It wasn't until 1998 and the launch of Metal Gear Solid, a rebooting of a top-down stealth shooter franchise launched in 1987, that his passions truly collided: the storage space available on CD-ROM and the 3D rendering engine offered by Sony's PlayStation allowed for a game containing an immersive mix of cut-scenes and voice acting which drew gamers into the world.
Although critics would point to the decades-spanning story of the Metal Gear franchise as overly complex, and the half-hour long cutscenes of the most recent games excessive, Kojima's creations have been extremely successful. Now, West Yorkshire's Bradford - named as the UNESCO City of Film and home to the National Media Museum - has granted Kojima its first award for the use of cinematography in videogames, a move which may help the ever-present argument of videogames-as-art find a resolution at long last, as part of the Bradford Animation Festival.
'Ever since I was a child, I've loved movies. I feel like 70 per cent of my body is made of movies,
' Kojima explained in his acceptance speech for the award. 'I grew up under the influence of movies, and I am proud to accept an award associated with film.
'With the ever-advancing technology there are clear synergies between film techniques and gaming, and Metal Gear Solid was one of the pioneers in this area in my view,
' claimed David Wilson, director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film. 'Bradford has a long history in pioneering film technology dating back to the dawn of cinema and we are currently looking at emerging technologies within the sector which can enhance the art of story telling through film, animation and gaming.
Kojima's short acceptance speech can be viewed below.