Death Stranding hits even harder after lockdown

I recently started reading Hideo Kojima’s The Creative Gene, a collection of essays by the designer on a wide range of pop culture topics: re-releases of anime he loved to watch as a child, reviews of new science fiction novels, retrospectives on great films. As anyone interested in Kojima’s work might expect, this is a book that oscillates between searing insight and boring navel-gazing. You are engrossed in some pages and your eye skips to the next paragraph on others.

Although the book is a purse of essays with no real common thread, it has a theme: loneliness. When Kojima writes about a given topic, he tends to relate it to periods of his life, some of which are described in detail. The book is full of ghosts, Kojima’s father in particular, and the way Kojima thinks about certain works is tied to his early experiences in the context of his own life. While the general tone of things always returns to triumphant – Kojima never hesitates to add a reference to his own hugely successful work – this is a book riddled with feelings of isolation and, in some cases, futile regrets.