de Vasconcelos Guimarães [Abstract]

Apocalyptic souls: the existential (anti) hero metaphor in the Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater, Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes games [Full text]

Daniel de Vasconcelos Guimarães [1]

Abstract:  In the present study, I drew a correlation between Søren Kierkegaard’s (1813-1855) existentialist theory and apocalyptic representations in the Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater, Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes video games (Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, Kojima Productions, 2004, 2010 and 2014). In this successful franchise, the game’s main character, ‘Snake’ personifies ‘the knight of infinite resignation,’ the ‘tragic hero’ in ‘the infinite movement’ towards the achievement of ‘higher causes’. Also, Snake’s mentor ‘The Boss’, who sacrifices herself in order to reconcile the world from its 1960’s Cold War antagonism would represent another Kierkegaard notion called ‘the knight of faith’, who believes in his/her faith (the cause) above all things. Such character traits enrich both gameplay and game narrative and the overall experience by introducing philosophical inquiries to the player. The methodology utilized was a free-form semiotic framework with emphasis on the symbolic representations along with Kierkegaard’s existentialism and other philosophical constructs as well.

Keywords: Metal Gear Solid, philosophy, ethics, semiotics, video games, Kierkegaard

[1] Graduate School of Science and Technology, Digital Content Studies, Meiji University, Japan,