We were all impressed by Kojima’s biblical return at Sony’s E3 2016 conference, where he revealed his mysterious and strange new game, Death Stranding, starring Norman Reedus. Kojima has been keen to discuss it in interviews and social media, without giving much away.
The first tool that human being invented was STICK but you get disconnected your umbilical CORD when you are born. pic.twitter.com/dKjsqArhGf
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) June 17, 2016
Hideo Kojima has dropped some more information along with an image of the Death Stranding poster. Not only are these are couple of new nuggets about Death Stranding, but human nature itself. The two are very much connected it seems. We’ve broken it down to look at thematically.
Kojima revealed in his tweet that STICK was the first tool invented by human beings. What kind of STICK? Who knows? But, surely, sticks existed before humans, right? Wrong, while sticks may have existed before humans, we are the ones that named it “STICK” or an equivalent in a different language. Furthermore, Kojima is discussing the stick here purely in its use as a “tool”. Humans are one of few animals that can create and utilise “tools”. We use our intelligence to find solutions, and to shape the world around us. In this sense we bend “nature” to create a “tool” out of a “STICK”. In a way the STICK is at the essence of all game design.
Kojima turns his initial statement on its head when he brings in the Umbilical CORD. Yes, the STICK is the first tool invented by humans — nature turned to human use by human minds. But the Umbilical CORD is the first tool “used” by humans, one of nature’s own specific design. The Umbilical CORD is a vital part of life, a tool used to keep us alive and nurtured. We are birthed by “tools” and we create “tools” in their image. Where does the cycle start and where does it begin?
STICK and CORD in Death Stranding
In the trailer we see Norman Reedus naked and stranded on some kind of weird death beach. When we first see him there are two things that catch your attention — the sci-fi handcuffs, and the baby attached to him by some kind of artificial umbilical CORD. Man’s invention of tools has come full circle — what happens when it is humanity creating the Umbilical CORD as a “tool”? Nature begets invention begets nature once more. The lines between creation and created are blurred. Perhaps we will find the answers in Death Stranding. Or perhaps we will find nothing at all…