Like Hideo Kojima’s prior work, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes opens with a claim to videogame auteurism, confidently assuming the artistic import of the introductory text “A Hideo Kojima Game.” Videogames frequently invoke the auteur temperament of cinema, placing credence in the authorial vision of a singular author and further bridging the influence of one medium on another. Occasionally, opponents levy criticism against the increasing cinematic influence on videogames and against cutscenes in particular, charging that this passive storytelling device robs the inherently interactive quality of the medium. Such a claim, of course, severely limits what videogames can do and blatantly ignores the reality that all artistic mediums borrow from and are in constant conversation with one another. Moreover, the criticism disregards the artistic wealth of videogame authorship, because cutscenes shift the storytelling agency away from the player and back to the developer’s unrivaled vision of the narrative. The cutscene’s vacillating control over narrative agency remains a fundamental tension unique in videogames, building upon – and not simply borrowing from – the work of cinema.
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