EF12 SHOW NOTES
Looking to play or download the episode? Click here…(EF12) S1-E10: Wired to Fail: Leveling Up in the Game of Life (Season One, Episode Ten)
What defines us?
The big question driving Episode EF12 is … What defines us? What have you done in your life that makes you feel proud? Although it can be anything — from having a satisfying job to a blossoming relationship with a person you love, we often don’t know what defines us. It’s not as easy as its three simple words imply.
Put another way, if you had to give up everything in your mind and only rebuild it with 10% of what’s currently in it, which parts would you consider worthy of keeping? And is it the contents of our minds or our actions that define us? This is a question deeply pondered by the world’s philosophers and the protagonist of Episode EF12 is plagued by a grandiose vision of how we might find an answer to this
Kojima is the creator of some of the most successful video games in history. Starting his career back when the gaming industry was relatively new, his peers discouraged him for straying into unknown waters. After stacking up multiple failures in the late ’80s, finally Kojima’s game Metal Gear became a huge success.
The most fascinating thing about Hideo Kojima is his will to constantly break new grounds, no matter the risk. Even now, long after Kojima secured himself a seat amongst the greatest game developers, he isn’t settling down. Usually, each next generation is the one that brings a new revolution in a specific industry. But, in this case, Kojima’s dominance is spilling over.
Shortly after quitting Konami, the video game company Kojima helped to build, he announced Death Stranding, which came out in early November of 2019. Just like his previous work, the game broke new ground by entertaining, confusing, and shocking the audience. The most important factor is that to Kojima, failure or success seems to be just one of the risks of evolution that he doesn’t seem to care about.
HOW HIDEO KOJIMA INSPIRES EPISODE EF12
You might already know that although what we do with our minds defines us, there’s more to the puzzle. Kojima’s work spanning over two decades defines him as a master game designer. But what specifically led to him defining himself in this way, we may never know. The goal of Episode EF12 was to hope to glimpse into the process via the protagonist of Episode EF12 and see how deep the rabbit hole might go.
Hideo Kojima seems to constantly be on the brink of groundbreaking new work, so if you’re interested at all in video games, here are some more deep dive on him to investigate further:
INSPIRATIONS: Episode EF12 is inspired by Erich Fromm, a social psychologist who focused on researching how we can be better people for ourselves and others. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis and the idea that we’re defined by our childhood toilet habits. Friedrich Nietzsche, a philosopher who by criticizing other philosophers figured out that good and evil go together. EF12 was further inspired by Bennett Foddy, Akira Kurosawa, Pyrrhus of Epirus, Super Mario, Charlie Brooker, Isaac Asimov, Elon Musk.
Episode EF12 Summary
Infuriated by the risk-averse approach of his company, Vihaan Raid decides to design his latest game on his own. A widely renowned game developer known to the gaming world as “Koji,” believes he can entirely change how humans see life with his radical new video game concept. He teams up with a respected psychologist to make sure his vision will manipulate the human psyche as he suspects it will—a critical factor to the game’s potential. As Koji slowly reveals secretive details of his mysterious concept, Isaac becomes more and more suspicious of the game’s true intentions.
Fear is engrained in all of us, but as Erich Fromm described, there are two main types. First, are sadomasochistic characters who kill the fear by being dependent on either controlling or being controlled. Second is the revolutionary character who embraces the fear of being a free human. Similarly, the famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought there is little to no difference between success and failure when it comes to their functionality. The human mind is engraved with a false belief that success is heaven and failure is hell. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sigmund Freud believed our unconscious thoughts and desires define us. Perhaps heaven is a place where our unconscious desires define us, but not control us; and hell … well, just look at the commercials.
Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom (Farrar & Rinehart, 1941)
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Joyful Wisdom (Nietzsche Love of Fate Book Series, 2010), Kindle Edition
Sigmund Freud, Introduction to Psychoanalysis (Martino Publishing, 2009)
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