The Blind Spot of 'Genius': Kojima and Griffith

I'm really fond of the Brainy Gamer, mostly because Michael Abbott's posts almost always live up to the title of the blog; this week, he tackled the question of 'genius' and auteurs, amongst a lot of MGS 4 talk (especially in reference to Citizen Kane). Abbott looks at the parallels between D.W. Griffith (director of Birth of a Nation and Intolerance, among a lot of others) and Kojima Hideo of Metal Gear fame. Leaving aside the question of whether Kojima 'is' a genius (at the very least, he is an auteur), Abbott draws parallels between the two, especially in terms of a 'blind spot':

His theater training may have impaired him in some ways, but Griffith always hired interesting, talented people. Lillian Gish almost single-handedly rescues several of Griffith's films from the ham-fisted performances of most of the other actors.

Similarly, Kojima's reliance on cutscenes can be tiresome, but he is a fine and gifted filmmaker. One can easily track his maturation from the original MGS. Unlike other so-called cinematic games like Mass Effect, the filmmaking in MGS4 is visually creative, high-caliber stuff. As with Lillian Gish, it's almost enough to make you forget the blind spots.

So how to account for it? Arrogance? Stubbornness? Or is it really just a blind spot? A certain inability to see the strangling grip of an old mode on a new one. An infatuation with the pretty girl who won't love you back. If the very thing that limits the artist is also the artist's primary mechanism for delivering content - as it is for both Griffith and Kojima - that blind spot is a very pernicious thing.

No one's perfect, of course — but Abbott's musings are thought provoking, especially considering the overabundance of film/game discussions.

The genius blind spot [The Brainy Gamer]