The Most Profound Moment in Gaming History

The Most Profound Moment in Gaming History


For the past four years on this channel, I have made videos on various topics,
but by far the most popular form of video I have done centers on video game analysis.
What I think made them so popular is that instead of being your usual video game review,
I have focused primarily on narrative.
Specifically, I have focused on what I believe are the best stories in the video game canon.
For twenty-odd years, video game narratives have been demonstrating a capacity to confuse
entice, and emotionally manipulate their audience in the most positive of ways.
Most recently, in fact, I have been putting forth the argument that video game narratives have demonstrated such sufficient profundity,
that they sometimes have matched the greatest stories told in other mediums.
To continue our collective celebration of our modern-day digital mythology, I would finally like to give full
attention to a game which, I would argue, has the most profound moment in gaming history.
I refer to the final codec conversation from Metal Gear Solid 2.
While I have done several videos on Metal Gear Solid 2 in the past,
I have never given full analytic attention to this specific moment.
The main reason why is because somebody has already done so.
My all-time favorite YouTube video is titled
“The Most Profound Moment in Gaming: MGS2 AI Conversation Analysis”.
Though it was released almost nine years ago, by its creator LogosSteve,
I pondered for a while how I might do a better job than he did.
However, given our current cultural context,
I believe I have a few other worthwhile things to contribute.
The advent of subjects like “Fake News”, the resurgence of rampant political correctness,
and our tendency towards online tribalism has imbued this conversation with a much denser sense of meaning.
To those who consider themselves gamers, but have never played a Metal Gear Solid game,
you are obligated to at least listen to this final conversation.
Not only will you be enlightened by its philosophical commentary,
but you will be terrified by its implications, as I have been for my entire life.
Up until the end of the game, the main character Raiden believed he was receiving orders
from a man named Colonel Roy Campbell, a man who was also Solid Snake’s commander throughout Metal Gear Solid 1.
At the end of Metal Gear Solid 2, Raiden learned that his Colonel was in fact an artificial intelligence
manipulating Raiden to perform its political bidding.
The bidding in question refers to the A.I.’s desire to control the human race
by controlling the spread of information via the press and the Internet
but we’ll focus on that more in a moment.
During the first part of this conversation, the audience learns how this A.I. came to be,
and surprisingly, it is similar to the way human beings as a species came to be.
Unlike the origin of human life in the oceans, the A.I.’s quote-unquote “life”
had its basis in American idealism, hence the A.I.’s referencing of the White House as a symbol.
In the mind of the A.I., their purpose is to push forward American values
things like freedom, equality, and healthy competition.
However, Raiden points out what should be an obvious contradiction in the A.I.’s thought process:
that the AI wants to take away those freedoms via censorship.
Not only are the A.I. about to argue for the ethics of controlling information,
but they are going to do so in a very condescending manner.
As we move on, I suggest that you, the listener, pay attention to how the A.I. demeans Raiden.
Their pomposity is intrinsic to the effectiveness of their future argument.
What the A.I. is trying to do here is illustrate how genes function similar to how memes function.
If genes are, quote,
“a unit of heredity which is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring”,
then a meme is something like an ethic, a fact, or an opinion that later generations inherit.
Like genes, memes are also subject to a process called “natural selection.”
If certain organisms are better adapted to their environment than others,
then their genes are passed on to the next generation while others have the potential to die off.
Similarly, if certain memes seemingly hold enough meaning or logic,
then supposedly they survive better than memes that do not.
What distinguishes memes from genes is the nature of the selection process.
Genes are more-or-less subject to the amoral discretion of nature,
but memes can we analyzed and weeded out via moral discretion.
However, the A.I. will now illustrate how the natural selection of memes bears a unique problem in the Internet age, compared to the past few centuries.
Prior to the Internet age, information was curated.
We read about the news in newspapers, watched the news on TV,
and it was all funnelled to us after passing through a, hopefully, professional body.
Granted, there was a greater potential for curators such as journalists,
editors and academics to manipulate information to fit their various political biases,
but at least there was some form of selection process going on.
In the age of the Internet, however, information is released so fast
that it is impossible to control the discussion.
Instead of listening exclusively to reporters, we are left to our own devices to derive what is valuable.
Except unlike the curators in the pre-digital age,
the general population does not know how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
We will focus on small, trivial issues like a celebrity’s love life
rather than macroissues such as the cumulative monetary debt of the Western world.
We will only listen to news sources that confirm our pre-existing political leanings,
and ignore any challenging voices.
If it sounds like I am engaging in apologetics for censorship, I am not.
I would never censor information under any circumstances,
but, what does one do in respect to the destructive influence of human bias?
The A.I. goes on to propose a solution.
The A.I. argues that because they are not prone to human error
and have inner CPUs with greater processing power than the human brain,
they would know how to curate information and present it to the human race in a way that doesn’t slow human evolution.
Unlike your average political body which might censor information that is inconvenient to their cause,
the A.I. would simply present information in the most factual way possible so that political bias would not intervene,
thus cooling political tensions across the political spectrum.
Of course, if something like the A.I.’s censorship program came into place,
ethical questions would arise regarding whether or not this compromises human freedom…
specifically our quote-unquote “free will.”
Ideally, human beings should have the autonomy to make their own decisions, no matter what mistakes may follow.
In response, the A.I. argues why the problems that arise from that freedom, supposedly necessitate censorship.
Here, the A.I. illustrates here the various ways in which human error corrupts truth.
That human error arises from an instinctual drive
to protect ourselves emotionally and physically, which truth tends to threaten.
For instance, let’s say a religious fundamentalist is confronted with various scientific truths that challenge their worldview.
Let’s say the fundamentalist loses faith when confronted by those truths.
What happens psychologically is that because the fundamentalist no longer has a belief system to make sense of the world,
they are thrown into a mental pit of confusion and resentment.
That loss of structure and certainty is so painful to the ideologue
that it seems it would be better to avoid that feeling at all costs.
This instinct is endemic to almost all human beings.
This is why we separate ourselves into political tribes and won’t consider the ethical implications of our positions.
For instance, is it right to be pro-choice, or pro-life?
Instead of considering the validity of either side’s argument,
the pro-life crowd will chastise the pro-choice crowd as being on par with murderers,
and the pro-choice crowd will chastise the pro-life crowd as being misogynist, religious zealots that want to control women.
These low-resolution assumptions exacerbate tensions
between political parties and can potentially lead to violent conflict.
Most people will avoid these difficult conversations to preserve order,
but if you ignore them long enough, political positions become cemented,
and people will kill each other before they admit that they’re wrong about something.
The A.I. then present a future where human bias corrupts the flow of information.
As we saw in the 20th century, whether it is with Hitler’s fascism, or Stalin and Mao’s communism,
the ideologically possessed would rather kill millions in the name of their ideology
rather than consider the arguments of their political opponents.
We see this type of attitude in its nascent stages in the digital age.
Whether it’s calling everybody who disagrees with you a racist,
sexist, homophobic Nazi, or a West-hating communist,
this attitude is pervasive throughout social media, forums and comment sections.
This type of inflammatory language has further polarized our political climate,
and has resulted in violent clashes.
In the mind of the A.I., this is due to the fact that we insulate ourselves
by staying inside our little ponds, and casting all outsiders and dissidents as bad people.
If this continues to happen, who knows what violent, oppressive future might manifest?
Unlike the reality of MGS2, where a supposedly benevolent A.I. can make the hard decisions for us,
our reality might become a sort of Orwellian nightmare, which the A.I. wants to prevent.
I want to remind you all that Metal Gear Solid 2 came out in 2001.
This game was warning us about the advent of “fake news”,
misinformation and half truths, roughly two decades before the issue captured our collective attention.
Worse yet, not only do the A.I.s describe a potentially dystopian future
for both our reality and the reality of the game,
but they also make us inadvertently realize that we currently have no constructive solution to the problem.
The only tactic available at the moment is for individuals to strengthen their moral compass,
and call out misinformation where possible.
However, given humanity’s inherent imperfection, even the best of us are prone to mistakes.
Worse yet, instead of bolstering the best among us despite their mistakes,
we will feverishly exacerbate the mistakes of our opponents for political gain.
We see this quite vividly in what has been aptly termed “call-out culture.”
For instance, it is thanks to this culture that there is no host for the Oscars this year.
It is thanks to this culture that people will be fired from their job over a tweet they made ten years ago.
A person might even be fired for a tweet that was taken out of context,
when said person did nothing wrong whatsoever.
Worst of all, it is thanks to this culture
that we will elect politicians not based on their ethics or policies,
but on how effectively they can punch the other side.
… and let me re-emphasize, we have no solution to this problem.
In the reality of MGS2, however, a hypothetical solution is presented:
because people abuse the responsibility that comes along with freedom of speech and expression,
and would rather attack people than their ideas,
a system that controls information must be set up, supposedly for our own good.
The A.I. go into more detail regarding this solution as the conversation goes on.
However, that analysis will have to be saved for the second part of this video.
Thank you so much for watching, ladies and gentlemen.
If you liked this video and understand the importance of the message I’m trying to convey, please share it around.
Also, I implore you to check out LogosSteve’s original video, “The Most Profound Moment in Gaming.”
9 years later, it is still my favorite YouTube video ever, and I think you will get a lot of value out of it.
If you want to see my other Metal Gear related content, please click on one of the videos you see on screen now.
And hey, if you like that, maybe consider subscribing!

100 thoughts on “The Most Profound Moment in Gaming History”

  1. I’m proud to have been involved with such an iconic and thought provoking entity. Kojima-san, I hold you in the highest regard. Brilliant, then. Brilliant, now. Well done, Max!

  2. So this reminds me of Deus ex: Human Revolution where there was a news anchor Eliza Cassan that was actually an AI that was produced to control and censor the media in a way.

  3. Just beat this game for the first time this year. This conversation got so real, it scared the shit out of me.

  4. SOME people utilize herd mentality, not all. This has nothing to do with a digital age, computers, information or technology. Its just how some people choose to behave. Its inherit human nature, but resistable by a tempered discipline, a strong willed soul.

    I disagree that information is faster or more readily available. Libraries have existed for thousands of years. Its merely the convenience that is better, and that has nothing to do with information. One must still make a choice to seek out and absorb information. I personally do not read the news. I do not follow trends. I do not tweet. I do not facebook. I do not do any of these things. I don't care. Why care about things you cannot control, cannot change? The human psyche can only handle so much burden, and bundling all of these worries on your back merely adds to your own suffering. If it does not have a benefit, cast it away. Its useless.

    Its dangerous, foolish and stupid, to in any form ever assume all people are some way, or some thing, because its not true. Its wrong. A lot of people do this, a lot of people do that, it doesn't make them right, or doesn't really change anything, it doesn't really matter. All that matters is what you, personally, choose to do. That's all that one can control, what one does, themselves.

    What's the answer? Stop worrying about the world, the world will take care of itself. People will do what they want to do, regardless of how loudly you complain. The world turns, and the evil people do evil things, the good people do good things, and life happens. Things are what they are, all you can control is what you have power over, worrying about what everyone else is doing is pointless, I can't reiterate that enough… because you can't force people to do what you want them to. You really, honestly, can't even convince them to do otherwise than what they want to do. In the end, people will do, act, live and behave how they personally want to, and nobody but them can stop them. Its a pointless, waste of time to worry, ,worry, worry about 'The World' about 'This Age' about 'Human Progress' about any fancy name for any fancy idea you can come up with, because you have no control over these things, never will, and can only live YOUR OWN life while everyone else does the same. You can join groups, become friends with people, and you can talk and share your ideas with each other, and you can act together to do whatever little (or big) things you want to do, but in the end, everyone has the freedom to do what they want. That power cannot be taken away, and thus, nothing anyone says or does will ever really change anything. In the end, good and bad deeds will always be done, some people will be rich, some people will be poor, some people will be healthy, some people sick, some people will die old, some people will die young, some people will live in comfort, some will live in discomfort, some will work, some will relax, nobody will ever be all this or all that, nobody will ever have everything, nobody will ever live forever.

    Enjoy your life, do what makes you happy, (my advice: don't hurt others by any means) endeavor to be good, apologize and forgive yourself when you do bad, be strong, because life isn't fair, easy or even sometimes fun.

  5. Well… That AI would have to boot all the bureaucrats in our governments that CONSTANTLY push their agendas; their rhetoric and their wallets.

  6. the cool part about this scene isnt that the ai is right, but more of raiden doesn't know how to respond. When the ai asks "is that even ur own thought?" as a response to raiden saying "ill choose for myself what to believe and what to pass on." raiden has no response, it was his own thought to follow that philosophy, but he didnt know what to say, which proves that ai can manipulate people like raiden, but not people like snake, who know what they believe in

  7. Kojima was based from the beginning. Can't wait for death stranding, since mgs2 is probably his last great artistic exploration and that was nearly 20 years ago im sure he will have some shit to say.
    (I get that he had a lot of philosophy and existentialism in his later games but it is all extra or added in; mgs 2 was meant to be the end so it would be a complete piece of work and I really hope death stranding will be the same way- complete)
    I hope this makes sense.

  8. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy… [etc.]

  9. Subbed. Kojima is a visionary. And it was great seeing the Colonel himself comment your video. I loved this and I hope to see more analysis videos like this one. Good work.

  10. In November, the mad genius behind this scene will strike again.
    I am ready, yet simultaneously acknowledge that I will never be ready.

  11. Kind of adds to the point that somehow over the past 15-20 years the term "political correctness" has itself morphed in various ways due to the wider context in which it is used.

    To combat political correctness meant, at one point, to challenge the cultural standpoint of the ruling status quo. (eg. the music of the Dead Kennedys, Carpenter's cinema or avant-garde literature, just to name a few)

    Today, the notion itself of fighting "political correctness" seems to have become one of the half-truths MGS2 refers to: in most cases, the mantle of "anti-pc" is worn by people whose most "valiant" statement is to call someone a racial slur.

    Now obviously I could start talking about how the neoliberal status quo has basically moved on from traditionalist values to apparently progressive ones in a carefully crafted pursuit of profit, but that would take a lot more time and effort than a youtube comment. It would also make me look like a pinko commie traitor something something.

  12. You lose a lot of credibility as a moral analyst when you call out "rampant political correctness" instead of presenting the political climate as misinformation campaigns by the far right to acclimatize us to their own though policing. Most people who are against PC culture either are not listening to marginalized groups who are just asking for respect, or have been duped by their own "neutrality" that they can't see what's obviously going on in the world. Very few people against PC culture actually have anything legitimate to say about free speech. Unsubbed sadly, your work has a lot of value otherwise.

  13. The premise of the video is, in the past, the elect few were the ones to govern and select which information was allowed to be filtered through and passed on to further generations. But in the internet age, all information is available at all times, there's nothing in place to filter or eliminate "trash information."

    What you inevitably end up with is a world populace that ranges the two extremes of being "too knowledgeable" to those that strictly embrace only garbage information such as current drama, tabloid news, etc.
    We're starting to see the crackdown now in the real world. Governments outlawing memes and certain other types of information. Honestly I think China has been the test bed for the incoming Orwellian future.

  14. nah, the best moment is:

    "THANK YOU MARIO!

    but our princess is in another castle"

    such a narrative, such a deep meaning…

  15. DARPA really exists in real life. These tyraant satanist incest cunts love to show us what they plan to do to us an the world THEY PLAN for us to live in unless we keep an put out an check like NOW.

  16. The coolest moments I remember in metal gear was being told to call meril N the number was on the game CD case on the back .

    And fighting physco mantis an being told to unplug the controller put it in alot 2 in order for him to not know my attacks.

    Fun aside…
    This game series has alot of scary sht and it is all related to REAL LIFE.

  17. Actually, the most profound moment in gaming history was in GTA IV.

    Niko Bellic: I've sent off the application. I've always wanted to be a lawyer.

    Francis McReary: You can be whatever you like, it's the land of opportunity. Any fool can BECOME PRESIDENT.

  18. The opposing realization that wasnt mentioned was that of religious beliefs being found out out to be false. Many people are waking up to the reality that God does exist and it shakes their understanding to the core. You start to wrap your mind around how much the world has lied to you and who the source of those lies is. Dont let this world corrupt you, God is real and His name is Jesus, pray to Him and read His word and you will see clearly that this world was created and that you have a purpose. Dont let them lie to you, prove it for yourself and go straight to the source of life itself.

  19. The funny about this I picked up the meaning from the ending of MGS2. And have told many people as these things unfold. Its sad that people don't realize how poisonous an eco chamber is.

  20. totally true the fact that nobody listen to each other anymore, neither accept any possible idea or way of seing THINGS, and life, of seing the world.
    We all in comfort, alone in our own cocoon with our ideology and idea, and constantly reject any outside thinking or ideas because it scared us and implie that we must question the ethic of our own thought.

    the whole world is connected but humans has never been this much divided as the same time, and this why we keep going the wrong way fucking our planets up

    I was discussing about this moment in MGS with a school friendsome weeks ago, that also played it but we were young, we didn't fully get it, and now we saw that MGS philosophy was pretty ahead of its time and pretty "lucid".

    When you listen to Trump saying games causes violence… i've seen much more deep ideas and philosophy in certain video games that i have seen in a lot of movie and series, and still games are so underrated (when we talk about something else than fortnite, cod and shit)

  21. "Rampant political correctness"…
    God I miss being openly racist, classist, sexist, homophobic, insensitive to disability and gender issues!!!
    I'm a white male and my privilege is eroding!!!

  22. haha guys ai algorithms made by billionaires would never pretend to be human to human to win political power that would never happen on Reddit. wait.

  23. Thank you John malkovich's son, I am forever grateful to you and am now enlightened. May peace be upon you traveler.

  24. I allways looked at how the signal bars in the codec for Raiden were different from Snake's, In my opinion it's an early tip on the history, trying to copy the original, but they are nor regular like Snake's, as it was just a emulation, rough copy.

  25. The sad thing is, you don't even need to do something wrong to be a target with outrage culture. But this isn't new, by any means.

  26. 7:47 – It is profoundly unhealthy to not censor any information under any circumstances whatsoever. To do so would mean that terrorists should be given all data from the clandestine 1980s Soviet biowarfare program, corporations should be able to monitor and thereby exploit your every single move, and minors should be given access to pornography, to name only three examples. If we had no censorship AT ALL, then by definition, privacy would be abolished. Instead, the question has always been WHAT should be censored (literally: filtered), and why.

  27. We Marxists have been talking about this for like centuries. We’ve been wanting to stop the hegemonic blob forever. This is what we’ve been fighting.

  28. For it shall be known to mankind for all eternity, do not name thy child Jordan Hunt, for he will be thrown in the slammer and grow up a lip pierced pro-abortion pantsuit wearer.

  29. Anything with two 10min vids isn't a "moment". Its a detailed discussion about getting a nerdboner. I was expecting a clip from one of my favorite games. I feel mislead and disappointed.

  30. …when people see things into thigns that doesnt even exist … Fake news WAHH!!! WHAT A SURPRISE BRUH ! Only because the game told this in such dramatic way now you wannak jerk off to it? Oh my gawd its just a fucking game with a theory that everybody knows already, the solution is simple: dont believe everything.

  31. Kojima was woke as fuck, imagine if he is slightly predicting some dystopian future in death stranding?
    R.I.P Humanity

  32. Just imagining being Kojima trying to push this narrative into a video game.

    Game dev helper: Are you sure about this?

    Kojima: No question, you may understand some day..

  33. If you want a truly amazing story, play Mother 3. This game will make you cry, and if it doesn't, it will pry them out itself

  34. Kojima himself has been quoted as saying that MGS is a backronym for “Meme, Gene, and Scene.” MGS2 was way ahead of its time.

  35. I’ll never forget being 11 playing this game and hearing “TURN THE GAME CONSOLE OFF” and being so weirded out that I was about to turn it off 🤣

  36. While I've only been able to get my hads on one Hideo Kojima game in my life, I made it a personal goal to at least watch the entirety of the MGS games from start to finish through Youtube. It's amazing when you hear the first long-winded dialogue, it isn't just droning script reading but profound, it may be a long speech but it has meaning and was thought out. Each game has this way of revealing real-world concepts and philosophies but it doesn't feel forced, more so symbiotic. But in MGS2 I was thuroughly creeped out by the pinpoint accuracy of GW's speech about the S3 program's true intent, controlling the flow of information to influence the masses, manipulating how people perceive certain topics through what many consider the most essential form of communication in an ever technologically advancing world. It's something to make your blood run cold when you realize…. This speech was in a videogame years before these concerns were mainstream…

  37. In the end it boils down to 1 question did we truly deserve "freedom" in the first place if all we do is lie to each other and then die off in the end?

  38. So machine learning and big data used to filter web searches and give relevant suggestions are the real life equivalents of the Patriots censorship tool… Wow I feel strangely safe somewhat

  39. The interesting thing is, the A.I. is based on the White House, however, the people within those walls are a cult of personality, to say the least. Artificial Intelligence is only as good as it's creator, the programmers and mathematicians. If they miss something or don't do the logic correctly, the A.I will suffer regressions but will not be aware of it's own short comings. This is just something to think about.

    I used to write A.I. for games and other simulations, I'm always looking at my old work and seeing I missed something or could have done it better; hindsight is 20/20.

  40. Such valid points. Big fan of MGS and I agree with basically everything you said Max. Scary stuff when you really stop to consider the current state of society.

  41. The last I heard, it's not so clear now the long neck of the giraffes is all about natural selection. I may just be sexual selection at its best.

  42. Political correctness has been proven to be harmful long-term since when people get full of it when everything goes to sh**, they vote the first one that for a change isn't afraid to say anything publicly, then people like Trump can rule just for this reason.

  43. Maybe in time we will have to evolve stronger "moral compasses" to be able to sift through all the crap out there. I would imagine that means stronger processing centers, bigger brains. Whether people's "compasses" will be pointed in a good direction is a different question.

  44. I saw "All your Base Are Belong To Us" and finished this game, back in the day thinking about no connection about them. Almost 2 decades later, here we are. So, meme shitlords are AIs?

  45. The most profound moment in gaming history?
    Arthur Morgan's last ride
    The stunning visuals
    The touching audio callbacks
    The instantly iconic soundtrack

  46. I propose it accumulates what any particular individual focus their attention on… If one's interest is appropriate news or information that is suitable or relevant to their place in society, they're an ideal candidate for their title… So instead of controlling information, instead use it to place them in occupations accordingly. So they may best serve society & the community…

    Of the people for the People by the people…???

    Naw but it actually specifies their CPUs have surpassed our cognitive capacity!!!???

  47. 10:22 Just like America 1963…

    There are loose ends in our history…some untidy sections…but if we pull on one of those loose strings, we might unravel the tapestry that is our history!

    That very history that led up to your awakening… What you're proposing…where does it start where does it end..???

  48. Psycho pass goes in depth into this as well. When you can completely understand but not reject something you know you should. Holy shieet!!

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