Director of Metal Gear Solid and Death Stranding recommends putting down the analog sticks in order to do something else as you hunker down at home.

With the coronavirus outbreak becoming an increasingly international issue, people around the globe are staying home as part of social distancing precautions. While the circumstances are definitely unhappy ones, if you’re a video game fan spending a few weekends at home isn’t an entirely unpleasant experience, since it clears out a chunk of your schedule for playing the latest releases or turning your attention (and thumbs) to your backlog of hits from yesteryear that you were too busy to play when they were new.

Self-confinement is an especially golden opportunity to dive into games with lengthy campaigns, extensive cutscenes, or complex play mechanics and physics engines that reward outside-the-box thinking and experimentation. Those are all descriptions applicable to the works of video game creator Hideo Kojima, director of Metal Gear Solid and Death Stranding. But rather than having your video game character get pissed on by wolves to earn their trust, using their own pee to grow mushrooms, or experiencing some of the non-urine related aspects of his games, Kojima has a bigger recommendation for how to spend your extra time at home.

Given that Kojima is an unabashed cinephile, famously boasting that “70 percent of my body is made of movies,” you might guess that he advocates watching movies instead of playing games, but it turns out he’s got something different in mind, as shown through this tweet from his official account.

“Playing games, or watching movies or TV dramas while you’re at home, are all fine. In times like these, though, I’d like to recommend reading books.

If you can’t go out to the store to buy books, you might be wondering what to read. There are probably a lot of books already in your room, or lined up on your family’s bookshelves. You can even reread books you read a long time ago.

Books are always waiting to be read.”

Kojima suggests putting down the controller so you can use your hands to pick up a book. What’s more, he doesn’t even seem to think it matters all that much what you read, as long as you read something, even if it’s not a book that you personally chose to buy. And while his image of every household in our increasingly digital world still having a dedicated bookshelf is probably much more quaint than it is accurate, anyone with Internet access in their home also has access to a massive selection of e-books.

The unexpected championing of a silent, static medium from someone so strongly associated with audio/visual storytelling was a pleasant surprise for other book lovers, prompting reactions such as:

“In order to be a good, mature person you need to gather knowledge and experience from many different sources.”

“Games and movies are interesting, but what’s the most fun of all is the satisfaction of following the story as you see it in your imagination.”

“When I was a kid, I loved going to my grandparents’ house and reading the old novels and manga they had there. I found so many books that I never would have on my own that way.”

“Sometimes when I go back and reread a book I already finished, I come away noticing new things I missed the first time around.”

“I just starting reading the Death Stranding novel today! It’s a really good book!”

Kojima’s recent wise words haven’t been limited to the fields of entertainment media, either as earlier in the week he also tweeted this.

Solid advice on both counts, really.

Source: Twitter/@Kojima_Hideo via Hachima Kiko
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