Watch: the story behind a Metal Gear fan and his Big Boss-inspired bionic arm
Several years ago, British Metal Gear fan James Young lost his left arm and leg in a train accident. In a new BBC3 documentary Bodyhack: Metal Gear Man -- the first half of which is embedded above -- Young admitted that one of his initial concerns was "How am I going to game?"
"I love gaming. You get to live in an alternative universe," Young says. "It was one of the things that pissed me off [while] in hospital. Everyone going on that 'there's something else you can do, badminton or something.'"
Young might indeed still have a career in badminton ahead of him, but in the meantime he's learned how to play games with the help of his mouth and a prosthetic limb -- including a new one provided by Metal Gear publisher Konami, in one of the more interesting game marketing campaigns we've seen in recent years.
During last year's lead up to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain's release, Konami put out an open call for amputees like Young who would be interested in a custom prosthesic based on that of MGSV's Big Boss. In addition to looking straight out of a sci-fi, the artificial arm would be much more highly articulated than an ordinary prosthetic, which has a number of benefits: it enables the wearer to do more complex tasks, obviously, but it also looks and behaves much closer to the limb it replaces, which can have a positive psychological effect.
Young agreed, and you can watch his journey in the short (around 30 minute) documentary above, where he works with designers and engineers to create the arm and fit it to Young's body. Sure, at the end of the day this is a piece of marketing, and you are free to be cynical about that if you wish -- but it's still a compelling and emotional story, with a cyborg at the end of it.
Part one of the documentary is above; the second part follows below. A caveat: there is some strong language and a bit of blood in the game footage sections. Plus there's a lingering shot of Quiet's backside for reasons I can't fathom.