Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain publisher Konami is providing help to make a prosthetic limb for a double amputee gamer. 25 year-old Metal Gear Solid fan James Young lost an arm and a leg back in 2012, when a horrific incident saw dragged onto a railway line between two carriages of the London DLR as it was pulling into the station. Konami say that the prosthetic is inspired by the Bionic Arm featured in their latest MGS title. The publisher is working closely with prosthetics artist Sophie De Oliveira Barata as well as a team of engineers, roboticists and product design engineers to create the unique, bespoke arm for the 25-year-old. The exact level of involvement from Konami is somewhat unclear, but when you consider that Sophie De Oliveira Barata has made a name for herself by creating bespoke prosthetics designed to complement the personality of their users, it’s easy to see why the publisher would want to help with the project.
Sophie established the Alternative Limb Project with an aim of creating Prosthetic Limbs that people “would look at in amazement” instead of turning away out of fear of embarrassing the person using it. Her work speaks for itself and was even used during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics, when performer amputee Viktoria Modesta was seen using a crystal prosthetic leg created by Sophie.
As a fan of Metal Gear Solid James is obviously keen to get involved with the project himself, Konami has stated that the prosthetic will be a “highly stylised and multi-functional limb” so it seems that the whole idea of recreating Snake’s bionic arm will not be limited to aesthetics. A documentary about the project is also in works and will be published to the projects official blog (The Phantom Limb Blog) after January 2016.
It’s difficult to imagine the emotional strain imposed on an individual following such a traumatic incident, which is why Konami’s involvement in the project is so significant. The idea behind a prosthetic limb paints a picture of fantasy, where technology has advanced to such a point in time that losing a limb for whatever a reason can easily be overcome by replacing it with a machine controlled by the users mind. The reality of the matter is that the world isn’t quite there yet and when you consider the costs involved, it isn’t a viable option for the average working man anyway. So the idea behind creating something inspired by the passion of the person it’s being created for, adds an aspect uniqueness and ownership that will undoubtably help James overcome the incident. In fact, the idea that such a big company has taken a personal interest in aiding his recovery is inspiring in itself.