SDCC '10: Kojima!!!

Hideo Kojima was signing and judging cosplay at San Diego Comic-Con this year as a part of the Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker world tour. About a year, year and-a-half ago, I tried to meet him at a signing he was doing in San Francisco. I got there about two hours early and the line was insanely long. He only signed for an hour or so and needless to say, I didn't get to meet him. He would be here for 4 hours at SDCC, so I wasn't about to let this pass me by. Hey, even I'm allowed to get giddy about celebrities sometimes.

I arrived at the Marriott two hours before the signing was scheduled to begin. Surprisingly, there were only fifteen people waiting in line. Fifteen compared to the hundreds and hundreds in line at the San Francisco signing. As I waited in line more and more people showed up, but it looked like there were only a little over a hundred people or so by the time the signing actually started. More and more fans showed up while those in front of me were getting things signed, but it was a paltry number compared to the insanity of the SF signing. Apparently there are way more Kojima fans in the San Francisco Bay area than there are in the San Diego area.

Before Kojima arrived, a stage had been set up with a table at the edge of the front of it. I had wondered how exactly they were going to do the signing because of the awkward placement of the table. Either the fans would have to be at the front of the stage where Kojima and them would have to stretch to shake hands, or they would have to go up the stage and walk behind him when they leave the stage. Of course, the obvious solution was to move the table to the back of the stage; fans could walk up the stage, and down the stage without any hand-shaking awkwardness or trying to maneuver. However, it wasn't until Kojima arrived until the table actually got moved to the back of the stage. Kojima is a man who gets things done.

After the table placement was decided, it was a very well organized event. Each fan was allowed one autograph. Once a fan got to the head of the line, a Konami rep would ask if they had the item ready that they wanted signed. Fans had many different things. The very first person in line had Kojima sign a MGS doll (probably Solid Snake). I saw someone else with the original NES Metal Gear, and many had MGS: Peace Walker or MGS4 with them. One guy even brought his NES console itself to have signed. When one fan was getting their stuff signed, the next one walked up the stairs of the platform and handed the item to be autographed to another Konami rep. Once it was the next fan's turn, the Konami rep would present the item to Kojima. thee fan got to shake Kojima's hand, and he would sign whatever was presented, thereby instantly making it a priceless artifact in the world of gaming. Then a professional photographer would take a photo of the fan with Kojima, which would be posted on the Konami Facebook page within minutes.

Due to his busy schedule, I wasn't able to get an interview, but I was able to say to Kojima, "Zone of the Enders 3," and gave him a thumbs up. Kojima laughed and nodded. I think that confirms ZOE 3.

As I was leaving there were some MGS cosplayers standing outside the hallway. The event was scheduled for 4 hours, but I left shortly after took the cosplayer photos because I had other things to cover at SDCC. I don't know who won the contest or how many fans actually arrived to the event and got things signed, but I'm pretty sure the end number of fans trying was very small compared to the SF event.

- Shawn - 7/25/10

The stage before Kojima arrived.

The king arrives.

Kojima kind of looks like a little kid at a big table in this photo.

Kojima inspects the pad he'll sign things on while someone tries to sneak his water.

Kojima signs the doll from the first fan who was in the line.

This is what a Kojima-signed Metal Gear Solid looks like.

Metal Gear Solid cosplayers awaiting the contest. You may recognize at least two from other cosplay photos on DMB.

The line of people when I left. This is not that many compared to other Kojima signings.

The Raiden character does look a bit girly, but this is an actual female Raiden.