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Why I Picked Metal Gear Solid For My Guinness Record

by Ben Reeves on Aug 02, 2011 at 10:11 AM

I must love pain. In college, I would feel a small thrill of pride whenever I pulled an all-nighter working on a paper. Whenever I push myself to the physical limits of exhaustion, I feel like I tap into some kind of primal, creative energy. It’s simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating. It must be one of the reasons I often play video games well into the early hours of the morning. It’s one of the reasons I was happy to participate in our previous Guinness attempt, and it’s why I was willing, even eager, to participate in another Guinness attempt less than five months later.

As soon as Dan decided that he was going to shoot for another Guinness record, I knew that I was going to be a part of the festivities again. When we all started talking about doing our own individual records, three game series immediately came to mind. Unfortunately, my first two picks (Metroid and Zelda) were classified under a genre whose record had already been set, and I would have had to play those games for more than 100+ hours to break the record. I like pain, but I’m not ready to make that kind of commitment to get into the Guinness book. Thankfully, my third choice was up for grabs: Metal Gear Solid.

I’ve always loved the Metal Gear series. I have fond memories of playing the original Metal Gear for NES. It was one of the first games I remember playing that let me sneak past enemies. The concept of sneaking into an area and slinking away unnoticed fascinated me, and I’m sure it had some kind of lasting impact on my play style. To this day, when I’m given the option to fight or sneak – in games like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion or Deus Ex – I almost always choose to cling to the shadows.

When Metal Gear Solid came out in 1998, it almost single-handedly changed my view of video games. I had always loved games, but I had looked at them as a kind of toy – things I interacted with and played. I never expected a compelling narrative from a video game. When I wanted a gripping story, I turned to books, movies, and comics. Metal Gear Solid shattered my preconceptions. It was the first game I played that delivered a story that gripped me on the same level as a Hollywood summer blockbuster. In fact, Metal Gear Solid delivered an experience that was far more epic than most movies.

I played through the first Metal Gear Solid more times than I can remember, and through each successive entry at least twice. I loved pretending to be Snake. My friends and I spent countless hours trying to master Snake’s deep tenor. I said, “d*mn,” in that cigarette-gnarled voice so many times that I probably unnerved my grandparents. I look forward to revisiting this old friend.

The Metal Gear Solid franchise falls under Guinness’s stealth category. I’ll be the first person to set this record with those games, which means that I have to spend a minimum of 24 hours with the series. However, my previous video game record is 30 hours, so I may try to best my personal time. I’m already tired just thinking about it, but this weekend I get to save the world. Actually, I’ll probably save the world several times over. Can you really think of time better spent?

Be sure to find out why Dan Ryckert picked Mario, why Tim Turi picked Resident Evil, why Jeff Cork picked Grand Theft Auto, and why Phil Kollar picked Final Fantasy XII, and why Bryan Vore picked Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.