SEGUNDO, CA — Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. (www.konami.com) is working with one of the UK’s leading creators of prosthetic limbs to create a bionic arm for a young gamer. Inspired by the prosthetic limb seen in Konami’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Konami is working closely with prosthetics artist Sophie De Oliveira Barata and a team of engineers, roboticists and product designers, to produce a highly-stylized and multi-functional limb for 25-year-old James Young, drawing from the Metal Gear Solid aesthetic.
James tragically lost an arm and a leg when he was dragged on to the tracks, between two carriages of the London DLR as it was pulling in. Despite his loss, James refuses to let it interrupt his life and hobbies of travel and video games. He has become extremely adept at playing games one-handed, and was carefully selected by Sophie De Oliveira Barata as a candidate comfortable with the idea of an eye-catching alternative limb and who would benefit from the capabilities it offered.
Sophie De Oliveira Barata started her career making hyper-realistic prosthetic limbs for amputees, but realized there was huge demand for more unique adaptations; ones that reflected the personality of its user. This led her to establish the Alternative Limb Project, wherein users could have a say in their prosthetic, creating limbs that people look at in amazement instead of looking away. Her past designs have included SteamPunk arms and cyborg-inspired legs, and she also designed the crystal leg used by amputee performer Viktoria Modesta during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics. She enjoys a reputation as an innovator and a free-thinker and has given talks at TED and the Wired Medical Event about her work and its effects.
Konami instigated the project to highlight the stunning work Sophie produces and is working closely to create a limb ideally suited to James’ tastes and needs. In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, series hero Snake (Big Boss) awakes from a nine-year coma following the traumatic finale to its prologue Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes to discover his left arm has been removed due to extensive damage. During the course of the game, he adapts and expands the capabilities of his cybernetic replacement until it becomes a vital part of his arsenal.
The production and development of James’ limb is being tracked in a personal documentary, which will follow the creation and production of the limb, with Sophie and James working together on the project. James is a huge fan of Konami’s Metal Gear Solid series and is aware how many of the themes in the game parallel the challenges and opportunities he faces. Konami has also created a dedicated blog to the project – www.ThePhantomLimbProject.com – and this and the documentary will showcase the technology being used, the design process from concept to reality, and James’ ability to get a hold of the bespoke prosthetic.
The ‘Alternative Limb Project’ blog is live, with the documentary to follow after the completion and successful use of the limb in January.