I once asked Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase why so many of his games revolve around adolescents. Surely, for those gamers in their late twenties and thirties who have grown up with the series, an older protagonist would have more resonance than Square-Enix's typical angsty teenage hero? Moreover, aren't stories that revolve around young people just a bit limited and tiresome for middle-aged game makers?
Not so, Kitase countered. The adolescent is the perfect game hero. The journey that a player undertakes in learning and mastering a game's systems, advancing from novice to proficiency, exactly mirrors the transition from childhood to adulthood. What better candidate could there possibly be for the lead role in any videogame?
It's a point of view that Policenauts, with a cast almost entirely over the age of 45, contests. But then, designer and producer Hideo Kojima has never been afraid to use maturity as a lens through which younger players can experience his games. Kojima's most recent creation, Metal Gear Solid 4, starred a man in his forties with a premature-ageing disease that made appear like a man in his seventies.