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KONAMI: The Phantom Limb Project

Today we received a story regarding a new project that Konami are currently involved in and to say that this is a bit different would be a massive understatement. Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. has just announced it is working with one of the UK’s leading creators of prosthetic limbs to create a bespoke bionic arm for a young gamer who has tragically lost both an arm and a leg due to an unfortunate incident.

When you hear of a story like this and see the support that can come from a company that is usually so dedicated to gaming it really adds faith to what humanity can do. We are going to to be following this closely to see how this progresses. This could easily be the beginning of the future for a new style for bionic limbs that would be life changing for so many people.  We really urge you all to read the details of this heart warming project below on follow all involved on this incredible journey, we can’t wait to see the end result and how life changing this will be for James.

01 Sophie and James

Inspired by the prosthetic limb seen in KONAMI’s METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN, KONAMI is working closely with renowned prosthetics artist, Sophie De Oliviera 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 as a candidate comfortable with the idea of an eye-catching alternative limb and who would benefit from the capabilities it offered.

02 James

Sophie De Oliviera 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 lead 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.

03 Defining the structure

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 9-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.

04 Sketches

The production and development of James’ limb is being tracked in a very 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 getting to grips with the bespoke prosthetic.

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