Two marines fooled a military AI using a classic Metal Gear Solid technique

Metal Gear Solid
(Image credit: Konami)

Turns out Metal Gear Solid was onto something with its cardboard box disuises.

Earlier this week, defence editor at The Economist, Shashank Joshi, was reading Paul Scharre's book 'Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.' Scharre's book reveals several U.S. Marines managed to trick an artificial intelligence targeting system by hiding underneath a cardboard box.

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"You could hear them giggling the whole time. Like Bugs Bunny in a Looney Tune's cartoon, sneaking up on Elmer Fudd in a cardboard box," Scharre's book reads, referencing someone who was there at the time, and watched eight Marines attempt to reach the AI targeting system over 300 meters.

Does this sound familiar at all? It probably will to those familiar with the Metal Gear Solid series, in which Solid Snake and other protagonists could periodically hide under cardboard boxes in order to evade detection by enemy soldiers. Doesn't sound so silly now, does it?

Actually, it does, considering the two Marines were giggling underneath the cardboard box the entire time. We'd say that giggling might have ruined the atmosphere in the Metal Gear Solid games, but considering the series has a running joke about a man pooing himself, perhaps giggling isn't actually that far removed from the themes of the series.

In fact, considering Hideo Kojima wanted Metal Gear Solid to have pet rats for Solid Snake to raise, the cardboard box is hardly the weirdest thing that could've happened in that game. Perhaps if that reported Metal Gear Solid 3 remake ever actually surfaces, it'll bring hiding under cardboard boxes to a whole new generation of gamers.

Check out Edge Magazine's Metal Gear Solid interview with Yoji Shinkawa if you're curious about more hidden details surrounding the game. 

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.