– Charlie Braithwaite
We absolutely adore Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain at LoadScreen, that being said, there is a lot wrong with the representation of women in the game, in particular the sniper Quiet. Quiet is undeniably a cool character, but the way she is handled and the extremely flimsy backstory on why she wears an extremely flimsy costume isn’t good enough. It’s 2015, there shouldn’t be characters that are designed because ‘boobs.’
Renowned creator and director Hideo Kojima received some flak when Quiet was first revealed back in 2013, but he stood by the character’s design. He even went so far as to claim via twitter that “once you recognize the secret reason for her exposure, you will feel ashamed of your words & deeds.” Seriously… ashamed of your words…. AND DEEDS. That is quite the statement.
Okay, Kojima, we’ll play ball, let’s talk about the logic behind a sniper wearing a bikini top and a G string in combat ridden Afghanistan. There are minor spoilers below, only read on if you want to be ashamed of your words and deeds.
Quiet is first introduced in Metal Gear Solid V when she tries to assassinate the ever loving shit out of Snake while he’s in hospital. Naturally, she fails at this, the silent assassin is set on fire and plummets out of a window, she isn’t seen again until Snake encounters her in Afghanistan. Hold on, how did she survive being set on fire and falling out of a window, you ask? If you were expecting the answer to be “she was saved by magic and now has to wear a bikini,” congratulations! You can now be ashamed of your words and deeds.
Yup, the official reason behind Quiet not being a charred crisp on a hospital lawn, is through parasites. And as everybody knows, when you get saved by parasites you need to breathe through your skin afterwards. Oh, and Quiet also absorbs energy through photosynthesis, because why the fuck not at this stage. So now we have established that the character will die if she isn’t showing maximum amounts of skin.
Okay, now going back to Kojima’s tweet. Why should that backstory make you feel like you’re in the wrong for questioning her appearance? Yes, Quiet needs to breathe through her skin, but she isn’t REAL. Unless my knowledge of the Soviet-Afghan war is horribly wrong, there was no magical naked sniper running around the desert. Quiet is exposed because you made her that way.
To use an age old analogy (that I thought of in the shower before writing this)… it’s like when you’re playing with toy guns as a kid and you shoot one of your friends, who should now be playing dead, only for them to reply “nu-uh I have a bullet proof shield around me.” No you don’t, you know with your whole heart that isn’t true, just like Kojima knows deep down that Quiet is dressed like that because “sex.” To say otherwise is putting up a bullshit shield and darting the real issue, which is selling copies of the games through boobs. Think I’m being cynical?
I’ve been ordering to Yoji to make the character more erotic, and he did it well. Recently I’ve been making characters this way. (cont)
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) September 4, 2013
The initial target is to make u want to do cosplay or its figurine to sell well. — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) September 4, 2013
It really doesn’t help the issue that every time Quiet is in a cutscene, the camera hovers around her chest area for an awkwardly long period of time. Not only that, but there are plenty of incidents which overtly sexualise the only lead female character. Once you capture Quiet and take her back to your base she can be found chilling in the medical bay. Sounds innocent? Nope. She is lying face down with her bra undone with an insane amount of side boob on display. Why? Is that essential to the plot, or her condition? Can I expect to see lots of people lying face down in undone bras at PAX?
It doesn’t end there, under special circumstances you can unlock cutscenes where you shower or “play” with Quiet in the rain. There are even guides out there specifically tailored to unlocking these events.
Just look at that. There are literally guys in the background of the video drooling over her. This is one of the biggest games to have launched in 2015 and it’s objectifying women like there’s no tomorrow.
In the end this is an opinion piece and I’m sure lots of you will disagree with what I’ve written, but just know that I’m not complaining for the sake of it. Developers like Konami and people like Kojima should be acknowledging that stuff like this doesn’t sit right with a lot of people. There is no context for it, it’s just fan service and a vague hope that plastering images of boobs around the place will sell more copies. Labelling it as something else is just dodging the bullet.