So for those not in the gaming hemisphere, a new game that came out several weeks ago was Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Built up as being the last proper game in the series (Series-wide directer Hideo Kojima is leaving the company after this, and publisher Konami is currently in the middle of a company-wide fit of insanity, having cancelled not just several anticipated projects, but also all of their AAA game development outside of the Pro Evolution Soccer series), it’s been showered with critical praise from here to the ends of the earth. It seems like everyone wants to jump on this and heap so much praise, you’d think Phantom Pain cured cancer and world hunger while giving you a massage.
I’ve not played the game- I have a personal rule where after August, I don’t buy new games since they’ll inevitably be marked down in Christmas sales (My one exception to the “Don’t mention Christmas until after Halloween or I’ll take a crowbar to your eye sockets” rule). But one consistently contentious issue I’ve seen with the game is the character of Quiet.
As you’d imagine in today’s modern world where everything is sexist and if you say otherwise you’re a cis white scum, Quiet’s character design has been hotly discussed by… certain types of people (Read, the trash sites that make money off of these social justice warriors like Polygon, Kotaku and The Mary Sue). And before I actually get into this, I’d like to point out one thing I learned after about twenty five seconds of using Google. Brace yourselves for this, but:
Quiet can have alternate outfits that are far more conservative.
So I’ve never played the game, but I already know that getting Quiet out of her normal gear is not just possible, but probably very easy.
But of course, you have those social progressives going “It’s only there so teenage boys can jerk off to it!”
So lesbians playing Metal Gear never crossed these people’s minds. Or bisexuals.
And as an aside- there are two in story reasons why Quiet dresses the way she does:
- She breaths through photosynthesis. As shown in a cutscene, Quiet (When wearing restrictive pants and a shirt) can barely walk, let alone breath.
- In the prologue, Quiet (Who’s trying to kill you at the time- it’s complicated), gets lit on fire. I imagine that makes it painful to wear clothes afterwards.
But regardless of the in-story reasons and in-gameplay ways to get around it (Like never using Quiet), people are jumping on the social justice bandwagon to wag their fingers and go “This is offensive to women, screw you if you found this attractive!”
People like Jim Sterling, for example.
First, for the crime of daring to mock Snake Pliskin, you should burn in effigy Jim. Anyway, background check:
Former member of The Escapist, left in late 2014/early 2015. Claims to be for the little people… except when he can turn a buck otherwise, then he’ll gladly shit on them in service to the rich and powerful.
Wait, I thought we weren’t talking about Angry Joe this week… eh, my point stands.
Jim’s video basically goes the route I said above- that Quiet’s just there to appeal to the straight (Likely white) male player’s dick. To which I reply… isn’t that shut shaming, Jim?
You’re condemning a women not for her actions, but for her clothing (Which is itself sexist, there’s no way around that). You’re also imposing your views on what counts as the appropriate amount of skin for a female character to show, which tells me a fair bit about you. But to sum my point up, Jim:
People who like Quiet see her as a useful character in the game, and she has several touching moments with Big Boss. It’s only the people who complain about her design… who are the ones reducing her to, if I may be blunt, a pair of tits in some nylons. Triox talks about it a bit more here:
And while I’m linking, here’s a link to a post by Lucien Maverick that also talks about this.
Triox’s video brings up another notable point- recruiting Quiet is entirely optional (You fight her as a boss fight, then afterwards have the option to execute her, since, well, she was trying to kill you with a sniper rifle), and, coming back to that above point, gawking at Quiet is entirely optional.
I guess I should also point out that Metal Gear as a whole is infamous for being even-handed in the fanservice- for every Quiet, we get an extended butt shot of Snake or Raiden in skintight clothes. In MGSV, we have explicit confirmation that Ocelot (A male character) is in love with Big Boss. Hell, MGS2 had an entire sequence where Raiden is stripped of his clothes and forced to run around naked!
So, to overall summarize:
- Quiet’s character design ultimately doesn’t matter, as it’s possible to get outfits that cover her up more.
- Like it or not, there is an in-story reason for why Quiet dresses like she does.
- Jim and his friends are really no better than the gamers they claim make everything a sex issue when they’ve been caught reducing a strong female character to nothing but her breasts. They’re also accidentally homophobic, as they ignore the lesbians and bisexuals who’d want to tap that… and the guys who care more about Big Boss.
- Jim’s arguments about Quiet’s design are so lackluster I’m surprised he doesn’t go for “She was asking for it!”
- Quiet is an entirely optional character, and as a direct consequence, looking at her breasts is entirely optional.
- People like this are supposedly against female designs like Quiet, but then never make a fuss about all the sexualization male characters go through, including one infamous sequence where a character runs around completely naked for several minutes.