Mute characters are not exactly unusual in video games, however in Quiet’s case I can’t help but think that the character design – as is, just projects the mentality that women should be seen, not heard and should just obey without providing any input of their own.
Even the marketing team makes a point to acknowledge that Snake’s novelty equivalent is ridiculous, they also show that apparently Quiet can go invisible at will – however she only seems to use this power for when she’s travelling at super speed. The combination seems to result in Road Runner style dust trails (stealthy!) and only serves to justify the character moving around without being noticed by enemies… and she doesn’t stay invisible the whole time either.
Now, Hideo Kojima has been so opposed to criticism of Quiet that he announced that people complaining (which includes actual female soldiers) will feel ashamed of themselves when Quiet’s motive for her battle bikini is revealed. But please, let us look at the facts:
- Even the guys trying to sell us the game apparently feel that the male equivalent is too ridiculous to do a real presentation with – but make zero comment about Quiet other than to zoom in so everyone can oggle her.
- Despite having powers of invisibility and being a sniper, Quiet is both always visible while sniping (this is a huge no-no for snipers who don’t have superpowers) but is also always sniping from a location close enough you can oggle her with you binoculars.
- Her posing and actions prioritize her flaunting for and eye banging Snake (and hence the player)
- Our first introduction to this character was her being tortured with a bag over her head to further dehumanize her.
- The already released accompanying game, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, features the amazingly grotesque brutalization, rape and murder of a female character – purely for the purposes of using manpain to further motivate Snake.
Let’s just be honest here. The reluctance to give us any hint on any reason why, the history of the Metal Gear (including the dependence on deplorable tropes) and this trailer all pretty much confirm that whatever reason Kojima gives it’s going to be one we’ve heard before.
Hideo Kojima, you are a celebrated game developer who has incredible control over your products and franchises – that makes you an idol and role model to many who want to create video games or are creating video games now and aspire to run their own studios.
Just stop. Stop pretending you can justify this stuff by saying that there’ll be a great excuse for T&A marketing angle, once you play through the game (or more accurately sit through the hours of cut scenes). Stop pretending that your genius puts you above criticism.
You make franchise that’s supposed to be about stories taking place over decades, exciting characters, conspiracies and adventure. Go back to making them actually about that so that the promotions will reflect that – and not make it look like you’re selling a variant of Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball.