Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the latest principal entry in the Metal Gear, has been hotly anticipated since its official announcement two years. The game’s development, advertising and plot elements have been rabidly followed and debated by fans.
One part of these developments that has been the most controversial (to the point of getting the attention of people who don’t usually play or follow Metal Gear) has been the revelation of the character Quiet, a taciturn female sniper with a troubled past and a preference for revealing attire. Some have been accepting of Quiet’s appearance and seem to anticipate Kojima’s explanation for her lack of speech and her sexuality. Others, however, have been less tolerant of the character, her creators and her hopeful fans.
Speak When Spoken To
Ever since Quiet was revealed in MGSV’s Red Band trailer back in 2013, she’s been a lightning rod for controversy and disagreement, with Twitter twits and gaming pundits alike weighing in on the sniper’s dour expression and lack of clothing. Some have even chosen a rather inert breed of activism to express their disapproval for the character’s appearance.
Among them are flailing, disgraceful cosplayers and artists who think taking male characters and putting them in clothes made to accentuate feminine sexual traits somehow strikes a decisive blow for “equality.” One recent development has reignited the discussion on Quiet and depictions of women in video games, though: she’s got her own action figure now, which features (as enthusiastically noted by a giddy Kojima), squishy, movable breasts. The figure was made by Play Arts Kai:
To no one’s surprise, SJW writers and whiners the world over are voicing their rabid admonishment of Kojima, Play Arts Kai and all who don’t treat the creation of the titillating Quiet toy as the end of women and Quakerhood everywhere. One example is this article by Vlad Savov, a contributor to the Verge news network. As you can probably tell, he is not too pleased about Quiet’s ballistics:
It’s 2015, and we finally have female action figures to play with. Only they look like this. To answer @slashwhatever, the person on Twitter asking, “Am I the only one that thinks this is a little fucked up?” I’d say no, sir, you definitely are not.
Really, there’s no need to read the rest of his article. The whole thing can be summed up as Savov missing the point of creative liberty by suggesting that the Quiet should be wearing “proper” attire for a sniper and suggesting that any woman who’s ever worn something revealing has no agency. He goes on to suggest that such depictions are “outdated” and ostracizing to women, an assessment of women so brutally misguided and ironic it could only have been made by someone obsessed with “strong” women and female characters (a male feminist, effectively).
Another article about the figure comes from Push Square’s Sammy Barker, who, perhaps intelligently, chooses to play it safe and be impressively objective (though nonetheless weirded out) by Quiet’s toy tits. He does note another Tweet showing off a figure made to depict Raiden in his cyborg incarnation from Metal Gear Rising, however. While doing so, he notes that the Raiden figure seems to have no bouncy parts, which, while a joke, inspired me to highlight some important facts about the figures.
For starters, Raiden’s figure was made by a different company (Mamegyorai). His figure also depicts a man who’s body has been altered and enhanced by cybernetics. Then there’s the fact that this exists, as well as what can be done with it:
So the other Play Arts Kai figure, the one for the main character Punished Snake? It features movable pectorals. Oops.
I could go on about how stupid the outrage about Quiet’s appearance, her toy or any other sexually charged video game character is, but we’ve heard it all before. What’s really disappointing about this particular case is the widespread disregard for the character and her backstory.
SJWs, in their haste to protect fictional characters from artists and developers who see them as potentially inspiring and stirring, have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. They have decided that, whatever the reason for Quiet’s sexy appearance may be, however engaging her personal tale within the Metal Gear canon could be, it’s not worth it because her creators wanted her to be sexy as well as inspired, to be attractive as well as interesting. The tendency of people who claim to be interested strictly in the empowerment of women to remove agency and accountability from said women (while we’re treating fictional characters as real people) is far too common.