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Submitted on
September 13, 2013


305 (who?)
So uh... yeah this got out of hand pretty quickly:
SYAC - Be Quiet by TomPreston

I'll be honest. I wasn't expecting the backlash to be so violent. But I guess I should expect this sort of thing whenever it comes to video games. At any rate, a lot of stuff is being thrown around haphazardly and I wanted to address some of the main complaints/defenses about my criticism of Quiet's design.

"She's got camo skin! She's dressed this way for a reason!"
You know, you can come up with any number of reasons for a character to be scantly clad. But at the end of the day it's still a scantly clad conventionally attractive female character. Not to put to fine a point on it but having Mystique walk around naked because her skin changes color doesn't stop her from being a source of obvious pandering T&A. So I'm sorry, but that whole "you'll be ashamed for slut-shaming her" excuse doesn't hold water with me, especially after Kojima outright said that her design was to sell figurines and to troll cosplayers (read below).

"You don't understand! She's in the desert! It makes sense for her to dress light because of how hot it is!"
That's... not true at all. People wear a lot of clothes in the desert because otherwise you'll dehydrate quickly and burn under the sun. And at night the temperature can often drop drastically to below zero. Her outfit is in no way a realistic depiction of what you'd wear in the desert.

"You don't understand what sexism is! she's dressed this way on her own free will! Don't tell women what they can or can't wear!"
I'm not telling women what they can or can't wear. That's not sexism. What's sexist about this design is not the woman herself, but the creator choosing to design her this way. Ghost has no choice in the matter, but Kojima does.

Oh and for all those of you who can't find his tweets where he says that it was intentional, here you go:………

And if you're too lazy to click the links or even google this whole thing (seriously took me all of 2 seconds to look this stuff up so what on earth are you guys searching for that you can't find it?), here's a repost of what he said.

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. The initial target is to make u want to do cosplay or its figurine to sell well. Dear Cosplayer friends, something like this for example.…

So yeah... Quiet was designed first and foremost to sell figurines and troll cosplayers. He intentionally pushed her design to be that exploitative. She is not designed that way to tell anything significant about her character, she's designed that way because Kojima finds it "sexy."

And for those of you who don't understand how sexism works in this scenario. Let me break it down for you: Designing a character first and foremost to be objectified for the male gaze is a form of sexism.

Let me also be clear on a couple of other points that seem to be overlooked.
1. No one is saying women can't dress a certain way if they want to.
2. No one is saying this game is going to suck.
3. No one is trying to get sexy characters taken out of video games.
4. You can acknowledge a game has problems without outright hating and condemning it.
5. It's OK to be critical of things you love and you don't have to be so defensive if and when a problem is pointed out to you.

It is extraordinarily depressing to see people actively trying to refuse to see anything wrong with this situation. That sort of knee-jerk reflexive defensiveness only helps to perpetuate the continued sexism in the gaming/comic/geek industry. Being critical of her design isn't going to get your game taken away or the character banned. At best, being critical of her design will cause creators like Kojima to think more about trying to create interesting character designs instead of intentionally trying to pander to fan service. That would result in us getting more variety and uniqueness out of an industry that produces the same crap over and over and over again. And variety is the spice of life.

Even other game designers working in the industry feel that Quiet's design is bad. David Ellis of Halo fame tweeted this in response:……
(third tweet deleted but it originally said that he felt the designs were lazy and exploitative)

Anyway, I had no idea that the Quiet design controversy was going to be THAT hostile and volatile. I still stand by my decision to include it in my comic, though, and I reserve the right to the opinion that the design of Quiet is lazy and blatantly obvious sexism at it's finest. Does not mean you can't still like MGS or Kojima. But, you know, even Miyamoto makes mistakes... it's ok to admit Kojima does too...
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TakUser Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I heard that Kojima actually has a valid reason as to why Quiet is dressed this way.  Whether it's valid or not is heavily reliant on what the reason is when the game is released.  Time will tell.
TomPreston Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014
Interestingly enough he only said that AFTER he started getting hate for his comments about wanting her skimpy design for cosplayers.
TakUser Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the clarification. :)
Samurai-Ribbons Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
Whether people agree with you or not, these attacks on you personally and your art are low. 
Sugar-Pig Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
I don't have a problem with sexualizing characters. But it depends on the character and the context. As a long-time MGS fan, I'm disappointed with Quiet's character. Her character design strikes me as bland, generic and lazy. She seems to be sexualized to cover up that lack of thought that went into her design/character. I expect more from the Metal Gear team. 
hunterN05 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
I like her design :P

Good way to distract the enemies.
bill2066 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2014
There's nothing wrong with sexualization
TomPreston Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2014
... In the appropriate situations, no.
bill2066 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
No, never. Ever. Human beings are sexual in nature. To say that sexualizing humans devalues them, is to say sexuality devalues humanity. That's ridiculous. There is room in this world for big titties, and masculine men. Bayonetta, and Kratos. If you hate pandering, that's one thing, but sexuality is a beautiful thing, and flaunting it is fine.

Sexuality used to make me uncomfortable. Then my balls dropped.
TomPreston Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
And I agree.... to a point.

There ARE times when it's done incorrectly or inappropriately. For example here: Where he releases a pic of this half naked woman, completely devoid of context, and expects everyone to just "get on board" with this character because "he said so." AND, for the record, only AFTER he made inappropriate comments about designing her JUST to get women to cosplay as her at conventions.

OF COURSE there's room to appreciate all forms of sexuality and sexiness. No one is denying that. What people are upset about is that he back-treaded when people called him out on his sexist behavior. If he didn't want us to make judgements on PROMOTIONAL ARTWORK then he shouldn't have posted the PROMOTIONAL ARTWORK for us to make judgements on until we could have proper context to who this character is.
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