So uh... yeah this got out of hand pretty quickly:
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. pic.twitter.com/SWkN3BSDFy
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...