Gamed: You should be ashamed of yourself for not appreciating Hideo Kojima’s misogyny

gamed you should be ashamed of yourself for not appreciating hideo kojimas misogyny quiet

Earlier this week, Hideo Kojima tweeted that he wanted one of his female characters in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 5, the sniper called “Quiet,” to be more “erotic.” His reasoning was so the character would be used more by cosplayers and to make it easier to sell more figurines. Not surprisingly, it reignited the discussion of misogyny in the video game industry.

DoAPeople in defense of the “artistic choices” of games like Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball often cite the somewhat misleading numbers claiming 71-percent of core gamers are men. Apparently by that logic, most men don’t think of women as real people anyway. That argument is somewhat akin to claiming it’s ok to discriminate against people of color, because the majority of people in the U.S. are white. That example is a bit overblown, but only a bit.

To his credit, Kojima then tried to clarify his position and explained that “erotic” was the wrong word. English is Kojima’s second language, and he frequently relies on a translator to interpret for him. Kojima went on to say that “sexy” would have been a better word. Sure, that still objectifies women, but as the saying goes, sex sells – and erotic and sexy have very different connotations. But then Kojima kept going.

“I know there’s people concerning about ‘Quiet’ but don’t worry. I created her character as an antithesis to the women characters [that] appeared in the past fighting game who are excessively exposed [sic],” Kojima tweeted. “Quiet who doesn’t have a word will be teased in the story as well. But once you recognize the secret reason for her exposure, you will feel ashamed of your words & deeds.”

So apparently if you had a problem with Kojima’s words, you’re a jerk, because this is the good type of misogyny. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Before getting deeper in to Kojima’s tweets though, let’s take a look at exactly what Kojima means by a woman not being “excessively exposed.”

Kojima pic

That ass shot above was tweeted by Kojima when he first described Quiet as erotic. Apparently if you think that outfit isn’t practical for a battlefield sniper like Quiet, you are a horrible person and how dare you think that.

When a politician is caught saying something awful that they actually believe, they frequently rely on the non-apology apology. You’ve seen it repeatedly. It’s usually something like, “I am sorry if my punching all those babies offended anyone.” It isn’t apologizing for rampant baby punching, it is basically saying, “I’m sorry you suck.” If you Google “I’m sorry if” it brings up over 1.35 billion results. It’s kind of like saying “no offense, but…” right before you offend the crap out of someone. Like the “no offense” line is magic and protects the sayer. Maybe that should be a power in the next Final Fantasy. You can cast a “no offense” defensive barrier, then decimate foes with words until they cry and explode. The non-apology apology is a common tool when you need to apologize for doing something stupid and horrible, but really don’t want to. Kojima didn’t even bother with that.

sniper wolfBased on the past Metal Gear games, the character of Quiet is likely traumatized in some way, and her outfit represents that. To Kojima, since there is a reason she is going into battle half nekkid, that’s all there is to it. Sure, it’s a bit demeaning to women, but hey, there’s a reason for it, so it’s cool. 

Whether or not Quiet has a reason for wearing only tactical panties isn’t the point, and it isn’t the first time in the series that women have been portrayed as breasts with guns. Going as far back as the first Metal Gear Solid, the characters of Meryl and Sniper Wolf both ran around in outfits that would kill them instantly in the Alaskan winter where the game was set. This is nothing new for the series, but after 25 years of Metal Gear, it’s time to change.

Metal Gear Solid 5 is going to sell well. Millions of gamers will kill Quiet after she relays her tearful story of how she was mistreated and became a killer that wears only underwear, then they’ll go on with the game. She will be quickly forgotten, but it is a problem for the industry. Metal Gear is one of the most respected series around. It touches on deep philosophical issues and mature themes, like the nature of war. It just doesn’t think much of women beyond their sex appeal.

Misogyny isn’t just a problem for female gamers, and it isn’t just a matter of making the industry look bad. It’s a problem because if some of the best and most successful developers around don’t see it as an issue, gaming will never be respected as the art form it is.

[UPDATE:] 

I feel like I should clarify something, because it’s an important point. There is a difference between a sexy representation and a misogynistic one. A woman doesn’t have to wear a thing to be sexy.  Quiet is an exploitive and misogynistic representation because of the context. She’s dressed like that primarily so Kojima can encourage cosplay and sell figurines, period. That isn’t exactly a noble sentiment, and it’s also not the first time Kojima has created female characters that serve no purpose but to, well… titillate. 

Misogyny is a big problem in the gaming industry, and that is well established. My problem isn’t just the exploitive nature of misogyny that drives female gamers away, my problem is that it can make the industry as a whole look immature and hurt its growth, especially when it is a part of an otherwise great and important series.  I want gaming to continue to be recognized as the art form that it is, and not just the whipping boy for politicians that are so concerned with their own re-elections that they will attack an industry because it’s easy (for example).  I want gaming to be as respected as any field of entertainment. It’s getting there, but stuff like this hurts it. Throwing a half naked woman into a game to sell more merchandise isn’t an artistic pursuit, it’s the exact opposite, and that’s what I have a problem with.  

Hot Coffee and News

You like Chris Roberts’ Star Citizen, you really like it

Star-Citizen-01Crowdfunding can be a tricky thing; just ask Precursor Games. But where its Shadow of the Eternals couldn’t get it done for a variety of reasons – maybe it was just lack of promotion, and those child porn charges probably didn’t help either – it has been a different story for Chris Roberts’ Star Citizen. A vastly different story. Star Citizen just passed the $18 million mark, making it the best funded game via crowdfunding yet. The space dogfighter and spiritual successor to the Wing Commander series is still looking for another $3 million to meet its projected release of December 2014 or early 2015.

Madden debuts down

Madden-251Madden 25 debuted on August 27 and in its first week sold one million copies. There’s nothing wrong with selling a million copies of anything – except something like, you know, people… there’s just not enough Liam Neeson to fix that mess – but it is significantly less than the 1.65 million last year’s Madden sold in the same time period. Maybe people hate the new cover athlete, Barry Sanders, or maybe featuring Detroit Lions in back-to-back years (Calvin Johnson was Madden 13’s cover athlete) was a dumb move. It’s possible some people are waiting for the next gen version too. Or maybe the 25-year-old formula need a refresh.

Bethesda and Nintendo aren’t BFFs

SkyrimAt this point it almost feels like more stories about why Nintendo’s Wii U isn’t doing well may just be piling on. Nintendo’s console is quickly approaching the level of pity, and in a recent interview, Bethesda’s VP of PR Pete Hines stuck another dagger in, then twisted. Then asked for the dagger back, then … you get the point. Hines claimed that Bethesda was willing to work with any platform, as long as that platform didn’t require that the company compromise its original vision – and that’s why we haven’t seen its games on Nintendo. He also claimed that it’s too late to convince publishers to support the Wii U. He then went on to stomp on a Wii U console before lighting it on fire and dancing around it with middle fingers extended. Not really, but he might as well have.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Gaming

These are the best video games you shouldn't leave 2018 without

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.
Gaming

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.
Digital Trends Live

Twitch streamer Fuslie gives a glimpse of her life and future plans

Today, we welcomed Twitch streamer Fuslie to talk about how her career goals shifted from becoming a veterinarian to a full-time streamer. Also, she shared what her future plans are for streaming and created content.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Ice meets fire in HBO's latest 'Game of Thrones' season 8 teaser

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Gaming

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.
Gaming

Skateboarding legend says ‘Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam’ will appeal to his fans

Tony Hawk's Skate Jam is now available for free on iOS and Android devices, and Digital Trends had the chance to talk to the legendary skater about its development and how it captures the magic of his best games.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Gaming

Cops called to handle ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ noise end up playing the game

A group of friends were playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch when cops arrived to respond to noise complaints from neighbors. In an unexpected twist, the officers ended up playing the game, too.
Gaming

The third DLC for ‘Spider-Man’ swings onto PlayStation 4 next week

The third part of Spider-Man's episodic DLC, Silver Lining, releases on December 21. The episode focuses on Silver Sable and Hammerhead, and it includes three new suits for Peter Parker.
Gaming

Spawn creator suggests the antihero could appear in ‘Mortal Kombat 11’

Spawn creator Todd McFarlane hinted that the comic book antihero could join the cast of Mortal Kombat 11 during a Reddit AMA. Spawn previously appeared in SoulCalibur II on the original Xbox.
Gaming

Grabbing a Switch for the holidays? Here's what you need to know to play online

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

Check out the best deals from GameStop’s Game Days Sale

GameStop has hundreds of games available for discounted prices between now and December 25 as part of its Game Days Sale. We checked out the deals and have rounded up all of the best Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One deals here.