Podzilla 1985

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Hideo Kojima Makes the Sexy & Ineffective

I just hope you were as confused by that headline as I was by the decision to dress Metal Gear characters the way that he does.

I'm not a prude by any means, to be honest you'd be lucky to catch me wearing pants most of the time. Court orders be damned! Still, even I'm kind of looking at the designs for the new Metal Gear V game and wondering where the line between a touch of sexy and blatant sexualization will be drawn.

I understand the concept of sexing up your characters to sell it to the horny gamers, and I'm usually not too
offended by it. I play Dead or Alive and appreciate the skin on display, but it's being displayed in a fighting game based around sexy ninjas and is generally not seen as a "serious" title. In fact, you could argue that most of the "sexy" characters are generally female fighters, although the femi-nazi agenda would lead you to believe that men aren't treated like the same pieces of meat. While it's true that men aren't subjected to the same "dog panting" that someone like Kasumi or Helena would, it's hard to ignore the fact there are plenty of shirtless guys on parade for the female fan. Hell, have you played these wrasslin' games? I dare you to find a guy wearing a shirt!

What troubles me is the overt sexuality of these designs are spilling over into all genres of gaming. Sure, you've got the booth babes at the conventions, you've got the increasingly stripper-like appearance of Cortana in the Halo series, and the less said about the outfit possibilities for the Saints Row women the better.

It's actually kind of an odd and disturbing fact that someone like Lara Croft, the original video game sex object, actually covered up and became more of a real women in the most recent Tomb Raider game. While Lara is trying to class up her image, it sometimes feels like the rest of the industry is trying their best to cater to that stereotypical video game virgin who tries to angle the camera in just the right way to look up a characters skirt.

And so we come back to Metal Gear, which I have always thought of as a semi-serious series that has a pretty big following and reputation as an action packed thrill ride with an intriguing storyline. Imagine my surprise when I saw the design for this new character Quiet; a sniper with a past. Because all snipers have pasts, but none of them are as cool as Ed Harris in "Enemy at the Gates."

Quiet is a pretty lass, but her outfit leaves little to the imagination. I understand it's a video game, and with the territory comes the need to cater to a certain sad demographic, but this one has me shaking my head. I mean, I don't see the tactical advantage that wearing a skimpy bikini and a thong will offer the new age sniper. Unless she's taking cover in a flesh colored jungle I don't see how all of that skin is going to keep her alive.

Maybe I just don't understand because I'm not in the military. Maybe that's how they're going to wear it in Syria, considering that's where we're heading next.

It's not that the women of Metal Gear haven't always been a little sexy, they just weren't so blatant before. The female character from the PSP Metal Gear games was a highly attractive lady in an extremely tight outfit, but at least it covered most of her. Kojima has said that with his new game he wants more "erotic" designs for his characters.


It's not just Metal Gear, either. Look at the progression of Lightning in the FFXIII series. If you can get past the initial anger over the fact that a Final Fantasy game has had two direct sequels, you'll notice how Lightning's outfit has gotten significantly smaller as time has gone on.

Is it the way of the future, or are we catering to a stereotype that needs to die a horrible death? IGN has a good report on Kojima coming under fire for his comments on the need for etoricism in his games, but I'm sure the negative press will dissipate once gamers get their hands on what will probably be a pretty good damn game.

Once they get their hands off themselves, I mean.

Cause they're virgins.

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