Hideo Kojima: An “A” for Effort
On Sept. 4 Hideo Kojima provided some more details via Twitter about a female character named Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V. He said he told Yoji Shinkawa, the game’s art director, to make Quiet “more erotic.” He later apologized and stated that “erotic” was the wrong word to use. He then went on to say that the people concerned about Quiet need not worry because he created Quiet as an antithesis to other women characters.
Well, I for one believe him. I’m not concerned because Kojima has never steered me wrong before. He has created some of the best games ever in the Metal Gear Solid series, and I’m extremely excited for the fifth installment. I know he and his team can craft worlds I want to live in, stories I want to experience and games I enjoy playing. And I know he can create great characters.
Sure, Metal Gear Solid has featured some questionable content in the past. In Snake Eater players could hold down a button to have Snake stare at Eva’s breasts. The female bosses from Guns of the Patriots were all kinds of stupid, and the “Us girls have to look our best” line, delivered by Naomi to Sunny, makes me roll my eyes every time I hear it. Some sexism is sprinkled here and there throughout the series, but I don’t think anyone has any right to accuse Kojima of being outright misogynistic.
The past has proven those accusers wrong. Despite his faults, Kojima has provided the gaming world with some of its strongest and most memorable female characters to date. The aforementioned Eva. Meryl. Mei Ling. The Boss. Any and all of those names are instantly recognizable to a large portion of the gaming community. The Boss might just be my favorite character from the series. She was complex and badass, and her battle with Snake at the end of Snake Eater is still awesome as hell even to this day.
Kojima knows what he’s doing, which is why I’m not worried about Quiet. She’s scantily clad, but whoop-de-doo. Don’t buy the game for your children or if you’re a sad pervert who masturbates to video game characters. Despite her attire I’m sure Quiet will turn out to be a great character, and if she doesn’t Kojima will have to face the music. I guess what I’m really saying is: wait for the game, people.
I mean, at least Kojima is trying or has tried unlike, say, Goichi Suda aka Suda 51. Here’s a game: name a female character from a Suda game right off the top of your head. What did you come up with? Cheerleader girl from Lollipop Chainsaw (her name is not “Lollipop Chainsaw”, by the way; it’s Juliet)? A Suda game just released called Killer Is Dead. I played it for several hours and reviewed it and I can’t remember any of the characters’ names from it except Mondo and David.
Suda can easily be called a misogynist because of the way his games portray women, especially Killer Is Dead, which has some really disgusting content in it. I’ve never felt as uncomfortable playing Metal Gear Solid as I have playing some of Suda’s games. I don’t mean “uncomfortable” as in “Oh my goodness, this is so shocking!” I mean “uncomfortable” as in “This is gross and dumb”.
Let’s cut Hideo Kojima some slack. I know a lot of folks can’t stand it when people say that, but let’s. I consider myself a feminist or at least a supporter of womens’ rights, but I’m also a believer in “A for effort”. I give Kojima an “A” for effort so far. I give Metal Gear Solid overall an “A” for “awesome”. I’m looking forward to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and to learning more about Quiet (and just what in the hell “The Phantom Pain” is) when I play it.