One of the many hallmarks of the Metal Gear Solid franchise has been its colorful cast of female characters, specifically the ones that push the sexual envelope, and quite vigorously. Though Quiet, the mute sniper that will grace “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain,” has gotten a greater amount of flack than usual.
Even our own Charles Webb took issue with her character design, noting that: “In the context of a game that blends child soldiers and PTSD, this feels like a misstep, overtly sexualizing the one named female character that’s been shown in the game up to this point, and further objectifying her by making her mute.”
Not helping are the tweets from series creator Kojima, in which Quiet’s looks was supposedly motivated by the desire to see sexy cosplay and sell figures. This following one was perhaps the tipping point for many:
— 小島秀夫 (@Kojima_Hideo) September 4, 2013
Polygon decided to ask Kojima what he meant exactly:
“Maybe the phrase ’erotic’ wasn’t really [the correct word for] what I was trying to say… What I’m really trying to do is create unique characters. One of those is, of course, Quiet. She’s a really unique character, I wanted to add that sexiness to her. It wasn’t really supposed to be erotic, but sexy.
You’re going to notice [when you play,] but there’s limited dialogue with the [Metal Gear Solid 5], and for that reason we really want to show the characteristic from each character… Sexy could be for guys, weapons, vehicles, it’s really that characteristic.”
Polygon also asked model Stefanie Joosten, who portrays Quiet in game what she thought:
“Of course, I was surprised to see Quiet’s outfit at first… But, you know, it fits in the Metal Gear universe, I think. I don’t think I’m allowed to say a lot about this, but, well, Mr. Kojima has his reasons for deciding why Quiet [is] wearing what she’s wearing… Players will just have to look forward to that.”
Naturally, not many are exactly satisfied with Kojima and company’s reasoning. Hence why many fans have created their own theories as to why Quiet looks the way she does. Three of the best were recently compiled by Kotaku. The Cameo Theory makes the most sense, within the context of the MGS universe, though the Sex Sells Theory is perhaps the one that’s actually at play here.