Illustrating male gaze in Metal Gear Solid V

It’s extraordinarily apparent in Metal Gear Solid that the camera treats different characters differently. Quiet is an exceptionally objectified character — not just because she’s scantily clad, but because she’s very much treated as a fetish object in a number of scenes. Some enterprising individuals took the PC version of the game and swapped Revolver Ocelot’s and Quiet’s character models, so that the game treats Ocelot’s model the way it ordinarily treats Quiet’s. It’s very telling.

And that’s not even to discuss Quiet’s origins, that she’s basically a plant who absorbs light and nutrients and water and air through her skin, and that putting clothing on her effectively suffocates her — never mind that her taking a shower should be akin to drowning, as a result. The supernatural elements (explained by a parasite) are there to justify having a bikini babe in the game who’s set up to have sensual showers in front of people on more than one occasion.

This is, of course, a secret cutscene, available only if you spend three days in a dumpster and have a full bond level with Quiet.

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Illustrating male gaze in Metal Gear Solid V
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14 thoughts on “Illustrating male gaze in Metal Gear Solid V

  1. 1

    And that’s not even to discuss Quiet’s origins, that she’s basically a plant who absorbs light and nutrients and water and air through her skin, and that putting clothing on her effectively suffocates her — never mind that her taking a shower should be akin to drowning, as a result. The supernatural elements (explained by a parasite) are there to justify having a bikini babe in the game who’s set up to have sensual showers in front of people on more than one occasion.

    Honestly, it would have made more sense to not have any backstory at all than it does with this insane origin.

    Most of the time, plants use leaves (either large in size or large in quantity) to absorb light for photosynthesis, and they typically absorb water and nutrients through their roots (there are some carnivorous exceptions, but I doubt that Quiet is one of them). So, if they really wanted to go with this bullshit origin, they could’ve easily given actual combat fatigues minus the boots, and given her a large head of thick hair. That would’ve at least made some sense.

    Or, they could’ve simply made her a human with normal gear, and simply said that she’s a really, really good sniper. ButwhatdoIknow?

  2. 2

    Maybe we’re all wrong. Maybe Kojima really is the genius everyone insist he is and this is satirizes all the absurd and ridiculousness that goes into the production of female characters and heroes? Maybe- just maybe- he’s out to prove nothing is so absurd that it won’t be defended by creeps?

    Ok more seriously I can’t believe I ever liked this series. When I read this explanation the first time I assumed it was a joke. That someone out there was trolling the internet or something. But nope. Kojima, his fans, fans of this series, and Satan have all come together to guarantee this genre of games will forever be remembered as sophomoric fanservice for self centered misogynistic geeks.

  3. 4

    I’ve been watching my brother play this. He’s lagging behind on the issues a bit, but they’re becoming impossible for him to ignore and they certainly didn’t escape him in this. Quiet is certainly not the only target of male gaze shots from what I’ve seen. No feminine butt or bust is left unzoomed.

  4. 5

    I don’t think I’ll be buying this one; I’ve played through all the others but I’ve been getting underwhelmed with the overall badness of the MGS series. Now it seems to be overwhelmingly bad.

    Color me so surprised the the quiet does stripteases and is a rape target.
    At 1:06, she starts doing vegas-style floor moves. Because that’s what badass snipers do to warm up before a fight, I suppose

  5. 6

    Jesus, Marcus. The boob physics at exactly 2:01.

    This is really sad, and I can’t bring myself to play this either. I’ve played every other MGS game short of Peace Walker, and was also skeeved out by the cheesecake easter eggs in MGS3 and 4. This is like these, only injected into the main plotline. Her story is laughably transparently a vehicle for making cheesecake, and her treatment is blatant in a way that none of the other cheesecake easter eggs were. I’m just done now. Done.

  6. 8

    People have been defending it. It sits on the border of parody mocking the very idea that anyone could satirize this series worse than its creators have and yet fanboys are insisting it’s amazing! That it’s body shaming to point out the absurdities of this title.

    Metal Gear Solid should serve as a warning to everyone. Don’t let cheesecake into your work or this is what you’ll inevitably turn into.

  7. 10

    “.. she’s basically a plant who absorbs light and nutrients and water and air through her skin, ..”

    So that’d logically mean chlorophyll right? Thus shouldn’t she be kinda green skinned? Maybe a bit leafy or something? With maybe a mesh of fibres and roots or equivalent coming out of her somewhere or everywhere?

    Not, y’know, “conventional” (for certain stereotypical value of) human looking woman?

    …and that putting clothing on her effectively suffocates her — never mind that her taking a shower should be akin to drowning, as a result.

    Um, why? if she absorbs water (and air) through her skin then it seems to me that she presumably would be immune from drowning – equivalent to seaweed not getting “drowned” too. Water blocks some light especially in certain wavelengths but does let through a fair amount depending on depth.

    Seems like a failure of imagination and waste of possibilities from what little I’ve seen here – just here – which Is all I have seen or heard of this character /game.

    Although, what the deal with the disappearing dematerialising thing she seems to do? With apparently red blood / flesh cells. What colours are phloem and xylem usually in plants here?

    Hmm .. Also they could’ve given her toxic irritant sap “blood” like in euphorbiacae and a number of other species plus thorns, prickles – even detachable limbs that resprout so she could in effect always grow her own armaments – if they wanted other botanical weaponry for her that could make sense with that explanation. Explaining her central nervous system and brain OTOH could be more difficult perhaps evolution on her planet has created some symbiosis of plant /animal features?

    There are a few such aliens in the Whoverse and Farscape that spring to mind as examples of what can be done – plus Ents and others in LOTR natch.

  8. 12

    Even ignoring the horrible sexism (as if i could), the scene direction is fk atrocious. I don’t know, i become embarrassed watching these highly-touted cinematic cut scenes in games even when there isn’t something as awful as this sort of reward for spending three days in a dumpster which you should have probably just moved into and called home if this is your sort of entertainment.

  9. 13

    To be honest, the MGS games have always been a bit histrionic – with Kojima’s “omg I need an editor” endless ‘back story’ hopper getting dumpster-loads of pointless detail and leaden dialogue. The first one I played was 2, and it was eye-opening at the time. The rest of the series has been on a trajectory from “meh” to “ick”

    I overlooked Sniper Wolf’s near shirt failure in 2, and the tendency for the camera to linger on Meryl’s butt. Mostly because the images were pixellated enough that it didn’t matter. I always figured “if I want to watch porn, I’ll just watch porn” and never saw the inevitable evolution along that trail.

  10. 14

    @ ^ Marcus Ranum : “I always figured “if I want to watch porn, I’ll just watch porn”

    Quoted for truth here. Play video games or watch porn, picking one at a time would generally seem better than trying to combine them unless we’re talking about a deliberately pornographic video game where the porn is the setting or the point of the exercise.

    Although, well, arguably exceptions could exist eg. :

    http://www.queerty.com/video-game-challenges-users-to-lather-up-hot-guys-in-the-locker-room-shower-20150922

    (Actually kinda Safe for work link.)

    Apparently one way to fight homophobia.

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