Here we go again. Western ideology trying to impose itself around the world, oblivious to culture or society. First it was Dragon's Crown and its creator being labelled a 14 year old boy, now it's Hideo Kojima being labelled misogynistic. Why you ask? It's all because of the female character known as Quiet and how Kojima deliberately made her appearance to be more "sexy" for cosplayers. That's what we have to work with right now.
This of course blew up into a metric f***ton of feminist buzzwords being thrown about by immature pseudo-journalists who are hitseeking by latching on to another piece of feminist dogma vs. video game design. Any second now I expect a tweet or tumblr post from Anita Sarkeesian, written by her boyfriend of course, completely trashing Kojima's design choice.
The interesting thing about the individuals who are against the design are that they couldn't care less about the character's backstory, in game skills, mission, or whatever. They see what they consider to be an objectified woman and pounce on the designer like a shark that smells blood. This is the first crack found in their arguments. You don't see stories asking about Quiet's skills or character in relation to what she's wearing, you see stories crying about what she looks like just because that's what she looks like.
Let's move on to the other arguments. The two main ones being realism and misogyny. Let's focus on realism first.
To begin with, unless a game is billed as "the most realistic _____" then realism doesn't apply to the game. Gran Turismo is billed as the world's most realistic driving sim, and strives to achieve that goal with every iteration. People then judge the game on that selling point. In the early years of Call of Duty, it was supposed to be a realistic interpretation of what it's like to fight like soldiers and people judged it based on that.
Nowhere does Konami or Kojima bill Metal Gear Solid 5 as the most realistic anything. To attach realism to a game that isn't trying to be realistic in anything but perhaps visuals is a fallacy. Be honest. You're not playing a game to play in reality. You're playing a game for entertainment and to escape reality. If you wanted real, that's what the real world is for. It's also what games labelled to be realistic are for. Stop attaching your idea of what realistic is to a fictional world filled with fictional characters. If games were that realistic, your game would be over the second you were shot and wouldn't be fun.
Next up is misogyny. That term is flung around without any reverence or understanding of what it means. Misogyny is a very harsh term and it DOESN'T equate to anything that may offend women. Misogyny is a deep hatred or distrust of women. How can one logically claim that a character made to be beautiful (you can't deny that Quiet is aesthetically gorgeous) is actually a statement of hatred towards women? The only women that that would apply to, if we were to follow the ridiculous notion that games impact reality, are women who are already unhappy with their appearance to begin with and take their queues from fictional characters on how women are supposed to look.
No man in the entire world thinks women SHOULD look like Quiet, or Ivy, or any female video game character. None. Oh sure, they'd like it if women did. That is to say, they wouldn't complain, but none go out into the world with the expectation that that's what they are going to get. This also means that no one treats women in such a way as to fulfill that non-existent expectation.
The people who make these complaints are attempting to create a correlation to video game representation and real world problems. But just like the fact that video games don't cause violence, they also don't cause misogyny and are not misogynistic.
But the issue here really isn't about equality or maturity. It's about special rights and special treatment. It's about having feelings coddled. True equality would see equal outrage over the Kratos' of the video game world coming from WOMEN. When's the last time you saw a female game journalist/blogger complain about half-naked, 'roid raging, muscle men going on killing sprees as being realistic? Nowhere. Why? Because when that kind of character exists in gaming, it's not misandry or sexism, it's the "ideal man." That's the argument used against the notion that men are unfairly represented in games. That men like Nathan Drake, Kratos, or Marcus Fenix are representations of what all men want to be like. Yet women like Ivy, Mai, or now Quiet, aren't what women want to be like at all. They're what men want women to be like. Or so they say.
Finally, we come to the idea of maturity. Many who are pro-feminist argue that women like Quiet don't belong in mature games. That is to say a game that truly has mature themes and tries to attract a mature audience would never have a character like Quiet in it. It's immature to have a gorgeous woman who is not "realistically dressed." This is a fallacy. Mature themes have often included full on nudity and other forms of sexuality in the Past even just for the sake of inclusion. Actual maturity doesn't hinge on conformity to individual sensibilities. What one considers mature, another would not. The true essence of maturity in games is to recognize the right to use different forms of artistic expression, support the ones you enjoy, ignore the ones you don't. No one has the authority to call Hideo Kojima immature because of Quiet. Especially since nothing is known about her full involvement within the game or what she's completely capable of.
To any who will come and argue this blog, I put forth the challenge of putting a human face to your refutations. Find cold hard facts that how a woman looks in a video correlates to how women are treated in reality. Avoid using concepts like "perception" because perception is subjective. You can make the claim that Quiet portrays a perception of women as sexual objects, and I can put forth that that perception doesn't exist for me. So put forth an actual, factual, human face to it. Using real world examples that go beyond some girl having to listen to trolls in online games.
There are a lot of amazing women out there who don't give a damn about any of this and just want to game. They'll pick up MGS5, play a game with a "sexualized" female character, and have a complete blast. But there are also people who are so dissatisfied with their own lives and their idea of how their life should be that they will jump on any chance to force the world to bend to their way of thinking because they think they are owed something. They aren't.
Developers have to listen to consumer concerns, but there is a limit. You will never please everybody, so you shouldn't try to. A developer shouldn't have to care what hurts your feelings because you have every chance to research a game, see it's not for you, and pass on it. You do not have the right to label a designer with a harsh pejorative the way people have labelled Hideo Kojima and the creator of Dragon's Crown.
In summation: Quiet is fine the way she is, it's not going to cause the mythical pay gap to widen, nor will it cause men to go out in the streets and demand women take their clothes off. Lay off of Kojima for his design choice and if you don't like the character then don't buy the game. I assure you that that is the only way that everyone will be happy... unless your only goal is to complain about inconsequential minutia anyway.