Earlier this week, the game director and creator of the Metal Gear series, Hideo Kojima, earned the ire of fans when he voiced his intentions to make the character designs for “Metal Gear Solid 5” appear “more erotic.”
This wasn’t a leak in the development process, but rather Kojima himself tweeted the “erotic” comment, elaborating his decision designer Yoji Shinkawa as a way of encouraging cosplayers to dress as MGS V characters and to sell more figurines of MGS V characters. His classy tweet received a cherry on top when he tweeted an infamous ass shot of MGS V character, “Quiet.”
Kojima clarified his tweets during a Q&A session with Polygon, stating, “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…it’s not just the characters, but the mechs and weapons…
The actress behind Quiet, Stefanie Joosten, said she was “surprised to see Quiet’s outfit at first,” but acknowledged that it fit within the MG universe.
“Mr. Kojima has his reasons for deciding why Quiet is wearing what she’s wearing,” said Joosten.
Those familiar with Kojima’s brand of character design and narrative shouldn’t be too surprised by a bit of perviness creeping in. Solid Snake is not exactly the stealth warrior he is when it comes to looking at ass and breasts. What I think annoys people is Kojima’s intention of using sex to sell the game to cosplayers and figurine collectors rather than trying to tell the best story he can within that universe.
The cause for concern lies with, what I call, the Joel Schumacher-ism of storytelling. Once a director loses focus of storytelling, and begins toeing the line of selling other products, we end up with less of an experience and more of an entertainment vessel marked by its merchandising missiles of war. The self-destructing kind of missiles they are.
Kojima direction to Shinkawa reeks of Warner Bros. command for Schumacher to make “Batman and Robin” more “toyetic.” Not even Christian Bale’s bat growl, or Ben Affleck’s “Gigli,” can make us forget about those ghastly bat nipples on George Clooney’s batsuit.
What it comes down to is this: If Kojima won’t respect his own characters, then why the hell should anyone else?
Johnny is a freelance writer whose work features on PopMatters, Critical Distance, Nightmare Mode, Writer's Weekly, GlobalPost and much, much more. Um, If his mom is reading this, he says he applied at that "one place" but they're currently not hiring. Now he's telling me to tell her that he'll, uh, be back with the car by six...