Metal Gear Solid V Gets Rated For Sexual Violence
Metal Gear Solid V is pulling out all the stops to be as controversial as it can possibly be it seems. We’ve already got the needlessly scantily-clad character Quiet who creator Hideo Kojima assures is is so attired for a very real reason. Somehow I doubt it. Now, the ESRB has slapped the game with the “Sexual Violence” content descriptor in its rating of Metal Gear Solid V.
We’re used to seeing phrases such as “Blood and Gore,” “Intense Violence” or “Strong Language” on the back of the box but you’d have to dredge back to 2006 for the last time to ratings body had to use the “Sexual Violence” descriptor and that was for something called Animamundi.
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It’s rather expected for the latest entry into the MGS franchise to be getting an M rating but it’s more than a little surprising that it appears to be the first game in 8 years to dabble in sexual violence. It could just be part of Hideo Kojima’s continued descent into abject madness.
Of course, other forms of media have featured scenes of rape and sexual violence. The Walking Dead and Kick Ass 2 comics did it and both versions of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo did it. Then again, those things didn’t feature a character who’s outfit comprises a underwear and tattered stockings.
It seems as if Quiet and the alleged sexual violence may not be entirely removed from each other though upon reading the rating summary of the game. Spoilers this way.
Content Descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Violence, Strong Language
Rating Summary: This is an action game in which players assume the role of an elite soldier through military missions in Cuba. Players infiltrate various bases and use pistols, machine guns, and rocket launchers to kill enemy soldiers. Firefights are highlighted by realistic gunfire, slow-motion effects, and large blood-splatter effects. Players can also employ stealth attacks (e.g., choking, knife stabbing from behind) and have the ability kill non-adversary characters/prisoners. One cutscene includes a depiction of blood and gore (e.g., a character’s intestines exposed during a dramatic procedure to remove an object). The game includes an audio file in which a female character is sexually assaulted by male characters; while there is no visual depiction, sounds of ripped clothing and struggle can be heard. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the dialogue.
It’s a bit of a relief that the sexual violence only pertains to an audio file but that becomes more worrying if this audio file is intended to fill in some of Quiet’s backstory. Not only is it a cliche for a woman to become stronger after experiencing great violence against herself but it also then makes little to no sense for her to strut about like a cheap hooker with a sniper rifle.
One can only hope that Kojima and his team know what they’re doing with this game and some of the decisions they’ve chosen to make.