Gamer Mondays: A Halo of Hypocrisy

September 16, 2013 | By | 34 Comments

Hello one and all! Welcome to this week’s edition of Gamer Mondays, the editorial where one of our contributors gets to rant about, as that great philosopher Peter Griffin phrased it, grinding their gears. Last week, Dave talked about retailer exclusives, something I know many of us loathe with a burning passion. This week, I’m going to discuss some gold ol’ fashioned hypocrisy.

A couple of weeks ago, you may recall that the legendary Hideo Kojima Tweeted about how he asked one of his character designers to intentionally create more “erotic” characters for the purpose of cosplay and figurine sales (If you have forgotten, you can see the Tweets here). Kojima later said that his true meaning was lost in translation, and that he simply meant sexier, especially regarding the new female sniper in Metal Gear Solid V known as Quiet (See below for a “scandalous” pic). While this clarification may have been enough to pacify some critics, others felt the need to make their voice heard.

Quietcharactermodel

David Ellis, a designer for 343 Industries, said the following on Twitter in regards to Quiet’s character model: “Don’t care if this gets me in trouble. This character design is disgusting.” He also added that he felt “Our [the gaming] industry should be better than this.” Mr. Ellis would finish his tirade with the cheerful thought that the “[Gaming] Industry [is] full of man babies. Ugh.” For those who are unaware, 343 Industries is the company now in charge of the Halo franchise, and has been since Bungie left Microsoft to begin work on Destiny. This means 343 Industries is entirely responsible for the fourth numerically numbered entry in the Halo franchise, creatively called Halo 4. Why am I making a point of such an obvious detail? Maybe this picture can explain my point:

cortanaevolution

As you can see, this a progression of the character Cortana from her introduction in the original Halo: Combat Evolved to how she appeared during the events of the recent Halo 4. Let’s really look at Cortana’s new character model. I’m assuming that Cortana needed those big, fuller “red” (implied, although she is completely blue) lips to make herself feel pretty. When asked about the curvier appearance of her body, I’m sure 343 would like us to believe that it was to make her appear more like a real woman and an empowerment for female gamers everywhere. Let’s not even begin to discuss the obvious digital breast augmentation surgery Cortana has undergone while Chief has been sleeping. None of these new features could have been in the name of creating more Cortana cosplayers and to sell sexy Cortana figurines to collectors could they? 343 Industries would never stoop to such a…

halo4cortanasidebyside

Oh. Well, that’s a pickle. It seems that cosplay and figurine sales may have been exactly the kind of thing that 343 Industries intended to happen when they gave Cortana such a drastic redesign for Halo 4. So, that would mean 343 Industries, the very company that Mr. Ellis works for as a designer, did something that he termed in his Tweets as “disgusting.” If only there was a word to describe a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs.

I’m not here to argue whether these kind of character designs are or are not “disgusting.” Honestly, it would be easier for me if all female game characters were dressed as nuns. While this may make me less of a “guy,” have you ever had to explain to your wife why you are playing alongside of a character that is dressed like she was ripped from the scenes of a late night Cinemax movie?

The point of my rant is to call out the hypocrisy that is rampant in statements such as these. As a consumer, I completely support your right to not purchase Metal Gear Solid V if you think there is no justifiable reason for Quiet to have the appearance she does and it offends you. However, in the case of Mr. Ellis, do not claim outrage and indignation over something that you yourself (through your employer) are condoning and perpetuating. This does nothing but make you a hypocrite and less of a human being.