Ever since Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was released in 2015, its eagle-eyed sniper, Quiet, has been at the epicenter of online debates over her revealing default outfit, and the backstory that supported it. Now, Quiet’s actress has finally weighed in on the discourse over her character’s getup.
In a recent interview with IGN, actress Stefanie Joosten, who is the face model and motion actor for Quiet, was asked about her perspective on the over-sexualization of women in video games and whether her perspective had changed on Quiet’s portrayal in MGSV. In the past, Joosten said Quiet, who wears a bikini top over torn fishnets and tactical gear, “has her reasons for wearing what she does.”
In the game, we learn that Quiet suffers from a parasitic virus. The upside to the virus is that it grants her superhuman abilities like invisibility and super speed. However, the virus also makes it so she has to breathe through her skin, hence her revealing outfit. Convenient. Before the game’s release, creator Hideo Kojima had said on Twitter that those questioning her design would be “ashamed of your words & deeds” upon learning the truth. Nevertheless, the years following MGSV’s release have been rife with debates around her, with players either admonishing or ardently defending Quiet’s design.
Speaking with IGN, Joosten told IGN that, although she respects the creative decision to make Quiet’s appearance “quite revealing,” she sympathizes with fans’ desire for capable female characters who aren’t oversexualized.
Here’s what Joosten had to say about Quiet’s design:
This game came out in 2015, and I think the video game landscape has changed quite a lot since then. People are looking for more representation, and I really get it. Quiet’s outfit is not practical at all. Even with the explanation that was given of her breathing through her skin, of course there were so many other options you could have gone with. I do agree on that. I got to see the character artwork when we were starting motion capture, and of course my first reaction was, ‘that’s a very revealing costume’, but I respected it and accepted it. So that’s basically my stance. It’s fantasy, and I find that acceptable as well. But I do understand, having more of a diverse representation in video games for woman and all minorities is something I would encourage as well.
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Although Joosten thinks it would be intriguing to explore Quiet’s character further in a spin-off MGS game, she feels her character’s story arc “had a really beautiful conclusion” within MGSV.
“When I went into the last motion capture sessions and also the voiceover sessions, I really felt, at the end, I was really saying goodbye to the character as well,” Joosten told IGN. “So that really felt like closure, but who knows? It would be interesting to explore Quiet’s past, for instance.”
Toward the end of the interview, IGN asked Joosten whether or not she would consider working with Kojima again in the future. Joosten replied, “Absolutely.”