The Ninjabot

Metal Gear Solid V Stamped With ‘Sexual Violence’ Ratings Description

Posted on January 6, 2014 at 6:35 pm by Justin Cavender

Konami’s Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is rated M for Mature and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has labeled the game with a ‘sexual violence’ content warning.

The fine folks over at Kotaku reached out to the ESRB for comment and were told “only one other game, 2006’s Animamundi, has been categorized as having sexual violence.”

You can find the board’s rating summary posted below–possible spoilers.

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.

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes Quiet

It’s no shocker Ground Zeroes was rated M, but I’m curious to see how fans react to a female character being sexually assaulted. There’s growing speculation the female in question is the already controversial character Quiet. The internet blew up last summer when the scantily clad sniper made an appearance in the MGS V E3 trailer.

Metal Gear series creator and game director Hideo Kojima took to Twitter in September to defend the character.

Personally, I believe it was the right call to only give gamers an audio sample of the attack. It’s better to leave this one up to our imaginations rather than witness the sexual assault using today’s gorgeous and realistic graphics. What about you? Sound off in the comments below.

For more geek news follow Justin on Twitter @Edgyarmo.

    • On the one hand, I don’t like the idea of this at all because there are inevitably those who would hear that scene and get off on it. Rape is a volatile subject to begin with, and its use in entertainment is rarely handled well. On the other hand, violence (and in this case, sexual violence) can be a powerful storytelling tool if used the right way.

      In the end, though, I feel like I’d need to see/hear the scene in order to understand the context of using it in MGS. It’s hard to critique their decision without context, although it could also be argued that there’s no justification for it at all.

    • Stephen Janes

      I’ll reserve any judgment, concerns or complaints until I play the game. However, I do feel that sexual assault is a very sensitive subject to say the least, and I personally don’t feel it should be in entertainment media, but it doesn’t overly offend me, either.

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