Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Earns Mature Rating, Includes "Sexual Violence"

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Earns Mature Rating, Includes "Sexual Violence"

Ground Zeroes ESRB Rating

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes will include an audio file depicting a sequence of sexual violence.

The Metal Gear Solid games are no stranger to the M rating. From the first entry on the PlayStation, the series has consistently courted the Mature rating both in its gameplay and cutscenes. Granted, this content has also been mixed in with persistent fart jokes and no small smattering of fan service, but by-and-by the series tends to skew toward adult audiences.

That being the case, the ESRB has recently released its rating for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and, not unexpectedly, it will wear the same M for Mature brand as its predecessors. What's notable however, is some of the content that got it there. While the game will feature the violence and "blood-splatter effects" fans have come to expect, it will also apparently feature "sexual violence," which is relatively rare when it comes to games.

According to the ESRB, "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." No other information was included as to the context of the audio file or the characters involved. No matter the circumstances however, the very inclusion of what essentially amounts to a rape sequence, even in audio, is something that could invite controversy to the series and even conceivably have earned the game an Adults Only rating.

It would be hard to forget, for instance, the turmoil that surrounded Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot when it was revealed that the game would include a segment that amounted to Lara being threatened sexually by a male foe. We wouldn't say that this kind of subject matter should be off-limits to games, but it is something that developers and writers should definitely handle with care. How exactly Ground Zeroes employs it, in turn, is something we'll have to wait and see.

Source: ESRB

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Almost every game now is rated Mature so I guess this is news because of the "sexual violence" that even then apparently its just audio, are we pretending that most games dont have "normal violence" where characters get killed and rewarded for such? And that even for sexual violence there as also been Far Cry 3, I mean, in Tomb Raider she is threatened, in Far Cry 3 the guy was raped multiple times

This really isnt news worthy but I guess it will generate clicks (im not really saying that its The Escapist fault since every other website will also make a big deal out of it)

In before a massive witch-hunt to condemn and ban and generally crucify this game for this. Because remember people - MURDER is okay. Simulating the violent ending of someone else's life is A-Okay. But even implying rape? Unthinkable.

Yeah, sarcasm meters everywhere should be breaking.

We'll see what kind of drama this will generate. :P

josemlopes:
Almost every game now is rated Mature so I guess this is news because of the "sexual violence" that even then apparently its just audio, are we pretending that most games dont have "normal violence" where characters get killed and rewarded for such? And that even for sexual violence there as also been Far Cry 3, I mean, in Tomb Raider she is threatened, in Far Cry 3 the guy was raped multiple times

This really isnt news worthy but I guess it will generate clicks (im not really saying that its The Escapist fault since every other website will also make a big deal out of it)

Hmm...I haven't played Far Cry 3, but I'm wondering how the rape in that game was portrayed. I.e. did it happen on-screen? Did you hear it happening off-screen? Or were you told after the fact?

I ask, because the big deal with Ground Zeroes is that it includes a depiction of sexual violence that the player can actually listen to. In fact, from what I understand had Ground Zeroes opted to show this happening instead of portraying it via audio log, the ESRB probably would have slapped the game with an Adults Only label.

Good job I just finished building a survival bunker under the stairs, I can already sense a tsunami of feminists coming to sweep away any rational thought and brand Hideo Kojima 'Super Rape-Hitler' for this.

Personally I'm intrigued by this bit:

a character's intestines exposed during a dramatic procedure to remove an object

Maybe there will be a tiny Metal Gear that pretends to be a chest burster? I can only hope.

StewShearer:

josemlopes:
Almost every game now is rated Mature so I guess this is news because of the "sexual violence" that even then apparently its just audio, are we pretending that most games dont have "normal violence" where characters get killed and rewarded for such? And that even for sexual violence there as also been Far Cry 3, I mean, in Tomb Raider she is threatened, in Far Cry 3 the guy was raped multiple times

This really isnt news worthy but I guess it will generate clicks (im not really saying that its The Escapist fault since every other website will also make a big deal out of it)

Hmm...I haven't played Far Cry 3, but I'm wondering how the rape in that game was portrayed. I.e. did it happen on-screen? Did you hear it happening off-screen? Or were you told after the fact?

I ask, because the big deal with Ground Zeroes is that it includes a depiction of sexual violence that the player can actually listen to. In fact, from what I understand had Ground Zeroes opted to show this happening instead of portraying it via audio log, the ESRB probably would have slapped the game with an Adults Only label.

I really dont get why movies can show things that games still cant.

As for Far Cry 3 it isnt shown but the player sees that there was a lot of sexual violence that actually took place, the main character also gets raped but there is no violence there, he got drugged and a girl has sex with him while he is sleeping to get pregnant.

I can see that the M/AO rating thing does make this piece of news more interesting but you dont even mention that part on your original piece, all that its there is "There is rape".

I thought they'd mention all the torture in that rating too. Didn't Miller waterboard someone in the trailer?

Perhaps it's all in the main game (The Phantom Pain) and not Ground Zeroes.

StewShearer:

josemlopes:
Almost every game now is rated Mature so I guess this is news because of the "sexual violence" that even then apparently its just audio, are we pretending that most games dont have "normal violence" where characters get killed and rewarded for such? And that even for sexual violence there as also been Far Cry 3, I mean, in Tomb Raider she is threatened, in Far Cry 3 the guy was raped multiple times

This really isnt news worthy but I guess it will generate clicks (im not really saying that its The Escapist fault since every other website will also make a big deal out of it)

Hmm...I haven't played Far Cry 3, but I'm wondering how the rape in that game was portrayed. I.e. did it happen on-screen? Did you hear it happening off-screen? Or were you told after the fact?

I ask, because the big deal with Ground Zeroes is that it includes a depiction of sexual violence that the player can actually listen to. In fact, from what I understand had Ground Zeroes opted to show this happening instead of portraying it via audio log, the ESRB probably would have slapped the game with an Adults Only label.

Well it is pretty heavily implied that Buck is raping Jasons friend Keith. And then of course the whole thing with Jason getting drugged and then waking up with Citra on top of him having fun.

Karathos:
In before a massive witch-hunt to condemn and ban and generally crucify this game for this. Because remember people - MURDER is okay. Simulating the violent ending of someone else's life is A-Okay. But even implying rape? Unthinkable.

Yeah, sarcasm meters everywhere should be breaking.

We'll see what kind of drama this will generate. :P

I know where you are going with this and I see where you are coming from but I think a lot of it is this, from the rational people anyway.

You can kill a bad person and that in turn saves people they would have killed. That's one excuse for murder. Depending on your disposition whether this is acceptable or not I'd be happy to debate.

Rape. Um... there is literally no reason as to how rape could ever ever ever be a good thing ever. And I'm not being closed minded, its rape. If a murderer was murdered it would save potential victims, if a murderer was raped it would... not really stop them killing people, they'd be a rape victim and still a murderer.

This isn't directed completely at you Karathos I am just speaking out loud.

When it comes to fiction however? Writers can do whatever the fuck they want if it leads to an entertaining or intriguing story. I just prefer they aren't fucking creepazoids about it. I was excited for Tomb Raider, and all those scenes of her getting hurt just made me think "Wow, a cool survivalist type game, awesome."

Then I read the article the devs put out and was super creeped out by just how aroused they sounded. And their fucked up views on rape.

Kojima however, I really don't know where he or his writing team would go with this. He has a history of writing about serious issues in a respectful manner, but also gives a shit ton of fan service in places where it really isn't appropriate. When it comes to outright rape I'll respect them enough to treat it seriously... kind of went off topic then didn't I?

Fuck it I suck with words. Kojima can probably treat rape like the real issue that it is while over writers (in every medium) struggle to understand what it even is, many refuse to even respect it.

I have my own theories as to how this is going to play out, but I'd much rather wait until I get the game itself before I actually discuss it. Don't want to go into what could wind up being spoiler territory, after all...

Captcha: lickety-split.
Yes, I'd like to see this game out ASAP too.

josemlopes:

StewShearer:

josemlopes:
Almost every game now is rated Mature so I guess this is news because of the "sexual violence" that even then apparently its just audio, are we pretending that most games dont have "normal violence" where characters get killed and rewarded for such? And that even for sexual violence there as also been Far Cry 3, I mean, in Tomb Raider she is threatened, in Far Cry 3 the guy was raped multiple times

This really isnt news worthy but I guess it will generate clicks (im not really saying that its The Escapist fault since every other website will also make a big deal out of it)

Hmm...I haven't played Far Cry 3, but I'm wondering how the rape in that game was portrayed. I.e. did it happen on-screen? Did you hear it happening off-screen? Or were you told after the fact?

I ask, because the big deal with Ground Zeroes is that it includes a depiction of sexual violence that the player can actually listen to. In fact, from what I understand had Ground Zeroes opted to show this happening instead of portraying it via audio log, the ESRB probably would have slapped the game with an Adults Only label.

I really dont get why movies can show things that games still cant.

As for Far Cry 3 it isnt shown but the player sees that there was a lot of sexual violence that actually took place, the main character also gets raped but there is no violence there, he got drugged and a girl has sex with him while he is sleeping to get pregnant.

I can see that the M/AO rating thing does make this piece of news more interesting but you dont even mention that part on your original piece, all that its there is "There is rape".

That's actually a good point. I've modified the article a bit to note that.

Aw, I was hoping the "sexual violence" would turn out to be Big Boss being hit in the groin with a football....

Also: didn't one of the earliest trailers of this game depict a woman in a bikini top being tortured with car battery wires?

ProtoChimp:

Karathos:
In before a massive witch-hunt to condemn and ban and generally crucify this game for this. Because remember people - MURDER is okay. Simulating the violent ending of someone else's life is A-Okay. But even implying rape? Unthinkable.

Yeah, sarcasm meters everywhere should be breaking.

We'll see what kind of drama this will generate. :P

I know where you are going with this and I see where you are coming from but I think a lot of it is this, from the rational people anyway.

You can kill a bad person and that in turn saves people they would have killed. That's one excuse for murder. Depending on your disposition whether this is acceptable or not I'd be happy to debate.

Rape. Um... there is literally no reason as to how rape could ever ever ever be a good thing ever. And I'm not being closed minded, its rape. If a murderer was murdered it would save potential victims, if a murderer was raped it would... not really stop them killing people, they'd be a rape victim and still a murderer.

This isn't directed completely at you Karathos I am just speaking out loud.

When it comes to fiction however? Writers can do whatever the fuck they want if it leads to an entertaining or intriguing story. I just prefer they aren't fucking creepazoids about it. I was excited for Tomb Raider, and all those scenes of her getting hurt just made me think "Wow, a cool survivalist type game, awesome."

Then I read the article the devs put out and was super creeped out by just how aroused they sounded. And their fucked up views on rape.

Kojima however, I really don't know where he or his writing team would go with this. He has a history of writing about serious issues in a respectful manner, but also gives a shit ton of fan service in places where it really isn't appropriate. When it comes to outright rape I'll respect them enough to treat it seriously... kind of went off topic then didn't I?

Fuck it I suck with words. Kojima can probably treat rape like the real issue that it is while over writers (in every medium) struggle to understand what it even is, many refuse to even respect it.

Yeah, I see what you mean. It's not an easy subject to handle, obviously. I just hope (usually in vain) that people don't get some kind of knee-jerk reaction to this because of seeing the word 'rape' in there. Probably will, but there ya go :D

Karathos:
[quote="ProtoChimp" post="7.838725.20589594"]

Yeah, I see what you mean. It's not an easy subject to handle, obviously. I just hope (usually in vain) that people don't get some kind of knee-jerk reaction to this because of seeing the word 'rape' in there. Probably will, but there ya go :D

Of course they will man this is the escapist. For every person who wants to take things into consideration and discuss, there are a dozen jackasses who see the world in black and white and make it worse for everyone. Either "Rape YAY" or "Rape, Boo game bad to women."

Capcha: Interrupting cow. If this doesn't immediately interrupt me when I click post I will be severely disappointed.

Personally I suspect this has only been included for the controversy that it's likely to generate. But then I'm a cynic

It'll be enough to get the game banned in Australia.

I'm surprised that brutal crotch grabbing in MGS 3 didn't already qualify. :D

But seriously, it's an audio file of an implied rape, not a bunch of dudes going "BEND OVER, BITCH!" full screen. I guess a "mature themes" rating would have been more appropriate, or maybe even "suggestive themes".

ProtoChimp:
You can kill a bad person and that in turn saves people they would have killed. That's one excuse for murder. Depending on your disposition whether this is acceptable or not I'd be happy to debate.

Rape. Um... there is literally no reason as to how rape could ever ever ever be a good thing ever. And I'm not being closed minded, its rape. If a murderer was murdered it would save potential victims, if a murderer was raped it would... not really stop them killing people, they'd be a rape victim and still a murderer.

Then nothing can be done about anything about a person without killing them. If someone likes CoD and you want to convince them otherwise, you can't, just kill them. They support Man Utd and you think they should support Norwich, you can't stop them so kill them. Your child hates all vegetables, well can't change that so kill it.

End ridiculous hyperbole.

Murder/killing is powerful because it is an end, whatever the victim was doing before can no longer be done. Literally everything else is a modifier. Talking, fighting, imprisoning, drinks 'n' drugs, embarrassment, receiving treatment etc all these things modify behaviour.

In this way, rape is like torture and imprisonment/kidnapping.

The other type of rape, where the rapist just wants to get their rocks off, is just like when the bad guy kills innocents for no reason; except less bad because the victims survive.

---

The issue is of course that rape is sexual and bad, which makes it a huge go-to no-no and pre-packaged controversy in English speaking countries.

Yes, Metal Gear Solid has always been known for the measured and mature way it handles adult subject mat-

Sorry I can't keep a straight face, it will be weird and awkward like so very many things MGS does. Should rape be handled in video games? I believe so, if it is an intelligent and thought provoking manner. Such as something like how Spec-Ops: The line analysed violence and The Stanley Parable handled choice.

I won't go into it in detail but basically Hideo Kojima is the last person who should be taking a stab at it. Just look at the Beauties in MGS 4 to see what he thinks of traumatised woman.

Lono Shrugged:
Yes, Metal Gear Solid has always been known for the measured and mature way it handles adult subject mat-

Sorry I can't keep a straight face, it will be weird and awkward like so very many things MGS does. Should rape be handled in video games? I believe so, if it is an intelligent and thought provoking manner. Such as something like how Spec-Ops: The line analysed violence and The Stanley Parable handled choice.

I won't go into it in detail but basically Hideo Kojima is the last person who should be taking a stab at it. Just look at the Beauties in MGS 4 to see what he thinks of traumatised woman.

This ^

MGS can be a good platform to show the horrors of war, but the tone is incredibly inconsistent, instead of the tones being well-rounded and adult in the sense that there is pain on one end and happyness on the other, it switches with an audible "clunk" whereby Solid Snake proceeds to join a conga line while Otacon complains that they don't talk as much as they used to.

StewShearer:
it is something that developers and writers should definitely handle with care. How exactly Ground Zeroes employs it, in turn, is something we'll have to wait and see.

It's ok guys, Kojima has repeatedly proved that he can handle sexuality with delicacy and grace.

/sarcasm

CriticalMiss:
Good job I just finished building a survival bunker under the stairs, I can already sense a tsunami of feminists coming to sweep away any rational thought and brand Hideo Kojima 'Super Rape-Hitler' for this.

Personally I'm intrigued by this bit:

a character's intestines exposed during a dramatic procedure to remove an object

Maybe there will be a tiny Metal Gear that pretends to be a chest burster? I can only hope.

This scene was actually shown during the "Red Band" version of the TGS trailer.

kurupt87:

Murder/killing is powerful because it is an end, whatever the victim was doing before can no longer be done. Literally everything else is a modifier. Talking, fighting, imprisoning, drinks 'n' drugs, embarrassment, receiving treatment etc all these things modify behaviour.

In this way, rape is like torture and imprisonment/kidnapping.

The other type of rape, where the rapist just wants to get their rocks off, is just like when the bad guy kills innocents for no reason; except less bad because the victims survive.

Yes, but there are many problems with how rape is often presented in media.
From a story-telling point of view, a murder and death is about those people left behind.
Rape/torture is about the victim. It's a story that should be about the victim's point of view, much more so than a murder should.

But way too often the story is told in a way that focuses on the pain and feelings of the father/husband/brother of the rape victim, not the victim itself.

Another problem is with how rape and sexual assault is put in there to get in sex and sexually titillate. (Because consensual sex is BAD, especially if it's women seeking sex actively. Better just write it so they get sex forced on them.)

Rape can be presented in all kinds of media, but there's no good track record on this.

Especially with Kojima. The treatment of the Beauty and the Beast-unit in MGS4 was horrid. ("Let's sexualize these tragic victims of war!")

But I guess we'll see.

Lieju:

kurupt87:

Murder/killing is powerful because it is an end, whatever the victim was doing before can no longer be done. Literally everything else is a modifier. Talking, fighting, imprisoning, drinks 'n' drugs, embarrassment, receiving treatment etc all these things modify behaviour.

In this way, rape is like torture and imprisonment/kidnapping.

The other type of rape, where the rapist just wants to get their rocks off, is just like when the bad guy kills innocents for no reason; except less bad because the victims survive.

Yes, but there are many problems with how rape is often presented in media.
From a story-telling point of view, a murder and death is about those people left behind.
Rape/torture is about the victim. It's a story that should be about the victim's point of view, much more so than a murder should.

But way too often the story is told in a way that focuses on the pain and feelings of the father/husband/brother of the rape victim, not the victim itself.

Another problem is with how rape and sexual assault is put in there to get in sex and sexually titillate. (Because consensual sex is BAD, especially if it's women seeking sex actively. Better just write it so they get sex forced on them.)

Rape can be presented in all kinds of media, but there's no good track record on this.

Especially with Kojima. The treatment of the Beauty and the Beast-unit in MGS4 was horrid. ("Let's sexualize these tragic victims of war!")

But I guess we'll see.

What? That doesn't make any since. You are letting your on personal taste dictate on how to tell a story, and setting it as an absolute. I'll say it again just like the last time someone brought up rape in videogames. Videogames had players rape and be raped, and had used rape in videogames damn near it's birth. Rape isn't a new concept to videogames, and people need to stop treating it like it is a new concept, just because they have personal issues with rape, or think everyone else has issues with rape.

Wait... why is this a surprise? I though pretty much every previous MGS games had mature content...

Magenera:
What? That doesn't make any since. You are letting your on personal taste dictate on how to tell a story, and setting it as an absolute. I'll say it again just like the last time someone brought up rape in videogames. Videogames had players rape and be raped, and had used rape in videogames damn near it's birth. Rape isn't a new concept to videogames, and people need to stop treating it like it is a new concept, just because they have personal issues with rape, or think everyone else has issues with rape.

Maybe, but using it well in a story without coming across as creepy or immature is a pretty new concept.

I'm not saying there is just one way to tell a story, but I do think it's creepy how often rape is treated as something that mainly affects the men closest to the victims.

CriticalMiss:
Personally I'm intrigued by this bit:

a character's intestines exposed during a dramatic procedure to remove an object

Maybe there will be a tiny Metal Gear that pretends to be a chest burster? I can only hope.

If I recall correctly from one of the trailers, I believe people were smuggling blocks of (presumably) drugs by hiding them inside of people and then cutting them open and taking the drugs out when they reached their destination.

Genocidicles:
I thought they'd mention all the torture in that rating too. Didn't Miller waterboard someone in the trailer?

Perhaps it's all in the main game (The Phantom Pain) and not Ground Zeroes.

Is there an MGS game that doesn't have a torture scene? Hmm... I know 1 2 and 3 do... And don't they kill Meryl if you give in to said torture im MGS1? The only one I can't remember having torture is MGS4 (not counting MG1 and 2 for NES/MSX)but I haven't played MGS4 in a while. But yeah, torture is a-ok!

Side note, for all the controversy MGS is one of the very few action games that actually encourages non lethal play throughs...

 

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