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Title: ‘Needs to Be Done’: the representation of torture in video games and in Metal Gear Solid V
Authors: Girina, I
Issue Date: 20-Dec-2018
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: in Jung, B. & Bruzzi, S. (eds.) Beyond the Rhetoric of Pain. London : Routledge, 2018, pp. 137 - 158
Series/Report no.: Warwick Series in the Humanities
Abstract: In 2013, Hideo Kojima presented the trailer of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which portrayed multiple characters enduring torture and physical violence within the fictional military and political context that, together with its stealth game mechanics, became the franchise signature. In the wake of a similar controversies in the same year around the inclusion of a playable torture sequence in other games, the media and the specialised press strongly reacted to the contents of The Phantom Pain trailer. Kojima responded to accusations on the exploitative nature of these images stressing their importance for the expressive growth of the medium. Crucial to the journalists’ concern and in Kojima’s apologetic reply was the exclusion of any playable element in the torture sequences. By analysing the torture cut-scenes in relation to the interrogation game mechanics in which Snake, the protagonist, uses torture techniques in order to retrieve intel from the enemies, the chapter complicates the controversial understanding of the representation of torture offered by the trailer. Fundamental to this is the contextualisation of the procedural rhetoric of the game within the poetics developed by Kojima throughout the MG franchise. Drawing from Elaine Scarry’s seminal work on this topic, I propose a reading of The Phantom Pain that short-circuits its initial exploitative lure.
ISBN: 9780429397851
Other Identifiers: Chapter 8
Appears in Collections:Dept of Arts and Humanities Research Papers

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