She's Sexy. Now Kill Her?

I like God of War: Ascension. It's a violent video game. I've got nothing against that. I like a lot of violent video games. I "get" where a lot of in-game violence comes from: games need to feel interactive; letting me control one character and eliminate another from the screen is still the most easily-comprehended -- and enjoyed -- act of video game interactivity.

I also like seeing images of attractive people. I prefer female figures, but there's capacity for physical beauty in any kind of person. Or place. Or thing. Or Greek deity.

Sometimes beauty is just that: beauty. Sometimes, it's sexualised. That kind of beauty is meant to appeal not just to the eyes or the heart but to the loins, to tap into something primal, to turn us on.

What makes me uneasy, what feels -- my opinion! -- gross is when these two things combine, when a game sexualises some of its characters and then lets you bash their heads in the ground and rip them in two. That's when it feels weird. That's when I wonder why I'm being asked to have fun with this. That's when I start wishing that vivid violence and sexualised content wouldn't mix in video games in the manner they do in God of War: Ascension, not when there seems to be no other point than asking me to have fun with it.

Lighten up, you might say. Or, I don't like it either, you might say.

Let's make sure we're all looking at and talking about the same thing. (There will be God of War: Ascension spoilers below.)

***

God of War games take place in a version of the world described in ancient Greek myths. In these myths the gods are violent. And they are constantly having sex. The gods wreck lives. They sleep with relatives. They seduce. They rape. They don't necessarily wear a lot of clothes. Sex? Violence? They're all about both, often in close proximity.

God of War games are actually mostly about violence. The sex is minimised. The bias toward violence is in the name of the game. We're playing as a human, Kratos, who would be the god of war. His own sexual escapades have been limited to one mostly offscreen sex scene per game. That's one more mostly offscreen sex scene than most games have, but it is just the one.

In fact, if there's a sex scene in the new God of War, I never found it in the 10 hours it took me to complete the game's solo campaign. What I did find, early in the game. was a harem scene. It establishes what longtime players have known: God of War games may not have a lot of sex in them, but they have a lot of bare breasts.

Take a look:

What do you get out of this? What I get out of this is that, in Ascension's world, buxom = attractive = alluring. Not a stretch. Much of society is down with that equation. Genitalia isn't a part of it. Not in these games or most others.

As uncommon as breasts are in games, below-the-belt nudity is even rarer. Hence this void between Kratos's legs, as seen in Ascension:

Or is he wearing underwear? It's hard to tell:

The harem scene, the game's first heavily sexualised moment, is a trick. It's an illusion cast by one of the evil Furies in the game. (Yes, the game's bad guys are female; but I wouldn't read much into that. They've been male in the other God of Wars).

Here's what happens next in the harem scene, in a cutscene you don't control:

Kratos is an angry character. The very first game inflects that anger with the sadness and regret Kratos feels for killing his own family. I've played all of the console and PSP God of War games, and I believe his longing for his family is cited in each of them. In Ascension that longing is at its most tender. Players briefly see a Kratos who has reason to hope for a reunion with his wife -- who, I believe, we've always seen clothed in these games. Most of the time, though, Kratos isn't moping. He's murdering.

As God of War players, we're asked to act out that rage. Most of us do it, I would assume, without rancor. We're not mad at the Furies or at the many gods and beasts and enemy soldiers we have Kratos kill. We may well commit these acts of violence as a chess player eliminates a pawn or queen, with our mind on strategy, not fury.

But God of War games, to their credit, remind us with more and more vivid graphical detail, that the violence that occurs when blades meet flesh is not pretty. Its colour is mostly red, and, in the imagination of the series and in the animations of Ascension, guts spill from opened torsos, brains bulge from uncapped skulls.

The game's violence is brutish and primal. We see gore. And we see breasts, big breasts similar to what we see in Ascension's harem scene. Breasts code some enemies as female. Here's one, as she's killed by the player-controlled Kratos:

Here's another:

One more:

Let's talk about this last one, as it puts all of the game's issues with violence against sexualised female characters in one nutshell:

  • She's a snake lady -- a Gorgon -- who is trying to kill Kratos. Killing her, in the context of being a mythological Greek Spartan warrior, feels appropriate.
  • If we accept that godly creatures don't have to wear clothes and that it might be really weird if monsters did, then the the snake-lady being topless is a fair visual design decision.
  • There might be a double-standard in that we never see Kratos's most sexualised body parts, but it's not like we could see any of the Gorgon's below-the-waist reproductive organs. She's a snake down there. For her part, at least, we only can discuss toplessness.
  • The interactivity of this kill is actually an advance for the series, as the trademark God of War executions are now mapped, more interestingly, to analogue sticks and buttons, not just buttons. That enables players to make Kratos dodge this Gorgon's final, desperate counter-attacks, while slashing at her to finish her off.
  • The richness of detail here is partially a byproduct of technology. This game is on a PlayStation 3, which can show details of hero and enemy bodies that simply couldn't be shown in older games. Note that Grand Theft Auto 3, on the PS2, didn't even render characters' fingers separately. In that game, everyone had flesh-coloured mittens for hands. With more horsepower comes, simply, more body parts.
  • That finishing move doesn't just split her head. It cuts her breast. Violence against both of those body parts is disturbing. But one's the norm in games; one is not.

As Kratos, you'll kill everyone.

Have a look at Kratos going after some of the enemies who read as male in Ascension:

The male enemies are ripped apart too. The element of sexualisation is absent. No knives to the groin, for example.

What to make of this?

***

For some gamers, I imagine, what we see and do in this game is no big deal. Those Greek myths were this violent, this sexualised. For some, there may well be entertainment in the subjugation or humiliation in sexualised females, although I'd like to think that's not who the game's creators were designing their game for.

When I've discussed the series' violence with them, they've been nuanced, championing the context of the milieu and the aspects of it as a game over simple thrills about gore. I've not spoken to them specifically against the violence against female characters bit, something I hope to do in the future.

For me? I find, in this game, the intersection of two ideas that don't comfortably co-exist. Games have been getting more violent, often as an expression of the interactivity possible in their combat systems. And game characters' bodies have become more and more believably -- if not realistically -- shaped. The abstract avatars of before are replaced with detailed bodies. Straight lines and polygonal shapes have been replaced with curves and fine details.

So we have a game that presents a form of feminine beauty that associates exposed, large breasts as beautiful. And we have a game that wants us, after many other battles, when we reach the last Fury, to stab the final boss of the game.

That leaves us with a game that literally provides us no good place to stab the game's final boss, no good place to do an action that, of course, should look unpleasant, because, hell, it's about killing. We probably should feel something when we pretend to kill. I just don't know if what we've got here is progress. Maybe? Maybe it's gender-balance. Maybe it's a step into a future when simulated violence against virtual men and women is equally nauseating. Maybe we are marching progressively into a moment when of course she could be chainsawable, because we live in a world where women now can serve in combat in the US armed forces.

Where, then, can we stab the game's final, sexy boss?

Spoilers for that end-boss battle... if you're willing to watch, then, ponder, if this is what progress looks like.


Comments

    Totilo needs an editor.

      He needs to pick a different career path altogether.

        I wouldn't be that harsh. But he needs to be more concise. I shouldn't need to scroll down 4 pages just for him to keep rambling the same point.

          I think this is one of the first well thought out articles on Kotaku in a while. I can see how much effort he went through to bring his point across and that he was passionate about what he was saying. Good work. it's just a pity that modern gamers complain about EVERYTHING these days.

            My point still stands and I brought it up because he's done it for at least the last 4 articles. I say the exact same thing about the movie, The Hobbit in that whilst entertaining it was still overly long and came across as a little obnoxious in it's lack of editing.
            Oh and despite popular opinion, there is no such thing as a hive mind in human beings (gamers). We all have our own opinions.

    "(Yes, the game’s bad guys are female; but I wouldn’t read much into that. They’ve been male in the other God of Wars)."

    Don't let Patricia see that, or you will surely be accused of some sort of hate-crime.

      Or worse, the subject of an Anita Sarkeesian video

        @spencer: I was going to say the same thing.

          Patricia Hernandez and Anita Sarkeesian make rational observations about gender inequality in video games and the games industry. Why does this bother you so much? Could it be that you are all ignorant?

            Replace "rational" with "arbitrary".

            You have got to be kidding...

            The mentality of Patricia and Feminist Queen Sarkeesian, is one of very limited potential.

            "The girl in this game wasn't the hero AND she was attractive, omg lets write an article pointing out this very important issue".

            The rest is full of half arsed assumptions, biases, hate speech, inaccurate statistics and most of all, over the top feminism.

            Feminists are a blight in our world, most will die lonely, men hating fools with no purpose.

            Last edited 20/03/13 2:04 pm

              Feminism is a movement focused on achieving gender equality. If you think the world has achieved a state of gender equality, you are stupid. I assure you there is no argument to be had on that; you are without a doubt, stupid. But it's not too late for you.
              You imply that most feminists will die lonely and hating men. This implies that all feminists are heterosexual women who hate men. I am a feminist and a man, I don't hate men or think they are evil, nor do I (or indeed, any actual feminist) blame solely men for problems of gender inequality. It is, in fact, ignorant, self-important idiots like you that are responsible.
              You claim feminism is "a blight in our world" and that it serves no purpose. Tell me, who has a cry for gender equality hurt? (I mean really hurt, not just butthurt like you.) Moreover, consider the masses of people that it has helped to feel confident, to feel self-worth, to feel equal to their peers when so many other aspects of society tell them they aren't. YOU and everybody like you is a blight on the world. You who would claim an opinion expressed publicly about misrepresentation of an entire gender constitutes hate speech. You who seems to believe that being part of the majority makes you beyond reproach. You are scum.
              Post a link to any single article or video by either of the women mentioned, the crux of which is a complaint that any SINGLE game has a male lead and features an attractive female character who is not the lead. Just one article that substantiates your claim that this is all they do. Oh, you can't? Perhaps this is because every piece by either of these women highlights either a recurring trend across several games, or a specific and disturbing case in a single game.
              So no, I assure you, I am not kidding when I defend Patricia Hernandez, Anita Sarkeesian or the entire feminist movement. Nor am I kidding when I assure you that you are a loud-mouthed, closed-minded, ignorant tool, you and every other slack-jawed, dick-waving mouth-breather trying to silence anybody who challenges your ridiculous view of the world.
              Do the world a favour and refrain from ever breeding.

                BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                The entire logical human race is laughing at you.

                I feel deeply sorry for you, enjoy your miserable existence.

                  You have failed to logically rebut anything I have said. You haven't employed a modicum of logic in any of your arguments, I fail to see how you can speak on behalf of anybody logical. By the way, my existence is full of love and joy, but thanks for your sympathy, I guess.

                  Have you ever heard of the movie "Groundhog Day"?

                  That's what it feels like when I talk to twoofers like you. There's no difference between you and every other beta white knight. If I wanted to engage in debate with every feminist I come across, I'd die debating. Not from exhaustion, but from having to listen to the constant bullshit, that flows from each and every feminist crackpot's mouth.

                  Now I just lay down my opinion and leave, because I honestly couldn't be bothered arguing with inferior minded people.

                  I can see how it would be tricky to maintain your blatantly wrong opinion if you actually had to logically debate it, so it makes sense that you would rather state it and then avoid ever having to back it up with a single rational argument. Hell, keep that up and you may get all the way to the end of your life still believing you're right about everything without ever having learned anything. Way to go.

                  Last edited 22/03/13 9:01 pm

                LOL

                Keep going down the wrong path beta boy, woman aren't attracted to men like you, homosexuals aren't attracted to men like you, because you have no masculine identity. Regardless if you're married or have a gf, chances are they feel as though they've settled below their expectations.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vp8tToFv-bA

                Watch that, you might learn something.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu8QiK7cBEY

            Why is it wrong to have nude women in games? If it fits into the context of the story, why not?

    Gee if that last boss is Stephen's idea of sexy, I'd suggest he stops only looking at breasts.

    I wonder where Kratos should instead stab the Gorgon? Without detailed information on this mythical creature's anatomy I think it is safe for the devs to convey to the player that cutting into this creatures chest results in its death, just as it would with a human being. Just because breast tissue is in front of this creatures vital organs and is then shredded when Kratos puts his knife through it, does not make the violence sexual.

    I don't know if anyone else feels the same way, but I get super uncomfortable with that level of violence against female characters. I don't like it generally, but against female characters for some reason it just feels wrong, especially in a game that appears to use ultra-violence for the sake of ultra-violence.

      You've been brainwashed, that's why.

        By a few thousand years of evolution? Yeah probably.

          Doesn't matter if it's an inch or a mile, winnings winning.

          Are you kidding? If evolution and history are anything to go by then you should be drawn to violence against women if anything.

            Not really, evolutionary wise women are far more valuable than men. So there is a logical impulse to protect the women of your group. (I believe this is why Israel stopped using women in combat roles - men would get stupid to try to protect them, well beyond what they would do for male comrades).

            Recent history (the last few hundred years) have reinforced this with the idea that women are inherently vulnerable. Really it takes pretty specific circumstances for men to be driven to violence against women in the large scale. It usually involves some sort of demonisation - reducing the enemy to other than human or at least others, but that's a precursor to a lot of terrible things in history, not just violence.

      I do agree, it seems wrong to attack women in games. But if anything that's more sexist than dealing the same damage to them as they do to you or you do to male characters, isn't it?

      I mean, aren't people all over the internet trying to establish that we're equal?

        Oh I agree completely. I try not to treat women differently but I suspect there are biological imperatives left over from a less civilised time that leads to treating them as more vulnerable/sacred.

        Beyond that though I personally don't like ultra violence in games at all seeing it done to female characters just compounds that revulsion (I think).

          Yeah it's weird. It's definitely this deep set, intrinsic value for me that's being violated, but that said, playing a God Of War game at all tends to violate many of my values too. Namely that I don't want to play bland, derivative, repetitive, pretty-in-order-to-distract action games.

    Hundreds of men killed in brutal and gory fashion, but when one woman is killed in a similar style, the game is instantly labelled sexist / misogynist.

    The feminist witch hunt continues...

      Progress seems to have gotten itself confused with juvenile titillation.

      @single_malt, Hundreds of sexualised men were killed in brutal and gory fashion? Were societally attractive secondary sexual characteristics on prominent display for each of these male enemies? Laughable.

      The author provides evidence of three instances where the enemy is a female with prominently displayed breasts (five if you count the illusions in the harem), where those breasts by a societal standard of size and shape would be considered to be "sexy" or just not innocuous. He then questions the inclusion of such an appearance in conjunction with ultra-violence.

      You provide an erroneous and obfuscating statement against gender equality.

      @fathermiso, With such a statement, it appears you have forgotten to factor in that the ratio of sex crimes is highly skewed towards females, and that violence against women, at least in our society. is concomitant with or a precursor to sex crimes.
      What you propose has nothing to do with equality or double standards, instead we might all have to glance over your clear misunderstanding of the issue at hand.

        The breasts thing is a false positive. I'd argue that a lot of the male combatants are vaguely sexualised in God of War too.

        How about the fact that the main protagonist looks like a male stripper and gets around the game with nothing but a loincloth? Or that a multi-player game looks like a Greco-Roman version of Magic Mike? The sexualisation argument runs both ways...

          No, cause that's a 'power' fantasy purely for the patriarchy's enjoyment. They have an answer for everything. We should probably just stop not being offended by everything that happens to everyone, everywhere like the misogynists we are. The world would be a better place.

          Sexualisation to me depends on intent. Kratos isn't muscle bound and barely naked for the female audience's titillation. Where as the female characters who are half nude are half nude probably as fan-service (hence sexualised).

            Really? Because in the GOW series, I don't see it as fan-service, or sexualised. It feels more like it's setting the environment. I mean, have you looked at art from that time period? Art that ISN'T sexualised shows breasts or naked woman. It sets the mood, the time, it's not there to get your rocks off

              Setting the environment? The developers of the GoW series set the environment according to their target demographic, which, going by thematic content and story, is that of the 15-25 year old male. This series isn't built from a historical perspective, it's built purely for the entertainment of the demographic. Positing that there is a functional link between the art from the continuum of time the series draws inspiration from and the art assets within the series is tenuous.

              @geometrics, Funny, but that was going to be my response to @thom and @single_malt. The series is a power fantasy for young men. It doesn't mean the game is exclusively for young men, just that they are the marketed demographic; a fact that does not preclude enjoyment by any person who is not. That's cool, I think we should be able to accept it without offering condemnation.

              I adore what GoW 1 & 2 brought to gaming at the time. They were both relatively fresh takes on Greek mythology that drew from some of the original adult content. However much I liked them, I can appreciate criticism and discussion along the lines of: What is the purpose of sexualised female enemies? Should we be comfortable with male protagonist violence against sexualised female enemies? Is violence or domination of that ilk a design choice to elicit discomfort from the player for immersion's sake, ala Madison Paige in Heavy Rain the infamous stripping scene, or is it to titillate and provoke controversy?

              Whether the enemies are sexualised is in the eye of the beholder, as @frewtlewp words it quite well, below, but that should not detract from a constructive discussion on the validity of these themes within our medium.

                The biggest problem with this whole "No, it's a power fantasy for you guys" argument is simply, what if we said the same to women? That sexualised female characters they play as or feature in the storyline are simply a power fantasy for females? Power is not only strength. Power is the ability to influence others in many different ways. Is the influence a woman has over a man infatuated with her not power?

                Do you not have a hundred retorts or denials spewing forth from your brain? "That's ridiculous, I don't feel a power fantasy at all from her!" you may want to say. "You're assuming that I WANT that particular brand of power, when it's not appealing to me, personally, at all".

                Well now you know what it's like when somebody says something that COULD be true but often isn't and claims it is the only result possible.

                This whole internet feminist worldview seems to be heavily rooted in black and white dichotomy, but anyone with an ACTUAL education knows there are only shades of grey.

                Last edited 20/03/13 2:32 am

                  Some parts of that argument were quite good; power can be subjective, power exists in different mediums, an argument doesn't have to be true. All points I agree on.
                  As always though, there are a few things that need to be fleshed out for them to work. The intent by design of characters, situations, gameplay, and the scope of a game to be a demographic based power fantasy is not really subjective. If it were, the argument would be an individual or populations saying to the developer "Sorry, but I don't believe you set out to design a demographic based power fantasy", clearly that argument is highly subjective, but unless you are the designer, you are not the designer nor their mode of intent.

                  I love the idea of female protagonists who are not paper cutouts of video game archetypal masculinity, and you've hit the nail on the head that power can be exerted in many different ways. Yes, we could design a game with a female protagonist who relies upon non-violent power to progress, and that game could be marketed to as a power fantasy to 15-25 year old females. That would be fantastic if handled well.

                  To more directly answer your questions, we could tell females that core characters are female power trips, but unless they've been designed with the intent and knowledge of what that may constitute, it wouldn't be particularly successful. We already see it a bunch when elements of the gaming public pronounce that a female character is sexy, therefore she must be powerful. That power is dependent on the multiple texts, internal logic and canon, and game design. So no, that situation is not usually very fruitful to the claims.
                  However, there is absolutely nothing stopping a developer from producing a game with the specifics you defined and marketing it as a sexy power trip for women. Depending on the core theme and the story, you've got the potential for a great game, or a game that would be laughed off the face of the planet by anyone who isn't thoroughly amused by breasts and buttocks.

                  I'd like to be blunt with your final sentences. Arguments are fluid and truth bereft of fact is subjective. Thanks to that subjectivity we can have interesting and thoughtful conversations, and we can have reductive, restrictive or deconstructive conversations. It's one of the great things about speech.
                  So, I would appreciate it if you could choose which side you want to be part of; are we having one of the good conversations, or are we having the type where broad generalisations and assumptions about feminism and education will continue to be bandied about to bely some form of constructive point?

    Double Standards for the win.
    We want to be treated equally, displays violence against woman.
    OMG THATS A SEX CRIME!

    I wonder if Kratos' unquenchable rage and constant need to prove how much of a big tough man he is to everyone stems from his apparent lack of genitals.

    There have been women that use their sexuality and the desires of men as a weapon for thousands of years. In this context I have no problem with the violence in the game. If Kratos cut up the attractive and defensless women in the harem scene for no good reason then sure, I'd be offended, but when it's obviously evil, fantasy based female creatures tat he is killing I think it's fine.

    The female kills are sexualised because your brain sees a pair of tits and sexualises it. Not your fault, youre a guy, we all do it. The male kills on the other hand are nothing new, and fewer of us see a bare chested man and think sexy thoughts.

      This is probably the truism of the entire debacle. Interpretation is left up to the viewer and by their own mores they are going to make an assessment on if something is "sexualized" or not. For me, there is nothing sexual about that Gorgon character - a breast itself, when attached to a horrific monster, is not particularly sexual for me in the way similar that seeing the teat on an animal isn't.

      The harem scene is an obvious sexualized scene, but it's also not violent and within context of the story line. It's meant to titilate (no pun intended). The rest of it I really believe is just aesthetics on part of the game designers.

    What else is Kratos supposed to do with the female enemies if not kill them as brutally as he does any other enemies (ie; male enemies)? Give them chocolates and flowers and ask them nicely to gtfo? Generally enemies are there to be killed, and it wouldn't be in Kratos' character to do anything other than murder the heck out of them, regardless of their gender.
    Now, I've yet to play the latest God of War game, but I'm assuming before killing the female enemies Kratos isn't groping them or feeling them up, or doing anything else for is own sexual pleasure. That would be uncomfortable and creepy. Just outright killing enemies who happen to have breasts isn't.

    There are a lot of things that keep me up at night.
    This is not one of them.

    Honestly, Kotaku, why do you continue to publish articles like these when your readers prove time and again that they just don't get it?

    The point of the article is simple - it's not that we shouldn't be seeing tits in games. It's not that we shouldn't have ultra-violence in games. It's not that we shouldn't be killing female characters in games. The problem is that the intersection of all three is uncomfortable. Again, the point is not that it shouldn't be allowed, but that it's uncomfortable.

    If you think that the number of tits on display is anything other than fan service, you're wrong. And the fact that we're asked to stab those tits is pretty much the definition of cognitive dissonance. Basically, sexy images are put in front of us, and we destroy them as violently as possible. It's a weird statement for the developers to be making.

      Incorrect, the point is that it's uncomfortable for Stepehen Totilo, this a different claim than that it is universally uncomfortable, and the presentation of one's opinion as fact is irresponsible. Something that is done here because Stephen fails to explore why he personally finds it uncomfortable, he simply takes it for granted, and you should too right?!

      As for your comment on cognitive dissonance, consider me scared of you then. Surely every kill in God of War should be an example of cognitive dissonance? The conflict that inflicting violence upon that which can feel pain is undesirable conflicts with the desire to continue living (vicariously through your avatar of course). The fact we're asked to stab thousands of things is completely okay, but if they have tits THEN there's a conflict of your values? Deep in your brain is that truly your break point for committing excessive violence? Not a conflict of not wanting others to suffer needlessly, but a conflict that you'll be snuffing out something you find sexually arousing.

      I assume that you've simply misapplied the theory of cognitive dissonance or perhaps more likely just failed to identify where the conflict actually stems from, but otherwise... have you heard of pyschopathy?

        No, you're right, I'm probably a psychopath. Or, y'know, you just don't know the meaning of cognitive dissonance.

        Cognitive dissonance isn't just doing something you know is wrong, otherwise pretty much all of gaming what fall under that descriptor. Very, very few games intend us to think negatively about the violence we inflict. There might be a "wow, gross" reaction to snipering a head off or chainsawing someone in half, but very few developers intend for us as an audience to feel bad about what we're doing. Rather, the violence is in service of 'kill the bad guys' or 'score points' or 'isn't this fun?'. They might not be the most positive of representations of violence, but I can't think of many examples (maybe Red Dead Redemption) where we're encouraged to be as violent as possible, while also being encouraged to react negatively to that violence. THAT would be the definition of cognitive dissonance.

        What we've got here, however, is a group of characters specifically designed to be attractive who also happen to be the characters that we're required to decapitate or disembowel. We're asked to rip apart something that's been very deliberately designed to be attractive. The ideas "how hot is that" and "I want to kill that" don't sit well together. Of course the inclusion of 'evil hot chick' isn't a new trope - fan service has been around for ages. But the combination of 'evil hot chick' and 'inflict over-the-top violence on her tits' is new(ish). And yes, it is uncomfortable.

    O waste your life writing a whiny rant about it.

    Oh and if it bothers you, don't play it. Its rated for adults. Let it go and stop making mountains out of mole hills. Yet again kotaku has become a soapbox for the white knights of women and bleeding hearts *sigh*

      It definitely takes up valuable space that could be used for linking to reddit articles or Japanese cosplay galleries.

    I think what happened here is that Stephen saw Patricia's social justice articles were getting all the hits (and thus the benjamins) and he wanted a slice of the pie.

      Or possibly it's Patricia using a pseudonym so as not to incur the wrath of the misogynists.

        That was my theory, lol. Bugger off out of my mind!

    Firstly, I'm not a fan of the series, so just going on what was shown here.

    This seems to be a confusion between nudity and sexualised imagery. Violence against a partially (or completely) nude person (regardless of gender) is not necessarily sexualised violence - it's violence against a naked person. Nothing in the above videos shows anything remotely sexualised (with the obvious exception of the harem scene, which is not violent in the least).

    If anything, I'd say they did a pretty good job of separating the sexuality from the violence.

    Though not in this game, what is wrong with the fictional depiction of sexualised violence again? Whether against men or woman, it exists in all media and if you don't like it then play, read or watch something else. Not everything is made just to please you. Maybe everyone should have the right to censor anything that makes them feel uncomfortable? Nothing would ever be created again because it would all offend someone, somewhere. Why don't we talk about solving the problems with actual violence in society?

    I think you're just queasy over gore, Totilo. It's hardly sexualised; it's just a nude creature being sliced almost in half. I'd understand if you cringed, because it's not every day that you see female breasts being sliced open, but I don't see it as being an improper use of sexualisation in the slightest, because it's not sexualised. The creature is nude and you're slaughtering it in one of many possible ways, this way involving a private part. There are plenty of films and games wherein male characters suffer some kind of impact or damage to the groin area, which would make you cringe just as much, so we're kinda stretching our reasoning a bit far if we're mentioning issues of gender inequality.

    This really is just an example of some very adult subject matter - gore involving private parts is going to make plenty of gamers feel uneasy. In the end, it's just an aspect of gore that you're not accustomed to. If anything, the more visually detailed gore gets, the more nauseated you're going to feel by it if gore's the sort of thing that makes you feel queasy.

    In cases where I've seen male characters suffer assaults to their in-betweens, I might flinch sometimes too, but it's been done to death so much that I'm mostly used to it by now. There's just as much detail in the slicing of these breasts as there is in the gore anywhere else, and I think the only reason none of the gore made it under-the-belt is because regardless of sex, full-on nudity down there is somewhat taboo.

    Personally I found the section in God of War 3 where you rip Cronus' fingernail off more unsettling than this. Half-nude female characters have been slaughtered by Kratos before, but anything involving the tearing-off of fingernails makes me cringe :-P

      And good lord, I had no idea that Kratos flashed his non-existant junk to everyone, and I've finished the game! That's probably the most unsettling part about this article, lol. Positively terrifying! I'm going to remember that about Kratos forever now :-/

    Killing homicidal female assailants is bad, but nut-shots are cool?

    To me I find complaining about it kinda sexist...
    It's become more of a "Ohh she is a woman therefore she needs to be clothed and protected"
    I say who cares!

    Women can handle themselves so portray them however you want just like male characters and to point out this issue is in a way supporting sexism in games.

    I see billions of male characters killed in games but when a female is involved it becomes an issue.

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