Opinion: Women - Stop Ruining God Of War And Make Me A Sandwich
How the 'Bros Before Hos' God of War trophy proves gaming has become a byword for knee-jerk reactions to misogyny that doesn't exist.
Published on Mar 15, 2013
Women, eh? If they’re not whining about their weight or poorly parking their vehicles, they’re giving us blokes gip about equality and watching Twilight: Sparkly-Faced Tossers Run Around A Bit (Part 2) again.
Does that offend you? I hope so. It’s not your right as a member of society not to be offended by anything, and to have every word of every media outlet filtered to its safest possibility for the benefit of a vocal touchy-feely minority. Especially when that minority is made up of morons, and these claims are just jokes.
I’m talking, of course, about God Of War: Ascension and the controversy it stirred up when the game’s trophy list was revealed to contain one called ‘Bros Before Hos’ for killing a female boss (well, 'fury' to be precise).
Long story short: the internet got upset, and now developer Sony Santa Monica is changing its name to ‘Bros Before Foes’ in a patch.
This is absurd. For a start, women are not just hos. They have tons of uses: they cook dinner, clean the house, and always remember your friends’ birthdays for you. They’re great.
God Of War is a game about killing monsters, stabbing mythical creatures in the eye with ginormous blades and smashing seven shades of shocking gore out of anything with a pulse.
I don’t need to tell you that this is not a serious game any more than I need to tell you my words two paragraphs above were not serious comments.
God Of War is not trying to preach some sort of misogynist message to the masses with its trophy list. It’s just a brainless slice of videogame violence with a trophy based on a popular rhyming meme.
Type ‘bros before hos’ into Google, and you get this definition of the term from Urban Dictionary: “The unwritten law that your bros (male friends) should always come before hoes (female with whom you are/hoping to have a relationship with). Most used as a trump card by your bros when they feel you are becoming whipped”
The reason it’s become popular is probably nothing more complex than the fact it rhymes.
As with anything, it’s all about presentation. If a game (or a film, or any media) is demeaning to women for no apparent reason, without any hint of irony, it’s a problem. But getting upset over a trophy? Don’t be silly.
The games industry as a whole seems to have a problem with women. While other industries have long-since evolved to accept the fairer sex as a normal, equal part of the furniture, the games industry seems to be obsessed with supposed anti-female injustices, to the point that discrimination often goes too far the other way.
Some people got upset that Sony didn’t have any women on-stage during its PS4 reveal.
So what? Each of those people hired to those jobs will have been picked because they were the best person for the job. If a woman had built Capcom’s Panta Rhei engine better, she would have been up on stage.
This is not to say women shouldn’t be put in these jobs, it’s that in a fair and equal society in 2013, the person chosen for any role should be the best person. They just happened to be men.
Let’s not forget that gaming is broadly a male-dominated pastime. Men just play games more. That’s a fact. It only goes to reason more men would be up on stage demoing PS4. There are far more male developers, because there are far more male gamers.
What would be truly discriminatory would be to stick a woman up on stage for the sake of ticking that box. Positive discrimination is still discrimination.
Anti-men, though? That’s fine. Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics’ latest (excellent) reboot contains an Achievement/Trophy called ‘Widowmaker’.
This rewards players 10G for killing 40 enemies (all men). If you’re offended by Bros Before Hos, why not by this? It’s a far worse anti-male trophy. But it’s a woman killing men. So it’s fine. Notice how Tomb Raider has been out for ages now and it’s not been patched and no-one’s kicked up a fuss.
Not that they should have, either. Even though ‘Widowmaker’ is less fun than Bros Before Hos, it’s still a tongue-in-cheek bit of light-heartedness. But the media only made a fuss out of the one that’s supposedly anti-women.
Laugh at men. Laugh at women. I’d rather risk being offended than risk living my whole life worrying about upsetting other people. When something is just a bit of harmless fun - like God Of War's trophy - just take it for what it is: harmless fun.
The games industry needs to learn to lighten up a bit. It’s just a joke, in a virtual world on a disc in an overglorified electronic toy for man-children.
Just kidding about that last bit. But the funniest thing of all? The Bros Before Hos trophy was made by a woman.
She must still be laughing at all this fuss.