Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Kratos: Mr. Nice Guy?

Kratos is to start being nice to women.

Ok, nice is a relative term. For Kratos being 'nice' to someone involves not immediately murdering them (possibly for the second or third time).

In his games to date, Kratos has been very much an equal opportunities murderous lunatic. Civilians, soldiers, men, women, minotaurs, if it had a pulse he'd kill it (possibly excepting topless women/Aphrodite).

However, women and their role in games (both as players and characters) have recently been in the spotlight. A female gamer seeking to raise money for research into the role of gender in games hit her fundraising targets, but also received a mountain of generally sexist abuse.

Around the same time, there was the Tomb Raider controversy revolving around Lara Croft being stroked on the leg and the implication of what would've happened next, had she not been Lara Croft and therefore kicked the shit out of the guy who did it.

The next God of War game, God of War: Ascension, is a prequel and features Kratos again as the protagonist, but before he became an entirely bloodthirsty mad bastard. This is considered the rationale behind him pulling a few punches, particularly those aimed at the fairer sex.

Hmm. I'm sure that women getting murdered by a videogame character isn't the number one aim of feminist gamers, but isn't deliberately treating someone differently because of their gender, er, sexist?

I don't have a particularly strong view either way, as Kratos is so over the top I find it hard to take his gory antics seriously. However, I do think it's perverse to argue for equality and then give special treatment (in an admittedly insignificant way) to one gender. You can't fight sexism with sexism.

On a similar note, the revamped Lara Croft is to be less well-endowed than her previous incarnations. But, doesn't that imply that the stereotypical view of women with big breasts being pretty morons is correct? Big breasts and big brains aren't an either/or option. 

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