God of War’s ‘Bros Before Hoes’ Controversy Highlights an Industry Obsessed with Sexism

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god-of-war-ascension-controversy
Recently there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding God of War: Ascension due to a particular allegedly sexist trophy titled ‘Bros Before Hoes’. The trophy is gained after defeating a main antagonist who just so happens to be female.

The trophy gained a large deal of criticism when Rev3’s Adam Sessler reviewed the game and egregiously made a point that the trophy and by extension the entire game was misogynistic based simply on the fact that you fight and defeat a female character to gain a trophy that refers to said female as a ‘hoe’. The controversy train went wild from there, highlighting once again the industry’s obsession with finding sexism and taking offense out of anything.

As a side note it is strange that Adam Sessler of all people claims God of War: Ascension to be ripe with misogyny when he himself referred to Athena as ‘menstrual’ in his God of War 2 review for X-Play.

The saddest part of this story though is the fact that Sony Santa Monica have buckled under the controversy and have announced a patch to rename the trophy ‘Bros Before Foes’. This is quite simply ridiculous and with this whole situation, it really proves that no matter how small, no matter how painfully insignificant something is, in the gaming industry there is always going to be someone to be offended by it. It is really just sad that all this controversy stems from three words that only appear on screen for a matter of seconds.

Unfortunately this is just a smaller symptom of an industry gone sour. Instead of focusing on REAL issues that this industry is facing such as consumers being screwed with DRM, game’s that are essentially utter crock being sold for full retail price (Aliens: Colonial Marines and SimCity I’m looking at you), online passes, some companies expecting to become joint f**king owner of your bank account and a slew of other REAL issues, we are arguing over the apparent misogynistic qualities of three words that appear for essentially three seconds in a game. Where did we go wrong?

Did we all screw up when we gave Anita Sarkeesian 160,000 dollars to make Youtube videos about Super Mario being a sexist game? Or maybe we screwed up when we let people like Leigh Alexander campaign to ‘objectify’ men in the tech industry? Maybe we screwed up when we all posted our #1reasonwhy tweets. Did we ever stop for a second and think to ourselves that maybe the problem isn’t that the gaming industry IS sexist, maybe the problem is that the IDEA that it is sexist has gone too far?

I’m not saying that sexist individuals don’t exist in the industry, but I sure as hell know that this has gotten beyond a joke now. Did anyone ever stop to think that maybe if we just opened our eyes we wouldn’t be so damn blinded by the idea that this is an industry of misogyny and discrimintion? When we have people flat-out just looking to be offended, looking for another thing to accuse of being sexist, we know we have lost the plot.

It all comes back to three words appearing for three seconds. It does beg the question, if a game like Bayonetta featured an achievement titled ‘Hoes Before Bros’ that is unlocked after beating a male antagonist, would anyone be offended? No they wouldn’t because there is an intense double-standard in this industry. In the eyes of many in the industry it is only sexist if men do it and quite frankly that is rubbish.

I could argue all day about the double-standard in the industry, but it would get me nowhere. The problem isn’t that the industry is sexist. The problem is that some people in this industry can’t view each other as people before a gender. Look at the sad state the ‘almighty’ gaming industry is in. Three words appearing for three seconds makes the news for being supposedly sexist. I don’t know about you, but there is really only one way to even describe that; it is utter bullshit.

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  • Mandifred

    Luke, I just want to thank you for writing this article. I have seen literally no other sites do this and take the site of the gamers. Please keep up content like this and I can assure you I will be back

  • Lirock

    Thank you! You are the only website that tells it how it is. A text reward has absolutely no bearing on reality and how people treat each other.

  • 5555

    Row row motherfucker, speak the truth

  • Emily

    Typical mansplaining.

    • Dresden

      Why don’t you femsplain it then?

  • CellophaneGirl

    THANK YOU!

  • robwarrior

    dude thanks for calling out this bullshit, You got my respect

  • J-Red

    As a dude, and veteran of the God of War series, I am inclined to disagree with your article. The issue here is one of principal, which you do not seem to recognize. God of War is a game that strongly reinforces gender roles, and is primarily marketed to a young audience of males. The gaming industry in particular consists of a demographic that is largely male, and we as part of the gaming community must consider how we choose to be represented. While I’m sure there are plenty of mature gamers able to differentiate between real world values and what’s being represented in the game they are playing, not all of them do.

    The achievement title in general is a tiny insignificant piece of it, and I agree that is is unimportant – but this gives you no right to disregard the sheer fact that societal gender roles are manipulated in games the same way as they are in every other form of media. This achievement is representative of the As a journalist I hope that you will consider some of the deeper issues at hand next time you write an article like this. I hope you don’t feel I am “attacking” your piece – it’s important to defend what you love. Just know that as a writer you hold the power of influence over your readers, and the implications of that can be greater than you realize.

  • Dakota

    “We gave” “we let” “we all posted” The gaming industry is large and includes many female gamers, do not put up the campaigns of a few women that succeeded and then have the BALLS to claim that you let them, gave them the right, or stood beside them so fervently. The mass gaming audience didn’t stand up in defense of women it either didn’t care to crawl out of it’s parents basement, or it campaigned AGAINST these women.

    Secondly: “Hoes before Bros” would still be quite offensive, why? because “hoe” is a derogatory term for a woman, bro means “brother, pal, buddy”. If Baynetta had such an achievement you can bet it would of been received with more than it’s fair share of sour grapes.

    You want to DOWNGRADE the debates about sexism in gaming because you are so concerned with “REAL” issues, you should examine yourself and see just how sexist you really are.

    • Idiot Hunter

      Hahahahaha, that’s sure a narrow approach to these ideas. You’ve obviously never been properly educated.

  • Maderfaqer

    The trophy name is funny, so get over it. Kratos fucks dozens of girls at the same time. What would you expect from the GoW series? Stop fucking around moralfags.

    • winzentween

      lol he is a cartoon character !!!??? the person who wrote the trophy is not and neither are we. It is not about about being offensive so much or does it matter to you or me but it is about a real situation with sexism in gaming which is not being addressed and for such a high profile product to add fuel to the flame is guaranteed to cause a knee jerk reaction and they should know better. The comment is meaningless in the grander context but at the same time it is everything as everywhere war, death, life, love etc. starts with a tiny spark which can end in a raging inferno and maybe this is or isnt that spark but is isnt nothing and should not be ignored as regardless of what they tell you ignorance is not bliss dude, its the beginning of the end.

  • Joe

    oh come on women in irag get killed with rocks for leaving there house without a male escort and bitched be offended by this shit?

  • Kinsmet

    What a pathetic piece of shit article. Take your goddamned head out of the sand for fuck’s sake. “There’s no sexism in games! The problem is people keep saying that there’s sexism in games!” Get the fuck outta here with that bullshit.

  • winzentween

    You are an idiot which is a shame as your article is very good till you place your own issues above others. You have excellent points about the serious issues within the industry and that more focus should be applied but you then discount the equally serious issue of sexism and misogyny in games and go so far as to repeat a very naive line about 3 secs 3 words which shows a total failure to grasps the very complicated situation and the ramifications those words represent.

    It is not a matter of time or how many words, it is the fact that they were chosen over all others and the intent behind them represents very clearly the mindset of one of the key workers on this high profile project.

    Your point about the reviewer being equally guilty in the past though enlightening is the same kind of counter productive muck spreading which goes on in politics and playgrounds where you are saying that the mans anger with a serious issue is irrelevant as he is guilty in the past of his own digressions but infact it only weakens his argument, not eradicates it and it could be said that he is reformed and so actually this is the kind of person as he knows what he is talking about due to the abuse he withstood and rose above after his comments.

    Overall you have a some good points but they are actually ironically lost in the negative and disrespectful attitude to an issue which many people and possibly an entire sex, feel very strongly about and daily face discrimination with at work and in their own homes through gaming. Ironic as you complain that more serious issues are lost in the same type of arguments though you have done the same lol
    All the issues including sexism, you have mentioned are important and should all receive equal focus and time. Really rethink your comment about 3 secs 3 words as people say ‘ I do’ for life every day for marriage and in court say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and can condemn themselves or another to life or death and so on in the present and the past and the future context is everything. In this case a presumably well paid, intelligent, highly qualified person (man or woman) choose over all other words to rubbish women (after seeing a female thing gets its face pulped).

    The person did not say ‘bros b4 medusa’ or ‘men b4 harpies’ or anything relevant or in context, they choose specifically to write in a multi million £ game that the world would see for all time from a major franchise, 3 words which clearly states a certain offensive mindset (theirs or others) and pushes an evil agenda or at worst shows that they are just an ignorant moron who needs to be fired so someone with some actual brains and ethics can contribute (as they are lining up and hungry for work in this economy).

    I personally hope this situation EXPLODES and the person responsible is FORCED to apologize not because I care or have an axe to grind but because there is an issue here which is connected to a larger issue in gaming which is connected to an issue in the western world and the world at large. Until people are FORCED to think twice before they do such a thing, to actually have a legit reason to explain why they make such choices so they can defend their product and themselves then they are only doing everyone and thing a dis service every time the spew their sordid cr@p on the products we pay to play….make it free if they don’t want complaints or go do it in a back room somewhere. You do something so publicly then there will always be backlash regardless if it is warranted or not it is inevitable and like your main argument, article naive to think otherwise.

  • orangefish

    I’m laughing so hard at all the feminazis in these comments. STOP BEING SEXIST, WOMEN. it’s a game, If it would have said “Hoes b4 Bros”, Us guys would NOT care. Nothing would have happened. There are so many arguments i could make in these points about how feminism is completely wrong and being a feminist is sexist, But it would take days. Have fun being sexist, feminists.

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