I have always heard people talk about how terribly women are portrayed in the God of War series. I had never played the series, but that is mainly because it’s Playstation 3 exclusive. It’s set in ancient Greece, and you play as Kratos, a Spartan warrior who serves the Olympian gods. Kratos is seeking revenge on his father, Zeus, for his betrayal. Cue the family drama.
I have never been a huge fan of Greek mythology, which might be one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy God of War 3. I first noticed how dark and dim the game was. It has harsh settings and even harsher looking enemies. I know video games aren’t rainbows and butterflies, but I at least like a little bit of greenery here and there.
I also couldn’t stand the fixed camera, something the series often gets a lot of credit for. It has the same view no matter what you do. I like controlling my own view and where I’m going. I like turning around and looking at the views — but as much as I didn’t like this game, it boasted some impressive graphics. I liked the combat in this game, but I still couldn’t bear to play it for very long.
All of that aside, lets talk about the sex! God of War gets a lot of comments related to the violence toward women and the explicit sex scenes in their games.
Kratos is able to participate in many off-screen exploits with many of the women in the game. While you don’t see the action going down, you still control it and can hear the sounds of it. If you do it correctly, you get red orbs, which allow you to upgrade Kratos’ weapons and magic abilities. After you get the orbs, the women will often commend Kratos’ abilities. These are often referred to as mini-games.
In God of War 3, you are seduced by Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty and pleasure. You walk in on her canoodling with her maidens and it goes from there.
I’m going to ignore the double standard the beginning of this scene states (girl on girl on girl is okay to players, but allowing gay marriage in RPGs? Preposterous!) and just say that I wish these scenes weren’t so prevalent.
I would be a little more open-minded if the sex scenes actually progressed the storyline or a relationship. They are always for the sole purpose of pleasure. If there was a leading romance, I would be much more apt to accept these scenes as necessary. I’m not a prude, but what happened to a little old-fashioned romance? I’m sure they had restaurants in ancient Greece, at least take her to dinner.
It’s different than in movies, where you are just an innocent viewer from the other side of the screen. Sex in video games requires your involvement. It’s a little awkward to pretend be seduced by a goddess, but maybe that’s just me.
While I have never played Ghost of Sparta, the sixth installment of the series, I have read about a scene where Kratos goes to a brothel. It isn’t a pornographic scene, but you still control what is going on in the bedroom, like all the other ones. If you successfully go to the brothel three times, you are rewarded with the trophy called Aphrodite’s Ambrosia. In some of the other titles, you will receive an achievement for these mini-games.
I’m not sure which part of that is worse to me — getting your character rewarded for these side quests (as I’ve said before ... they aren’t even required!), or getting yourself an achievement for them.
The God of War development team stated that they would be tuning down the violence toward women in the upcoming God of War: Ascension, set to release March 12. However, they made no statement on whether there would be more sex scenes. While I commend the series for creating a long-lasting and historically interesting title, I will continue sit back and observe from afar. These aren’t the games for me.
Sophie Kruse is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. What do you think about sex in video games? Email Sophie at email@example.com.