Within the past week a minor controversy was caused by the name of a trophy on God of War: Ascension which Sony have been quick to relabel in order to quell the controversy.
So with that being said, I asked the fine staff here on the matter and what their views on it are.
Jamie (Master Chief Aus):
The God of War series has been known for outlandish Trophy names in the past, for example God of War 3. When you have relations with Aphrodite you are given the Trophy ‘Ladies Man’, when you collect all the Minotaur horns in the game you receive ‘Are you Horny to win?’ and that isn’t the only game. God of War 2 gives you the Trophy ‘Blowin’ Your Wad’ when you max out all your weapons and magical abilities.
Fact is Santa Monica have been known for making Trophies with puns, outlandish statements and phases. I don’t think any menace or harm was intended, I think it was just the developers letting off some steam and making some fun Trophy names. I personally am not offended by such a small, meaningless phase as it has been said on many TV shows and movies before it.
Apparently the context has some people up in arms, but as I haven’t played the sequence it is hard to judge. But if people are throwing their arms up over this Trophy name about equal rights, what about all the topless, boob-bouncing enemies you hack to pieces? I guess that is something they decided to forget.
Eric (Canadia Editor):
While I do think the massive outcry towards the title of a freaking trophy is absurd, if this many people are offended this much by it, then altering the name is definitely the best course of action. I don’t feel creating the name was done with malicious intent, but rather an attempt at humour. Do I think the same outrage would be made if there was an achievement or trophy titled “Chicks before dicks” after killing a bunch of male enemies in a game like Bayonetta where you control a female protagonist? Not at all, but until something like that happens, we’ll never know.
Instead, allow me to point out that this kind of outrage wasn’t felt when Duke Nukem Forever launched with achievements/trophies titled “Beating the One-Eyed Worm,” or “I Need a Towel” (awarded for being hit by semen shot out by Impregnator aliens), or the fact that there are topless women attached to phallic structures with slappable breasts. Is this because Duke Nukem Forever wasn’t critically acclaimed and was instead viewed as a flop and not taken seriously? It’s not as if the God of War games have been known to be super sensitive when dealing with the females in the game, so why is this outrage only just starting to be this vocal?
Personally, I think a large portion of this outrage has to do with the timing. If this represents a shift in the gaming industry, that’s fine by me, but if people are going to be this outraged by something like this, I’m expecting people to continue to be outraged by similar things in the future, otherwise this is less of a legitimate concern of the masses and more of a passing fad.
Nathan (Baby-Face You Just Don’t Know Know):
I, personally, do not get offended by much. I do not see the offence that accompanies the trophy name because it was not aimed at anyone. I am sure a lot of people have heard the saying before and I am quite sure most people understand the phrase is used as a joke in real life as well.
I do think gaming is becoming too sensitive. What is the point of having Adult ratings if developers are going to be restrictive in the content they include? No one complains about the outfits a lot of female JRPG characters wear (although that is probably because it is accepted in Japan), so why do we care when there is a trophy with an ‘offensive’ phrase? Do words wield more offence than images?
Hugh (Football Crazy):
For me I think it highlights a stage where the gaming industry is teetering on the edge of being too sensitive, it has been made so to speak as a serious industry where every piece of conduct will offend a certain group of people. The trophy name in question is a phrase which is used by people all the time and clearly in this case is in context to what has just happened in GoW: Ascension and isn’t there to deliberately offend people.
In my opinion this isn’t an insulting term and the vocal minority are again trying to cause a storm about a topic which in comparison to the rest of gaming is a very minor thing. PETA complaining about the upcoming Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag promoting whaling when the game’s premise is on assassinating people which is fine. Furthermore, with a game like GoW a trophy name is what’s causing offence not the gruesome kills which the angriest man in gaming. But maybe I have missed something here.
So there you have it, that’s what we think, but what do you guys think? Do you think the video games industry is becoming too sensitive? Does this trophy name cause any offence to you? Comment below.