Ah! Another thing. God of War is not only only one of thirty billion examples of the death of a woman being the starting point of a male character’s narrative, it’s the second time in this very series it’s been a wife of Kratos. Two different women! Granted, this time around the dead doll ain’t a pretext for a revenge story, but the trope’s scaffolding remains: Snuff a lady out and send the boys on an adventure.
Feminists in gaming have continuously pointed this trope out over the years, generally to the fury of male fans. They have a point. The argument is that this is a sign the industry is dominated by men. I agree with this; it is both true in a obvious sense that the industry is largely populated by men, and they are making stories from the male point of view.
However, the next part of the argument is that this trope is a sign the industry is filled with misogyny. Here they only nearly have a point. While the industry is undeniably a putrid cesspool of man-children who view women as disposable objects (the last few years have made this obvious to anyone but the most dimwitted), that is not necessarily the reason the trope is pervasive or even extant at all.
Okay, maybe it is half the time. Or most of the time. But not all the time!
Again, I agree this is a sign of a male-dominated industry. But this trope isn’t particular to men who despise and/or are terrified of women; in fact, it plays very closely on a deep-seated male fear: to lose a wife, girlfriend, daughter, etc, is an ultimate nightmare for many (any?) of us. Impolitic as it is to say, zealous defense of our beloved females is something deeply rooted in all of us, and is as natural as, say, an orientation. It is primal. it is what keeps us awake at night in the dark, quiet hours. It is what causes us to glower and glare and flex our muscles at the most absurd of times.
Perhaps we never grow out of being little boys afraid of losing their mothers. I don’t know what it is. But fear of losing a woman close to us, someone we are willing to give everything for, someone whose pain and suffering we would bear in their stead if we only could, whose love and being gives us our own being, is primordial. It is an unmodern idea, and therefore unorthodox in the Holy Church of Now, but it is a human one, and for that reason is it unshakeable.