Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)
Type of Culminating Activity
Master of Arts in Communication
Manda V. Hicks, Ph.D.
Christina L. Ivey, Ph.D.
Rulon Wood, Ph.D.
In a 2019 documentary on the development of the video game God of War (2018) for the Playstation 4, Cory Barlog, the game’s creative director, openly discusses his desire to give the toxic, hypermasculine protagonist, Kratos, a “second chance” after nearly a decade since the franchise’s previous installment. In giving Kratos his second chance, Barlog decided to make him a father, claiming that becoming a father changes one’s perspective on everything. Video games scholars have argued that games are a noteworthy element of players’ identities and interactions due to their promotion of the manufacture of player narratives. The following research is a virtual ethnography of the God of War subreddit community where I seek to understand how God of War’s (2018) ludonarrative, the intersection between a game’s narrative and gameplay elements, serves as a sense-making resource for players to defend hegemonic masculinity. Through a textual analysis of God of War subreddit threads, I identify and discuss the implications of the community’s construction of three narratives (“Disparaging His Past;” “Affirming His Struggle;” and “Acknowledging His Embrace”) that support and defend Kratos’s “second chance” from feminist critique.
Sanders, Mario, "Redeeming the Monster: The God of War Subreddit's Narrative of Rebirth for Hegemonic Masculinity" (2020). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. 1714.