Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why I Wanted To Play The Tomb Raider Reboot - And Now Why I May Not

Tomb Raider (the new game which was designed to remake Laura Croft with her origin story) is coming out soon.  I had wanted to try it out.  The reason:   this game looked like it had an interesting story.  That’s right.   I thought the idea of being stranded and alone on an island, trying to survive, and learning to fight and hunt would make an awesome game.  I’m not interested in the Tomb Raider franchise, nor have I played any of the games (except for some of Tomb Raider 2 on PC that I forget if I enjoyed or not).   I didn’t care this was a  Tomb Raider game, and could care less that is was remake, even less about the character, and even more less if the character was a man or a woman.
So, why should the gender matter at the end of that sentence?  Because of this:   ( People said Laura has become a victim.  I know all about the victim trap for female character development, but I didn’t think it was relevant here, because it was someone who has to survive on an island by themselves, wouldn’t they experience all kinds of hardships?  I think it’s because people will think Laura Croft didn’t chose to be an archeologist action-adventurer and she was forced into it.  In the first trailer, she’s already on her way to her first adventure.  She was going to be one anyway.  This just happens to be her first adventure; it doesn’t appear it will change her character (though I hope I’m wrong in terms of telling a good story), only develop her adventuring, climbing, and gun shooting skills.
However, the article says that video game players identify with a man, but want to protect a woman avatar.  This apparently makes males root for her more if they ‘save’ her.  This was so insanely stupid.  I played Uncharted 1 & 2 and Hydrophobia recently, (male and female leads) and guess what?  I found myself more into the game with the female lead because of how immersive the game was!  I enjoyed Uncharted’s story and characters + character development more, but Hydrophobia made me feel like I was actually there.   The gender was not an issue for me.
Later, this article ( stated that the executive producer said, “they try to rape her.”  And people saw this implied from the first person that attacks her in the trailer. 
In the game, I’m sure you will have to fight 800 people before the game is done (all male, because god forbid you kill any females or people will think you are committing violence against women).  In real life, if you were a woman, and fighting against 800 people one at a time, I’m pretty sure a high percentage of them will try to rape you.  However, games are a fantasy.  We don’t need to worry about falling off a cliff into a massive vortex or getting eaten by dinosaurs in real life, but some woman do have to worry about being raped in the real world.  So, why would you put this realistic thing in the game to begin with when people play games to escape and have fun?
I could easily dismiss the victim angle until I actually play the game, but after the implied rape and the designer talking about it as if they wanted all this from the beginning, I’m now less interested to pick up the game.  Could it be because now I will think of Laura as a woman instead of my avatar into the video game world? I feel that using rape as any selling point or from putting it in their as normal will cause people not to check it out, or they will find it out in the game unexpectantly, feel uncomfortable,  and return it to the store.  I hope that Crystal Dynamics (having stated there is no rape subtext) are having a woman review as a game tester to double-check the game;  looking for instances of rape (no matter how unintentional)  and removing them.  I'm still going to play the game eventually, I just hope I'm not clouded by this when I do.

Read this article for a different picture of the game:;postID=7089648919791698761

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