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Tomb Raider controversy stemmed from “limited information” available, says Pratchett

Saturday, 5 January 2013 16:29 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Tomb Raider’s lead writer, Rhianna Pratchett, has said the brouhaha over the supposed “attempted rape” scene involving Lara Croft by one of the rapscallions inhabiting the island she’s shipwrecked on was the result of “limited information” available at the time.

Speaking with CVG, Pratchett stated that since she hadn’t been announced as the game’s writer at the time of the controversy, she was unable attempt to clarify the scene in question or help “counteract bullshit headlines.”

“I wasn’t able to come out and say ‘actually, this is what we’re doing in this scene,’” she said. “I can totally understand why [it sparked controversy], there was limited information out there and some things were said that were just not accurate. I think everyone who’s talked about it since has talked about context.

“There’s no flick switch to bad assery, that scene happens, she has to deal with it, but her character is not changed because of it. This isn’t I Spit on your Grave or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not to sound dismissive, but when you see it as a whole, she’s gone through lots of challenges before that and there are many more challenges after that.”

Pratchett also stated that not every player will want to “protect Lara,” as executive producer Ron Rosenberg surmised back in June.

“I’m not going to say that every player has the same relationship with their character,” she said. “I actually think that scene has more power for players that feel that they are that character, because it is uncomfortable. It should be uncomfortable.

“It just shows that there’s not necessarily enough knowledge about video games for people to stand up and say ‘That’s not what it’s like.’ People just think ‘video games are for kids and it’s rape and ARRRR!’

“There’s just not enough knowledge to counteract bullshit headlines.”

Tomb Raider is out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in March.

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13 Comments

  1. HauntaVirus

    Please let this one rest…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. _LarZen_

    The game industry need to grow up, if this was a Movie the producers would not get any problems.

    The Developers should get tougher and say it like it is, it’s a adult game with adult settings. Dont like it then dont buy the fucking game.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. roadkill

    @2 +1

    #3 2 years ago
  4. mreko3230

    The game journalist found more “controversy” in it than gamers. Most of the comments after the “announcement” of the attempted rape scene were more like yours. I know I didn’t even raise an eyebrow. I thought, “There going for a more mature, grounded Lara story, so that seems to fit.”

    These are the same journalist that don’t care that you can gruesomely slice the throats of countless women in “Dishonored”.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    I watched every Tomb Raider (2013) gameplay/cinematic video and never saw there rape. I missed something or journalists are just retarded?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. FinalStar

    This is so laughable: So Square Enix preferred to get lots of negative headlines last June because they were unwilling to unveil their “star author” before scheduled?

    Is there anyone out there who cares more about Tomb Raider because Rhianna Pratchett is writing the story? Why should, we actually? Because her previous effort with Mirror’s Edge was so noteworthy in the story department (yeah, sure)? Or much more likely because of her father.

    The ever-growing practise of unvielig little bits and pieces over months with many being worth a footnote at best is getting out of hand and I kind of like that Square Enix got bitten in the ass because of this.

    I’ve played the game from the start to quite a bit after that scene in a presentation, and she’s got one thing right: There is no “switch” in that particular moment (which did get blown way out of proportion), yet afterwards, Lara wildly swings between being like Bambi and like Jane Rambo frequently – I’d call that sloppy character development by the writer.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    I don’t think Square Enix really had a chance with those headlines. I thought the interview as a whole made a lot of sense, but sadly the media decided to run with something that made it sound like the developers were just waiting to tear Lara Croft apart in a videogame, for their own perverse pleasure.

    It’s really pathetic that the media couldn’t control their own individual hardons enough to stop and maybe consider a different take from that interview.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. stevenhiggster

    @2 +another 1

    #8 2 years ago
  9. TheWulf

    On some level, the reactions here are more than a little pathetic. I can’t help but wonder what the reaction would have been if the portrayal was of a guy being raped. To be honest, I’d love to see how gamers would react if it was a MILD (I stress MILD) depiction of Gordon Freeman being raped.

    This is all about perspective, and what I’ve noticed is that there are more women in games journalism than there are women posting comments. And it seems that women were bothered by this more than guys. I wonder why.

    And yes, I know who Rhianna is. But she’s a human, like anyone else. If her pay-grade was high enough, and the suits demanded it, then she’d slip zoophilia into her scripts.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. SplatteredHouse

    @2: I agree with your view on this. The willingness to take steps appears to be all that’s restraining creative direction in interactive media. What are people creating games seeking to do? If they’re looking to tell a story – why can’t they? Why isn’t the sole resort of anyone who doesn’t want to play a game – not to play it! If you buy a book, and you don’t like it or disagree with the content you can do whatever with it, burn it if the thought appeals. You don’t get to verbally suppress it out of all existence. You’re not conceded that level of power. A game can suffer that fate.

    If Six Days in Fallujah were a book, it would probably been released by now. It may have been an utterly godawful affront to any tenet of literature, it could have been unrelentingly terrible, errors inconsistencies, plot-holes and more, but had its text been completed, chances are, that the public would have been able to judge the quality and value of that work. As it’s a game, it seems it doesn’t enjoy the creative discretion of other mediums. A game may not be published, in the case that people are uncomfortable with, or dislike the subject matter (I use this title only as an illustrative example of a game not released, in no small part, due to prevailing prejudice)

    What does it say of the faith in a wider scope, afforded to ratings boards, where subjects/imagery employed can sometimes still end in restriction to adults? Informing and entertaining, just as long as it’s within these predetermined borders.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Just-Joe

    Working on limited information? That’s video game journalism for you. Spit on your shoes and tell you it’s monsoon season.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    @11 There is journalism good and bad in any industry. ‘Games journalism’ cannot and should not be lumped together as one thing any more than you’d lump the BBC in with Fox Newz.

    And yes, I always spell that with a Z. It just seems more appropriate.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    The reaction by some videogame journalists was nothing but embarrassing. Similar to the fan reactions of the new DmC. Ignorant and dumb. Really, they had one quote and it was enough for most of them to push for their bullshit agenda.

    You can show a head being shattered by a bullet through x-ray, but even hinting at rape is a big no-no. Isaac gets his head chopped off and a necromorph uses his body a host, but someone touches Lara’s legs? That’s distasteful, you should be in jail for that!

    Lara nearly gets eaten by a cannibal? Cool. Someone could be touching her breasts? What the fuck is wrong with you?

    If you can’t deal with the subject: Fine, that’s your problem, but don’t discourage people who want people to talk about it.

    Mild depiction of Gordon Freeman getting raped? Fine, why not? If it serves a purpose, do it. The scene will probably spark a huge discussion about the immense double standards when it comes to male victims of rape. If not, no harm done, it’s a fictional character after all. Could be a great way of dismantling male tropes in videogames.

    I dunno if any of you have seen the movie Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (The superior David Fincher Version), but there was nothing fun, or sexy, or anything else about the rape scene. It was disgusting, absolutely disgusting. And it was long and you saw the damage it has done to the body and her character.

    It was a terrifying and painful experience for Lizbeth, but she didn’t give in, she planned her revenge, hit that fucker right back and moved on. That showed pure strength. She never let this experience determine the rest of her life. It’s just a movie, but it’s encouraging for people who were raped, contrary to what some shiteating feminists on tumblr will tell you; Yes, you can recover from it. Yes, you can become yourself again.

    If videogames deliver the same message, what’s the problem?

    #13 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    The beta date for Battlefield Hardline has popped up on the Xbox Store, confirming the rumoured date. The listing for the Battlefield Hardline beta is available for anyone to see right now on the Xbox Store. Granted, it’s for Xbox 360, but unless EA is starting this beta early on Xbox 360, this will pretty […]

  • GTA player flies jets backwards in impressive stunts

    Doing stunts with jets in GTA 5 can be impressive, but it’s nothing like flying them backwards. Making videos of your jet stunts has become too mainstream. Which is why the latest video from YouTube channel GTA5Videos is all about defying that. The video below features some insane stunts mostly done by flying jets backwards, […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare balance patch out, System Hack nerfed, HBRa3 buffed

    The latest patch to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is here with some major changes to game balance. Making good on the promise to nerf System Hack, developer Sledgehammer Games has released the latest patch to Advanced Warfare to do just that, and much more. The patch is out now on Xbox platforms, with PlayStation […]

  • Grinding three purples in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel may crash your game [UPDATE]

    Update: Gearbox Software has announced there’s currently a hot-fix in place for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel as a temporary solution to crashes caused with the DLC update. Until a permanent fix can be made, the hotfix should correct crashing issues. All will be fixed in the next major game update. Original Story A bug that snuck […]

  • Havoc maps up the tempo for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

    Dave Cook dons his Exo suit to find the new Havok DLC maps a great change of pace for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Given that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare places great emphasis on verticality, it’s little wonder that Sledgehammer Games has designed the first of its four DLC map packs with elevation and […]

  • G2A responds to deactivated Far Cry 4 keys debacle

    G2A, one of the third-party sellers that were named in the ongoing episode of deactivated Far Cry 4 keys has decided to release a statement. G2A is a well known third-party key sellers online. Most users know it through its sponsorship deals with many YouTube and Twitch channels. The service sells keys both through its […]

  • Petroglyph’s Victory resurfaces with Korean co-developer

    End of Nations, Mytheon and Grey Goo developer Petroglyph Games seems to have salvaged a stalled project. Victory popped up back in early 2013 after Trion Worlds took End of Nations in-house. Petroglyph’s attempt to crowdfund the unusual strategy title ended in iniquity, but it vowed to do whatever it could to bring the game […]

  • Far Cry 4 Hurk Deluxe DLC now available

    Far Cry 4′s latest DLC pack adds new story missions and a pile of new weapons. Far Cry 4: Hurk Deluxe is now available on PC and Xbox platforms, and is rolling out to the PSN in line with local network updates. The pack bundles five story missions, including Yak Farm, Blood Ruby and Hurk’s […]

  • Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has microtransactions

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has microtransactions, but thankfully they’re not as outrageous as initial reports suggested. The subject of Resident Evil: Revelations 2′s microtransactions arose earlier today with reports filtering out of a European press event that you’ll be able to pay to keep playing after your character dies. The ramifications of this are pretty […]

  • Play mini-games to unlock Magicka 2 content

    Magicka 2 publisher Paradox Interactive has invited fans to earn in-game rewards by playing other games. The Magicka website will host various mini-games in the build up to Magicka 2′s launch later this year on PC and PS4. Playing these games controbutes to a community score total which will eventually unlock in-game content as well […]

  • Deactivated Far Cry 4 keys were purchased through Origin

    Far Cry 4 owners who found their games deactivated without warning may be surprised to learn where they came from. Many copies of Far Cry 4 purchased through third-party re-sellers have been deactivated without notice. Although resellers affected by the deactivations argued that they had made authorised purchases, Ubisoft has denied this. The publisher told […]

  • Will Assassin’s Creed visit Japan in 2016?

    The next Assassin’s Creed game after Victory may finally bring ninja and assassins together. An Assassin’s Creed fan has spotted what certainly looks like a heavy hint that the next game after Victory will be set in Japan. Ubisoft forums member Cornik22 was looking through the Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag official art book when […]

  • Resident Evil HD modder aims to restore original, terrible voice acting

    Resident Evil and its early sequels are justifiably famous for their simply dire voice acting. Some Resident Evil fans feel they just can’t enjoy the experience of exploring Umbrella facilities if someone isn’t talking at them with absolutely no regard for pacing, content or tone. As a result, modder Bunny has stepped up to the […]

  • Record iPhone sales drive Apple to revenue spike

    The iPhone is still going strong – in fact, it’s selling better than ever. Apple has announced its financial results for the quarter ending December 27 2014, exceeding expectations with a 29.5% increase in revenues to $74.6 billion. This was a new record for the company. One of the key factors in this spike is […]

  • HoloLens has “mind-blowing” potential for games, says Microsoft CEO

    Microsoft’s VR wearable HoloLens is going to be great for games, according to CEO Satya Nadella. Speaking to investors, Nadella made Microsoft’s entertainment plans for the device explicit. “It’s also getting clearer how the games people love today will evolve to mind-blowing experiences in the future when designed for the mixed reality that Windows 10 […]

  • EA Q3: Battlefield 5 still on for holiday 2016, PGA Tour 15 spring release confirmed

    EA announced its financial results for its Q3 fiscal year 2015 quarter, ended December 31, 2014, noting total net revenue $1.13 billion in total net revenue compared to $808 million year-over-year. For the nine months ending December 31, total net revenue came in at $3.3 billion. Net revenues were up 39% and net income came […]

  • Players logged 113M single-player hours in Dragon Age: Inquisition, other EA games stats

    Ahead of its Q3 2015 earnings release, Electronic Arts has released a game infographic showing some interesting stats compiled through gameplay from October – December 2014. For FIFA 15, over 3.3 billion goals were made; 73 million knockouts occurred in EA SPORTS UFC; over 10 million families were created in The Sims 4; 113 million […]

  • Hyrule Warriors has shipped 1 million units worldwide

    Koei Tecmo has announced shipments of its Wii U hack and slash action title, Hyrule Warriors, has shipped one million units worldwide. The Omega Force-developed title was released in Japan on August 14 and in the west on September 26. Two packs of DLC for the game are slated for February alongside the version 1.5.0 […]

  • Xbox Games Store discounts Never Alone, Dragon Age: Inquisition, more

    This week’s deals available through the Xbox Games Store will be valid until February 2 with titles such as Battlefield 4, Dragon Age Inquisition, Never Alone, and Titanfall discounted. Discounted titles with an asterisk are for Xbox Live Gold members only. Xbox One Just Dance 2015* – 40% Another World* – 50% Never Alone* – […]

  • Say hello to Mortal Kombat X’s latest character: Reptile

    As promised, one of two character reveals this week for Mortal Kombat X has occurred: it’s the acid-spitting Reptile. Nice! Watch the video above. Mortal Kombat X is slated for release on April 14 and will be available on PC, PS3, PS4,Bxo 360 and Xbox One. Thanks, MrTGJelly (Trent).

  • Twisted fairy tale Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries hits Steam Early Access

    Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries, the successful Kickstarter from GRIN Studios, has launched on Steam Early Access. The PC title is described as a “cinematic fable featuring a vengeful Red Riding Hood,” who armed with an axe sets out on a quest to avenge the murder of her parents. Gameplay features action-platforming, combo-based hack ‘n […]

  • Dead or Alive 5: Last Round delayed to late March on Steam

    Koei Tecmo has announced it is delaying the PC release of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round to March. According to an updated listing on Steam (thanks, AGB), the fighter was delayed “in order to provide you with the best experience possible.” To apologize for the delay, Team Ninja will offer the Halloween 2013 Set, […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online will be F2P “no plans” for western release

    Dragon’s Dogma Online will be a free-to-play title for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. Set for release this year, Dragon’s Dogma Online has a lobby which will support up to 100 players, is open-world, and the executive producer is Hiroyuki Kobayashi. Players can form groups with up to four players or pawns while raids […]

  • Watch this release video for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel DLC Lady Hammerlock

    The Lady Hammerlock DLC for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel releases today on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and coinciding with the release is the launch trailer. In the Lady Hammerlock DLC, players are introduced and will be able to step into the shoes of Sir Hammerlock’s sister, Lady Aurelia the Baroness. The DLC will run […]

  • Free DLC for Tales of Zestiria takes place after main storyline

    Free DLC will be released in Japan for Tales of Zestiria, and while Bandai Namco has yet to state whether it will be released westward with the core game this summer, it’s an interesting slice of content. According to information from Jump posted by Siliconera, the DLC Alisha After Episode: What Is Reflected In The […]

  • This video of a Paris flat looks the real deal, but it’s all Unreal Engine 4

    I’m not entirely sure when, or how, this fella managed to sneak into my secret flat in Paris and film it, but since it’s out there I may as well share it with you. All joking aside, this video is rather amazing. It provides a virtual tour of a flat located in Paris; however, it’s […]

  • The Witness passes key development milestone, still no release date

    The Witness has seemingly come back from the dead. Creator Jonathan Blow has posted an update on the game’s development. Surely you still remember The Witness? Jonathan Blow’s follow-up to Braid, which was shown during the PlayStation 4 reveal event all the way back in February 2013? Well, today we got our first development update […]

  • You can now take selfies in World of Warcraft

    The latest patch to World of Warcraft has added a S.E.L.F.I.E. Camera to the game. And it does exactly what it sounds like it does. Patch 6.1 is currently being deployed to World of Warcraft’s Public Test Realms (PTR). There’s a massive list of patch notes, but the most pressing one, other than Twitter integration, […]

  • Hellblade: early gameplay and prototype footage revealed

    The latest developer diary for Hellblade is here with a look at some early gameplay prototypes and a peek at some polished areas. Hellblade developer Ninja Theory has revealed even more details of how game development works behind the scenes. The eighth part of this ongoing diary shows early gameplay footage along with some intriguing […]

  • Resident Evil Revelations 2: Raid mode offline-only on launch, more details

    Capcom has revealed a tonne of new details about Raid mode in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. Capcom has confirmed that Raid mode will launch with the first episode of Revelations 2 in February. You will be playing it offline only though, either solo or in split-screen co-op. As for the online portion, Capcom promised it […]

  • Watch the first 20 minutes of Life is Strange

    The first 20 minutes of Life is Strange have been posted online for anyone to watch. The opening 20 minutes of Life is Strange set the stage for what kind of game it is. The kind that you’ll probably like if you’re a fan of Telltale games. The video is courtesy of consolewarsofficial and you […]

  • Don’t blame Ubisoft for cancelling keys – blame the culture of overpriced games

    Publishers need to drop PC games prices in order to stem the flourishing grey market, says Matt Martin. “How are you going to sell me Far Cry 4 for £45 when I can pick up Far Cry, Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3, Far Cry: Blood Dragon and extra DLC for just £30?” Some players […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online is real, full reveal in this week’s Famitsu

    What’s been heavily-rumoured to be the next instalment in the Dragon’s Dogma franchise, Dragon’s Dogma Online, will be fully revealed this week. According to a recent post by Famitsu, the magazine’s upcoming weekly issue, which releases January 29, will contain a massive feature on Dragon’s Dogma Online. The magazine will dedicate 18 pages to all […]

  • Valve responds to recent Counter-Strike match-fixing scandal, bans offenders

    Valve has investigated the recent case of match-fixing involving two teams in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional scene and decided to ban those involved from future tournaments. Recent allegations involving match-fixing between iBUYPOWER and NetcodeGuides.com – two of the professional teams that played in Cevo Season 5 – came to light. Valve has took notice […]

  • Having issues playing Grim Fandango Remastered on PS4? Sony is offering help

    Sony has offered a few steps to help those who are having issues with their pre-loaded PS4 installs of Grim Fandango Remastered. A few reports have started to appear online from users who’ve pre-ordered and pre-loaded Grim Fandango Remastered on their PS4 consoles. Sony has since posted a support thread on the official forums, to […]