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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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    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]