Tomb Raider's Pratchett Calls 2013 A Good Year for Female Characters

Tomb Raider's Pratchett Calls 2013 A Good Year for Female Characters

Tomb Raider Lara Croft

Rhianna Pratchett says female representation is important in videogames, and the diversity of characters in videogames should match the diversity of the gaming audience.

2013 brought a reboot of Tomb Raider, a series known for its main character, Lara Croft, the most recognized female character in videogames. Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett said in an interview with IGN that last year saw some interesting female characters and hopes media represent a broader spectrum of people.

"I think 2013 was a pretty good year for female characters both NPCs and protagonists," Pratchett said. "Although in gaming terms 'pretty good year' means that there were some, and they were cool, interesting and well thought out, rather than anything approximating equality."

Pratchett added that while it's great to see more varied female protagonists and antagonists, there still needs to be more representation in age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender orientation, and ability to represent "real life." She pointed to shows like Breaking Bad, Luther, and Orange is the New Black as examples of popular shows with diversity.

"It's nuts that we've reached a situation where representing female characters (let alone minorities) is considered 'social responsibility' and not, you know, depicting half the world's population," Pratchett said. "We're lagging behind all other entertainment mediums in this regard, and we really need to step up to the plate rather than curmudgeonly defending our piece of lawn from the pesky kids."

The representation of women in videogames isn't the only thing that could use some work. Pratchett calls videogames' depictions of masculinity "extremely narrow in scope. It would be nice to see a panel about gender in videogames and it not just be about one gender!"

The bottom line is that videogames - and media as a whole - need more interesting, varied characters rather than relying on well-known tropes of the physically powerful, gruff male character with a grudge. Pratchett suggests hiring writers and integrate them into teams earlier on, as well as getting all developers more involved in storytelling in order to bring in a "new generation" of videogame writing. If this becomes industry standard, we should expect well-written characters with intriguing, diversifying stories.

Source: IGN

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" a panel about gender in videogames"... Video games by committee here we come. Seriously though, it's a shame she's ignoring all the great and even over represented females in games in the hidden object/point and click adventure games.

She can say what she wants, but I'm fairly certain what she means is that it's a good year because SHE worked on a game with a female protagonist.

P.S. Thanks

And, of course, many people call the new Tomb Raider sexist. I'm pretty sure you can make literally any game sexist if you look at it from the right angle.

She isn't wrong in anything she says, but I do wonder why gaming seems to be the only medium where people [seem to] talk about it like this.

Other mediums may have more diversity on the whole, but they are still normally sectioned off into little boxes of target audiences. You don't see many action movies aimed at women. You don't see many romance novels aimed at men. They tend to pick whichever market they feel is going to make them the most money and aim their work purely at them. The only real difference is that gaming is slow to realise that they have a growing audience among women, and very few companies are properly taking advantage of that.

It is also worth noting that it is only really the Triple A developers that seem to have this kind of issue. Smaller games as well as indie titles do not suffer anywhere near as much.

But then again, the Triple A industry is basically our equivalent of Hollywood, and Hollywood is also known for pedalling the same kind of thing over and over again. I mostly blame the lack of diverse roles on publishers looking at statistics to make games, rather than looking at it from "the ground" so to speak.

That is the unfortunate downside to games making a lot of money. Some people will only look at it from the perspective of how much it can make them.

Personally it doesn't bother me as much as a lot of people. Most of the games I enjoy allow you to pick your characters gender, and those that don't are normally not the kind where it really makes any difference. But for those who like the kinds of games that never seem to have female leads, I can certainly understand the frustration.

Lightspeaker:
And, of course, many people call the new Tomb Raider sexist. I'm pretty sure you can make literally any game sexist if you look at it from the right angle.

Considering I recently saw somebody say that Mass Effect 3 is the most sexist game they have ever played, I am inclined to agree.

But it is worth noting that just because some people say it, doesn't mean it is, or that is is a popular or common opinion. While some people have indeed claimed that Tomb Raider is sexist (unsurprisingly the person who said the above about Mass Effect 3 was one of them), most people see it as a welcome change from the typical, gruff Caucasian male.

And cue internet death threats in 3...2...1...

Lightspeaker:
And, of course, many people call the new Tomb Raider sexist. I'm pretty sure you can make literally any game sexist if you look at it from the right angle.

That's the problem. Don't put women in a game - it's sexist for not having women. Put a woman in a game - people scrutinise everything about her to find something that is sexist. Have a woman in a game with nothing that can possibly be sexist - call it sexist anyway, no one will check.

Looking back to the 90's there no way i would have predicted this situation, i almost feel like were lagging behind of the 90's and 80's. I mean there was a time when strong female characters where almost common in the movies, think on Robocop's officer Lewis, Sarah Connor in Terminator, Ripley and Vasquez in Alien and Aliens, etc. I always felt it was a natural thing, and now i feel like we took steps back, theres isnt even non-standard-beauty actresses in Hollywood anymore, or at least the examples are scarce, Matrix for instance... Hell, even the princess Leia is tougher that most female modern princesses (i guess we can mention the most recent Snowhite...). And now look who was cast for Wonder Woman, and shes not even having her own movie....
Im pissed about this.

I just thought it was stupid, she was cold had only 1 match for a fire and it lights yay. Then from then on out fires just light instantly. Also she apparently can't find a jacket. Also the really violent deaths bothered me. I'm really not into the whole cinematic death scenes in any game.

CriticalMiss:
And cue internet death threats in 3...2...1...

Lightspeaker:
And, of course, many people call the new Tomb Raider sexist. I'm pretty sure you can make literally any game sexist if you look at it from the right angle.

That's the problem. Don't put women in a game - it's sexist for not having women. Put a woman in a game - people scrutinise everything about her to find something that is sexist. Have a woman in a game with nothing that can possibly be sexist - call it sexist anyway, no one will check.

Yeah, possibly. But what are you supposed to do, just stop trying? As a writer, I positively love writing female characters, and frankly I've yet to get any flak for my characters being sexist. People need to learn to tell the difference between legitimate complaints of sexism and people who are just clutching at straws. Not to mention people will always call a game sexist? Yeah, but people will also always call a game shit no matter what it does, and that hasn't stopped developers, why should this?

OT: I agree. With Lara Croft, Elizabeth, Ellie, Clementine, and the MCs from Remember Me and Beyond Two Souls, this has been a pretty good year for women overall. Though I agree with her that it's pretty sad that we're struggling with such a basic concept.

Ukomba:
" a panel about gender in videogames"... Video games by committee here we come.

The irony being that we already have design by committee in gaming and it appears to not gain much ire at all.

I guess it's only bad when the committee doesn't look like 'me'?

CriticalMiss:
Have a woman in a game with nothing that can possibly be sexist - call it sexist anyway, no one will check.

Considering you can't even say the word sexist without someone having a temper tantrum about how games aren't sexist, that's clearly not true.

Zachary Amaranth:

Ukomba:
" a panel about gender in videogames"... Video games by committee here we come.

The irony being that we already have design by committee in gaming and it appears to not gain much ire at all.

I guess it's only bad when the committee doesn't look like 'me'?

Committee within the developer/creative team, but she talking some external panel. Generalized rules and guidelines are not beneficial to crearivity. It's like Swtor adding the gay pplanets they can check some gay relationship check box. It wasn't organic to the creative process. It was so generic and forced that it upset the very people it was done to please.

We don't need some panel designed, paint by numbers, mandated female added to every game. It detracts from the genuinely good characters.

I think shes right. And also that this whole diversity thing is a coming thing.
Its taking a while, yes, but it IS getting better, it will continue to improve.

Also, I now know the word: curmudgeonly, so cheers.

Three cheers for her, I say. Not only did she acknowledge that gender representation isn't a one-way street, she also offers some possible solutions that might actually work. Instead of demonizing anyone, she suggests that it is a technical problem that might be addressed by changing the way in which writers work on the games? Bravo! I could not have asked for a better opinion on this subject!

erttheking:

CriticalMiss:
And cue internet death threats in 3...2...1...

Lightspeaker:
And, of course, many people call the new Tomb Raider sexist. I'm pretty sure you can make literally any game sexist if you look at it from the right angle.

That's the problem. Don't put women in a game - it's sexist for not having women. Put a woman in a game - people scrutinise everything about her to find something that is sexist. Have a woman in a game with nothing that can possibly be sexist - call it sexist anyway, no one will check.

Yeah, possibly. But what are you supposed to do, just stop trying? As a writer, I positively love writing female characters, and frankly I've yet to get any flak for my characters being sexist. People need to learn to tell the difference between legitimate complaints of sexism and people who are just clutching at straws. Not to mention people will always call a game sexist? Yeah, but people will also always call a game shit no matter what it does, and that hasn't stopped developers, why should this?

The thing is, Lara Croft has been my poster girl for why feminist criticism can be unjust. She's a strong, independent, confident, athletic character, but she also had big breasts, and suddenly everything good about her seemed to vanish in feminist critique. 90% good, but 10% bad, focus on the 10% bad because it isn't perfect. It's created something of a stigma of a "pass/fail" viewpoint that may never be met. A shower scene, an optional outfit, a moment of needing rescuing, let's just say sometimes it does feel like people are looking for something to complain about rather than thank someone for the good points that are there.

I am a woman and a feminist (I believe in gender equality) but I don't go around spouting that every game I play with naked boobs in it or short shorts is an outrage to society and women. We know that men are objectified as well. However, I think it's good that people are getting stirred up about it and are talking about it because there is a fundamental truth to it.

As technology improves, games become more realistic, and we relate more and more to our protagonists. We want games with diversity. Not just because it's inspirational and inclusive and educational, but it gets BORING playing the same game over and over again. We become better people by exposing ourselves to different perspectives, and while men and women have been blessed with the perspective of a stereotypical male action hero or cartoon animal over the years, we just want something more. I think the game industry has acknowledged this in the past few years and over time it will only improve.

While it can get annoying hearing people talk about it constantly, I prefer that over the contrary.

Redd the Sock:

erttheking:

CriticalMiss:
And cue internet death threats in 3...2...1...

That's the problem. Don't put women in a game - it's sexist for not having women. Put a woman in a game - people scrutinise everything about her to find something that is sexist. Have a woman in a game with nothing that can possibly be sexist - call it sexist anyway, no one will check.

Yeah, possibly. But what are you supposed to do, just stop trying? As a writer, I positively love writing female characters, and frankly I've yet to get any flak for my characters being sexist. People need to learn to tell the difference between legitimate complaints of sexism and people who are just clutching at straws. Not to mention people will always call a game sexist? Yeah, but people will also always call a game shit no matter what it does, and that hasn't stopped developers, why should this?

The thing is, Lara Croft has been my poster girl for why feminist criticism can be unjust. She's a strong, independent, confident, athletic character, but she also had big breasts, and suddenly everything good about her seemed to vanish in feminist critique. 90% good, but 10% bad, focus on the 10% bad because it isn't perfect. It's created something of a stigma of a "pass/fail" viewpoint that may never be met. A shower scene, an optional outfit, a moment of needing rescuing, let's just say sometimes it does feel like people are looking for something to complain about rather than thank someone for the good points that are there.

You can pretty much say the same thing about any criticism of any video game ever. Yahtzee has made a career out of pointing out the bad 10% in games a lot of people enjoy, refusing to acknowlege the good bits and people eat it up. And there aren't that many good female characters in video games, so if a woman gets upset when she finds of the champions that people tout about when talking about how accepting games are lacking, I'm not going to be surprised when she focuses on why she isn't impressed with them. Also, feminists are not a hive mind. The same reason some feminists hate Lara Croft would be the same reason other feminists love her. Some would be angry at her being sexualized while others were love her for being sexually liberated so please don't act like feminists are just some unpleasable collective. It's just people complaining about what they don't like even when a lot of other people like it. In fact, it's probably BECAUSE so many other people like it that they feel obligated to point out what they don't like. And this isn't just something unique to the sexism debate, this has been a part of criticism ever since it came into society.

Feminist criticism isn't fair? No. Criticism period isn't fair. And this isn't anything new.

Redd the Sock:
She's a strong, independent, confident, athletic character, but she also had big breasts, and suddenly everything good about her seemed to vanish in feminist critique.

I suspect there's a small but vocal subset of feminist critique that's fundamentally driven by sublimated slut-shaming with a slim veneer of rationalization. Actions speak louder than words, so to speak.

Two of the highest grossing films of last year, Hunger Games and Frozen, both starring strong female leads.

I certainly wouldn't complain if more games had characters like that in leading roles.

erttheking:

Redd the Sock:

erttheking:

Yeah, possibly. But what are you supposed to do, just stop trying? As a writer, I positively love writing female characters, and frankly I've yet to get any flak for my characters being sexist. People need to learn to tell the difference between legitimate complaints of sexism and people who are just clutching at straws. Not to mention people will always call a game sexist? Yeah, but people will also always call a game shit no matter what it does, and that hasn't stopped developers, why should this?

The thing is, Lara Croft has been my poster girl for why feminist criticism can be unjust. She's a strong, independent, confident, athletic character, but she also had big breasts, and suddenly everything good about her seemed to vanish in feminist critique. 90% good, but 10% bad, focus on the 10% bad because it isn't perfect. It's created something of a stigma of a "pass/fail" viewpoint that may never be met. A shower scene, an optional outfit, a moment of needing rescuing, let's just say sometimes it does feel like people are looking for something to complain about rather than thank someone for the good points that are there.

You can pretty much say the same thing about any criticism of any video game ever. Yahtzee has made a career out of pointing out the bad 10% in games a lot of people enjoy, refusing to acknowlege the good bits and people eat it up. And there aren't that many good female characters in video games, so if a woman gets upset when she finds of the champions that people tout about when talking about how accepting games are lacking, I'm not going to be surprised when she focuses on why she isn't impressed with them. Also, feminists are not a hive mind. The same reason some feminists hate Lara Croft would be the same reason other feminists love her. Some would be angry at her being sexualized while others were love her for being sexually liberated so please don't act like feminists are just some unpleasable collective. It's just people complaining about what they don't like even when a lot of other people like it. In fact, it's probably BECAUSE so many other people like it that they feel obligated to point out what they don't like. And this isn't just something unique to the sexism debate, this has been a part of criticism ever since it came into society.

Feminist criticism isn't fair? No. Criticism period isn't fair. And this isn't anything new.

Thing is, Yahtzee's a comedian more than a critic. He doesn't wonder why the industry hasn't been changed for the better by his weekly videos full of dirty words and hostile insults.

I mean, you're a writer: how well would you respond to large amounts of angry e-mail about one element of your work people found lacking that couldn't be bothered to mention a few positives. You're right, it is elsewhere. In fact it's very prevalent in gaming. But people call a lot of that out as being spoiled, whiny, entitled, etc. and they aren't wrong to do so. To me there's no difference between being dismissive of say, DMC because they changed Dante's characters model, and dismissing a game based on a well endowed character model.

I'm not trying to claim it's all feminists. I openly said it's a stigma: a stereotype we're trying to move beyond, and have trouble doing so when people get defensive at the accusation.

Redd the Sock:

erttheking:

Redd the Sock:

The thing is, Lara Croft has been my poster girl for why feminist criticism can be unjust. She's a strong, independent, confident, athletic character, but she also had big breasts, and suddenly everything good about her seemed to vanish in feminist critique. 90% good, but 10% bad, focus on the 10% bad because it isn't perfect. It's created something of a stigma of a "pass/fail" viewpoint that may never be met. A shower scene, an optional outfit, a moment of needing rescuing, let's just say sometimes it does feel like people are looking for something to complain about rather than thank someone for the good points that are there.

You can pretty much say the same thing about any criticism of any video game ever. Yahtzee has made a career out of pointing out the bad 10% in games a lot of people enjoy, refusing to acknowlege the good bits and people eat it up. And there aren't that many good female characters in video games, so if a woman gets upset when she finds of the champions that people tout about when talking about how accepting games are lacking, I'm not going to be surprised when she focuses on why she isn't impressed with them. Also, feminists are not a hive mind. The same reason some feminists hate Lara Croft would be the same reason other feminists love her. Some would be angry at her being sexualized while others were love her for being sexually liberated so please don't act like feminists are just some unpleasable collective. It's just people complaining about what they don't like even when a lot of other people like it. In fact, it's probably BECAUSE so many other people like it that they feel obligated to point out what they don't like. And this isn't just something unique to the sexism debate, this has been a part of criticism ever since it came into society.

Feminist criticism isn't fair? No. Criticism period isn't fair. And this isn't anything new.

Thing is, Yahtzee's a comedian more than a critic. He doesn't wonder why the industry hasn't been changed for the better by his weekly videos full of dirty words and hostile insults.

I mean, you're a writer: how well would you respond to large amounts of angry e-mail about one element of your work people found lacking that couldn't be bothered to mention a few positives. You're right, it is elsewhere. In fact it's very prevalent in gaming. But people call a lot of that out as being spoiled, whiny, entitled, etc. and they aren't wrong to do so. To me there's no difference between being dismissive of say, DMC because they changed Dante's characters model, and dismissing a game based on a well endowed character model.

I'm not trying to claim it's all feminists. I openly said it's a stigma: a stereotype we're trying to move beyond, and have trouble doing so when people get defensive at the accusation.

He has a comedic edge to his videos but his criticism towards the gaming industry are 100% legitimate. I'm pretty sure the last month of him tearing consoles a new one weren't in jest. And his scathing criticisms also carry over to his much less funny Extra Punctuation article.

That happens to me. All the time. Heck, recently a guy went through one of my stories and said that he overall liked them, but in his comments he left five things he didn't like for everything that he did like, and that was one of my nicer critics. And what I do, is that I think other people do. Look over the criticism, see if there's anything constructive there. If there is, take it into account, if there isn't, ignore it. And you can't just dismiss criticism because it's harsh or has nothing nice to say, you dismiss it when the harshness has no point or is just flat out flaming or trolling. No artist ever benefited from not listening to criticism just because it didn't have anything nice to say. Granted I do prefer the criticism that points out what you did right along with what you did wrong, but to completely dismiss the all negative bits just because you don't like it is committing creative suicide.

Well, my apologizes then. You may want to be clear next time, because when people talk about feminists, they rarely are talking about a small subset unless they specificy that they are.

Was it?

To be fair I haven't played tomb raider or last of us but I did play infinite and I found elizabeth mostly forgettable. No female character in video games has stuck out to me as great in the writing capacity but video games are still in the early stages of writing so it feels lesser then other mediums at the moment. I'm hoping this changes though but unlike bioshock infinite, they should still put a lot of work into the gameplay as opposed to having cutscenes do all the story and feeling and the gameplay just sort of there.

Wonder if there will be discussions of lack of non-white characters soon after this blows over.

EDIT: Actually, considering this was all triple a games, not smaller ones then yeah, I guess it was ok. It's rare triple a does much of anything right so having some kind of female representation is good I suppose. Now lets hope they start improving the quality of the writing next. Maybe we can have a video game equivalent of breaking bad quality with a large cast of very memorable selection of characters. Perhaps telltale.

Ukomba:
" a panel about gender in videogames"... Video games by committee here we come.

Hasn't that been going on for a while now?
At least in the triple A industry. Not all the time, but often.

Ukomba:
Seriously though, it's a shame she's ignoring all the great and even over represented females in games in the hidden object/point and click adventure games.

True. There are quite a lot of those.

To be fair though, I wouldn't be surprised if she just doesn't know about them, like James did.

Hidden Object games aren't exactly in the lime light of the industry.

You could say that the games are almost, hidden. <.<

:D

Come on, how could I not?

Also,

Where does it say that what she wants is a girl shoehorned into every video game?
It sounded more like she just wants people to talk about gender in games more often, and bring in more writers early on when making a game.

P.S. Balthier rules. =w= b(<-Thumbs up face)

CriticalMiss:
And cue internet death threats in 3...2...1...

<.< If she hasn't had some already...

CriticalMiss:

Lightspeaker:
And, of course, many people call the new Tomb Raider sexist. I'm pretty sure you can make literally any game sexist if you look at it from the right angle.

That's the problem. Don't put women in a game - it's sexist for not having women. Put a woman in a game - people scrutinise everything about her to find something that is sexist. Have a woman in a game with nothing that can possibly be sexist - call it sexist anyway, no one will check.

True. There will always be complaints, and criticism of any game.
However, it doesn't take much to separate bad complaints, and fair criticisms with points.

As long as we don't let it get us all down, and keep moving forward, we should be fine.

Trishbot:
Two of the highest grossing films of last year, Hunger Games and Frozen, both starring strong female leads.

I certainly wouldn't complain if more games had characters like that in leading roles.

Redd the Sock:

erttheking:

CriticalMiss:
And cue internet death threats in 3...2...1...

That's the problem. Don't put women in a game - it's sexist for not having women. Put a woman in a game - people scrutinise everything about her to find something that is sexist. Have a woman in a game with nothing that can possibly be sexist - call it sexist anyway, no one will check.

Yeah, possibly. But what are you supposed to do, just stop trying? As a writer, I positively love writing female characters, and frankly I've yet to get any flak for my characters being sexist. People need to learn to tell the difference between legitimate complaints of sexism and people who are just clutching at straws. Not to mention people will always call a game sexist? Yeah, but people will also always call a game shit no matter what it does, and that hasn't stopped developers, why should this?

The thing is, Lara Croft has been my poster girl for why feminist criticism can be unjust. She's a strong, independent, confident, athletic character, but she also had big breasts, and suddenly everything good about her seemed to vanish in feminist critique. 90% good, but 10% bad, focus on the 10% bad because it isn't perfect. It's created something of a stigma of a "pass/fail" viewpoint that may never be met. A shower scene, an optional outfit, a moment of needing rescuing, let's just say sometimes it does feel like people are looking for something to complain about rather than thank someone for the good points that are there.

Don't you know, sexy girls don't have character at all, in fact they have no worth and isn't capable of jack shit, besides being gawk at, which is why the Old Lara Croft is sexist. So hat if she was a anti-hero, who loved raiding tombs, going on adventure since she was a little girl, fighting mythical and rare creatures,and saving the world once or twice. She has large tits, was a sex icon for western gaming, and fuck it she was sexy as hell. That means she has no character, no worth, and it's sexist against women because of it. You need "real" women to represent in videogames better.

Magenera:

Redd the Sock:

erttheking:

Yeah, possibly. But what are you supposed to do, just stop trying? As a writer, I positively love writing female characters, and frankly I've yet to get any flak for my characters being sexist. People need to learn to tell the difference between legitimate complaints of sexism and people who are just clutching at straws. Not to mention people will always call a game sexist? Yeah, but people will also always call a game shit no matter what it does, and that hasn't stopped developers, why should this?

The thing is, Lara Croft has been my poster girl for why feminist criticism can be unjust. She's a strong, independent, confident, athletic character, but she also had big breasts, and suddenly everything good about her seemed to vanish in feminist critique. 90% good, but 10% bad, focus on the 10% bad because it isn't perfect. It's created something of a stigma of a "pass/fail" viewpoint that may never be met. A shower scene, an optional outfit, a moment of needing rescuing, let's just say sometimes it does feel like people are looking for something to complain about rather than thank someone for the good points that are there.

Don't you know, sexy girls don't have character at all, in fact they have no worth and isn't capable of jack shit, besides being gawk at, which is why the Old Lara Croft is sexist. So hat if she was a anti-hero, who loved raiding tombs, going on adventure since she was a little girl, fighting mythical and rare creatures,and saving the world once or twice. She has large tits, was a sex icon for western gaming, and fuck it she was sexy as hell. That means she has no character, no worth, and it's sexist against women because of it. You need "real" women to represent in videogames better.

You know, I feel like you're missing the point that people who argue against sexualized female characters are trying to get at. It's not that they're against female characters that are sexy, it's that they're against sexy female characters who are sexy for the sake of being sexy, even if it makes no sense in the context of the story. A seductress like Poison Ivy, makes sense for her to be sexy. A sex power fantasy like Bayonetta, who is flirty, sultry, and uses BDSM attacks, makes sense for her to be sexy. Lara Croft, a wealthy heiress and archeologist...what's the point of her being sexy aside from cheap titillation? It doesn't compliment her character in any way. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but don't act surprised when people criticize it.

erttheking:

Magenera:

Redd the Sock:

The thing is, Lara Croft has been my poster girl for why feminist criticism can be unjust. She's a strong, independent, confident, athletic character, but she also had big breasts, and suddenly everything good about her seemed to vanish in feminist critique. 90% good, but 10% bad, focus on the 10% bad because it isn't perfect. It's created something of a stigma of a "pass/fail" viewpoint that may never be met. A shower scene, an optional outfit, a moment of needing rescuing, let's just say sometimes it does feel like people are looking for something to complain about rather than thank someone for the good points that are there.

Don't you know, sexy girls don't have character at all, in fact they have no worth and isn't capable of jack shit, besides being gawk at, which is why the Old Lara Croft is sexist. So hat if she was a anti-hero, who loved raiding tombs, going on adventure since she was a little girl, fighting mythical and rare creatures,and saving the world once or twice. She has large tits, was a sex icon for western gaming, and fuck it she was sexy as hell. That means she has no character, no worth, and it's sexist against women because of it. You need "real" women to represent in videogames better.

You know, I feel like you're missing the point that people who argue against sexualized female characters are trying to get at. It's not that they're against female characters that are sexy, it's that they're against sexy female characters who are sexy for the sake of being sexy, even if it makes no sense in the context of the story. A seductress like Poison Ivy, makes sense for her to be sexy. A sex power fantasy like Bayonetta, who is flirty, sultry, and uses BDSM attacks, makes sense for her to be sexy. Lara Croft, a wealthy heiress and archeologist...what's the point of her being sexy aside from cheap titillation? It doesn't compliment her character in any way. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but don't act surprised when people criticize it.

It was actually a woman that gave me the Lara Croft thing. She, being a naturally well endowed woman was (and still is) very tired of characters like her being dismissed due to her figure. It was pretty much telling her that everything she accomplished would seem worthless to [certain] other people because she's a natural DD cup. That if she wants to be an archeologist, or academic, she needs to dress like a frump to be taken seriously. I think there's even some feelings of betrayal, as feminism had largely been about not judging someone by their looks, but by their character and personality, and here were women summing up a character in her breasts, or in her outfit.

I mean, people can dislike whatever they want, but that feminist stigma I mentioned is kept alive by attitudes like veing overly critical of something being sexy without a realy realy good reason, especially at the expense of acknowledging more positive traits.

Redd the Sock:

erttheking:

Magenera:
Don't you know, sexy girls don't have character at all, in fact they have no worth and isn't capable of jack shit, besides being gawk at, which is why the Old Lara Croft is sexist. So hat if she was a anti-hero, who loved raiding tombs, going on adventure since she was a little girl, fighting mythical and rare creatures,and saving the world once or twice. She has large tits, was a sex icon for western gaming, and fuck it she was sexy as hell. That means she has no character, no worth, and it's sexist against women because of it. You need "real" women to represent in videogames better.

You know, I feel like you're missing the point that people who argue against sexualized female characters are trying to get at. It's not that they're against female characters that are sexy, it's that they're against sexy female characters who are sexy for the sake of being sexy, even if it makes no sense in the context of the story. A seductress like Poison Ivy, makes sense for her to be sexy. A sex power fantasy like Bayonetta, who is flirty, sultry, and uses BDSM attacks, makes sense for her to be sexy. Lara Croft, a wealthy heiress and archeologist...what's the point of her being sexy aside from cheap titillation? It doesn't compliment her character in any way. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but don't act surprised when people criticize it.

It was actually a woman that gave me the Lara Croft thing. She, being a naturally well endowed woman was (and still is) very tired of characters like her being dismissed due to her figure. It was pretty much telling her that everything she accomplished would seem worthless to [certain] other people because she's a natural DD cup. That if she wants to be an archeologist, or academic, she needs to dress like a frump to be taken seriously. I think there's even some feelings of betrayal, as feminism had largely been about not judging someone by their looks, but by their character and personality, and here were women summing up a character in her breasts, or in her outfit.

I mean, people can dislike whatever they want, but that feminist stigma I mentioned is kept alive by attitudes like veing overly critical of something being sexy without a realy realy good reason, especially at the expense of acknowledging more positive traits.

And that's a fair point. I think the problem is less that people are tired of sexy female characters, and more that they're tired of a lack of alternative to sexy female characters. Even Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite showed off a fair bit of skin at one point, although granted that was more to show vulnerability than to titillate...but still. Frankly I'm just getting tired of people who constantly go to the lowest common denominator. It comes off as lazy. So really, at the end of the day, the thing that's more of a problem than anything else is a lack of variety. Lara Croft is probably pretty good all things considered, but she's probably a sore spot for a lot of people because she's a beautiful, well endowed sexy woman in an industry where that seems to be the only acceptable thing for them to be. It's like white straight men with brown hair in their mid thirties in gaming. Sure, there are probably some good ones, but for the love of God, can we please get something else? Just to change things up?

Ukomba:

We don't need some panel designed, paint by numbers, mandated female added to every game. It detracts from the genuinely good characters.

You say it distracts from the good characters, but really it distracts from the panel designed, paint by numbers, mandated generic white dude.

And that's the problem. At worst, at absolute worst, you're getting the same thing you're already getting, but with polygon boobs.

Redd the Sock:

I mean, people can dislike whatever they want, but that feminist stigma I mentioned is kept alive by attitudes like veing overly critical of something being sexy without a realy realy good reason, especially at the expense of acknowledging more positive traits.

I think that point might be more topical except it's not done without reason. I mean, pretty much any woman is required to be a buxom, DD or higher sex pot in games. Taking issue with Lara Croft doesn't happen in a vacuum, it happens because almost every other game does it as well.

In the end, isn't it a problem that people are resistant to the point of hostility at the notion that a woman can be in a game (especially as a protagonist) and not be spank material? Would it be so bad if Lara only had like, a C cup? Apparently so, because the reboot got tons of complaints because she didn't have big boobs. And you know what? I find the new Lara pretty attractive. It's not like she's even ugly, or mousey, or whatever. She's still a hot series of polygons with attractive features and the capacity to kick ass (whether it makes sense to the narrative or not). It's not as thuogh the point of contention was her attractiveness, but there you have it.

Zachary Amaranth:
Would it be so bad if Lara only had like, a C cup?

Does Laura's breast reduction make her in any way a better character?
If the overall goal is more variety, then the idea should be to make NEW characters
Altering a pre-existing character, especially what is arguably THE most prominent female character within the medium, in such a superficial manner implies that there was a flaw with the way she was before. Ultimately in this case it implies that you can't have a "strong" female character unless her bust size is reigned in. What does that say about people who really do have larger bust sizes?
That's certainly not my MAIN issue with the new Laura, or even one of the top 3, but it IS an issue. The implication that a larger bust size is "wrong" or makes a character less worthy of being a "strong female character" in itself is sexist, the prominence of female sexual characteristics being the target of criticism.

As for the paint-by-numbers business, that's already what we got with Tomb Raider and Remember Me. Both were so boring and stereotypical that I question why either got any attention. Every year we get superior stories/gameplay experiences featuring children, women, robots, aliens and all manner of other character options and prominent non-player options, they just primarily happen outside of AAA space. This is because the current primary demographic for AAA games has shown time and time again that what it's interested in are safe rehashes and copy-paste mechanics, just like how other media tend to get more boring and copy-paste as you work your way into the more commercially successful products.

Concerning the original post:
I feel like people are trying really hard at this point to elevate actions that really should just be normalized. Plenty of games have come out every year with either A: a woman as a protagonist or B: the option to play as a woman or a man (or, in some cases, whatever you feel like on that day). Only recently has this become a "big thing" in the sense that people are making huge sweeping statements about the entire medium based on what is usually a very small sample size, and are usually devoid of contextual details like actual demand and the existence of gaming outside of the AAA (generaly console-focused) gaming space.

Most of the games that have come out recently that have prominently featured women felt pretty mediocre, and it really seemed like the female protagonist bit was just used for the usual PR shit-stirring in place of a quality product. Also, I question the validity of listing shows that have been going on for some time now as examples of 2013 in itself being a good year. Additionally, Ms Pratchett's remarks feel more self-congratulatory than anything else.

 

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