Great! Executive producer says you'll "want to protect" Lara.

  • 144 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
#1 Posted by bwheeeler (489 posts) -

http://kotaku.com/5917400/youll-want-to-protect-the-new-less-curvy-lara-croft

"You're kind of like her helper." Because male characters don't need your help, but female ones do.

I'm not upset about the moaning and the attempted rape and all of that stuff. We'll have to see how it pans out in the final game to make any judgments on that. But these statements seem...blatantly sexist. It's just the executive producer, and I'm sure he isn't really a sexist, but this story made me feel weird. I wish he could just say "Lara is a woman, yes! Moving on." Instead, this guy dwells on how being a female protagonist is different by steeping it in this bullshit "men protect women" thing.

In sum, I'm a little drunk and am very concerned about this thing that, when you get right down to it, is really not that important at all. Cool!

#2 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

Dude, sober up. All the developer is saying is that, with the amount of punishment that Lara takes over the course of the game, the player is going to feel sorry for her, regardless of whether the player is male or female.

#3 Posted by jjnen (661 posts) -

You're overreacting. It's a bit weird statement still but maybe he is trying to say that you'll see Lara as a real individual character and not as player's avatar?

Online
#4 Posted by wemibelec90 (1831 posts) -

Read farther into that. It gets way worse. Kinda makes me bummed about the game.

#5 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2030 posts) -

@bwheeeler: Jeff actually tweeted referring to that article sarcastically earlier today; it has been generating a lot of rage.

I feel like the producer could take a lesson in tact. Considering how much of a controversy has already been stirring from the game, he could have chosen his words better or at least forwarded the incentive to discuss the matter to his PR subordinates. If I were in his shoes I wouldn't even say anything about the matter myself. In fact, I would have specifically hired a PR person with experience or education in gender studies to deal with discussing how the gamer audience should interpret the reboot's Lara, because being a male producer attempting to justify a game with a female protagonist in scenarios that people are blowing whistles at seems like a losing battle.

#6 Edited by SpunkyHePanda (1741 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

Dude, sober up. All the developer is saying is that, with the amount of punishment that Lara takes over the course of the game, the player is going to feel sorry for her, regardless of whether the player is male or female.

I'm not so sure.

""She's definitely the hero but— you're kind of like her helper," he said. "When you see her have to face these challenges, you start to root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character.""

#7 Edited by Jace (1094 posts) -

Honestly, I don't think he meant any harm by his words. It was just a really poor way to communicate their approach with Lara.

#8 Posted by Raven10 (1923 posts) -

I think he's walking a slippery slope. I get that they are making a story of a woman pushed to her limits to become the best that she can be. That's a great story and a very feminist story at that. But how they write it really can mean the difference between something that is very compelling and respectful and something that is exploitative. I'll chalk this interview up to poor word choice. I get what he was trying to say, he just said it very poorly. Whether people like it or not there is an inherent difference for men between playing a male character and a female character. What that difference is is unique to every individual, but gender differences are too engrained in our psyches to ignore at any point. I think his point was that as a man it is difficult to put yourself in the shoes of a woman and so you look at Lara more as a character than an avatar. It's interesting because some of the best characters I've played as were women and when playing as them I did feel more protective of them than when I was playing as a man. I think it is natural for a man to want to protect a woman he cares about. It's instinctual. That's not to say Lara can't take down the bad guys and be a badass, but it does say that you might play the game more carefully. Maybe. I'd be really interested in how much testing they have done. It seemed like from the way he phrased it that he had tested the game with people and that was the experience they had.

I think it's interesting, and I hope that the story ends up being a great transformative journey that turns Lara into the woman we all know and love, but I think in this case the producer was referring to a natural difference in the way people play as a woman. Is it true? I don't know, but it makes sense to me. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

#9 Posted by TheFreeMan (2712 posts) -

I was with him on the "protecting" part, you know, what with the extensive punishment she's going through. Reminds me of the justification for horribly violent deaths in games - it's a punishment for screwing up, that, providing you're not a gore hound, gives you incentive to not screw up again, like in Resident Evil 4 or Dead Space or something, so in that sense trying to "protect" the protagonist gets you more involved with the character. But then he drew a line between male and female characters. Poor choice of words on his part. And now the internet will be exploding with sensationalist rage once more.

Are they stirring the pot on purpose? I don't get it.

#10 Posted by Korwin (3028 posts) -

That really doesn't read well, however he might be taken a bit out of context. I think the angle he's going for here is similar to you wanting to look out for the kid's in Super 8.

#11 Posted by Jimbo (9992 posts) -

The DLC is just Lara trying to parallel park.

#12 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2030 posts) -

@rebgav: To be fair, I think there are many people on our side that have contributed to blowing the problem out of proportion as well. Who knew so many gamers of all genders and races were also keyboard warriors exploiting social media to further their extreme beliefs?

I also wouldn't necessarily blame Al Gore. I don't think he knew back then that he would be the catalyst of something so extreme.

At least this issue hasn't made it to CNN or the New York Times yet, to my knowledge. That is when I'll throw my arms up in indignant resignation.

#13 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1741 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

The DLC is just Lara trying to parallel park.

Ha! Bravo.

#14 Edited by clstirens (847 posts) -

@bwheeeler: Isn't it natural for a man to want to protect women? Considering their target demographic is still men, I don't see why not.

Edit: Except I don't like him pointing out "it's because she's a chick" I thought you just called out the one part of the statement.

#15 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

@SpunkyHePanda said:

@Hailinel said:

Dude, sober up. All the developer is saying is that, with the amount of punishment that Lara takes over the course of the game, the player is going to feel sorry for her, regardless of whether the player is male or female.

I'm not so sure.

""She's definitely the hero but— you're kind of like her helper," he said. "When you see her have to face these challenges, you start to root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character.""

So we're at the point where we're so eager to claim sexism that even acknowledging the fact that genders exist and sometimes we have differing feelings towards them is sexist, now?

#16 Posted by Mnemoidian (960 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

Dude, sober up. All the developer is saying is that, with the amount of punishment that Lara takes over the course of the game, the player is going to feel sorry for her, regardless of whether the player is male or female.

Agreed, and that sounds awesome. I can't remember the last time a game's protagonist felt like a real enough thing that I cared if it got hurt (as opposed to not wanting to "fail"). Nathan Drake probably is the closest (at least the only name that comes to mind instantly)?

#17 Edited by NTM (7542 posts) -

It kind of seems like a feminist approach. To tell you the truth, I'm not into stories about a woman being raped, or attempted rape, and then getting revenge. It's like the whole "You kill my family, I come after you!" approach, which I never cared for. It's a cheap shot, and it just disturbs me. This isn't to say this game won't end up being good, but it's kind of reaching into unwanted original-for-game levels. I assume there'll only be one part where this happens, and then after that, you'll have to fend off against these same types of bad guys throughout the game. Eh, I don't know about that one aspect to it, other than that, the game is probably going to be pretty good.

#18 Posted by Scooper (7881 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

The DLC is just Lara trying to parallel park.

Apparently only men can finish that DLC, according to their internal tests. Women found it too hard, for some reason.

#19 Posted by DeF (4977 posts) -

@bwheeeler: yea don't read too much into that. it's mainly about empathy, it means they want the player to care for her because she is finally a more real, human character and not some superhuman robot who just runs through the jungle killing evil dudes and dinosaurs without breaking a sweat. all they want is for us to actually feel a connection with her, even when we can't say "okay, I'll just put myself into that character" due to the majority of gamers who play action games still being male. so far that's all there is to it.

you also need to consider that these guys stand in their booths at E3, giving interviews for 3 days and talking about the same stuff over and over so a weird expression or a poorly worded statement should not be analyzed to heavily.

#20 Edited by Tarsier (1078 posts) -

this whole thing is absolutely retarded. lets not look at her gender, lets look at who and what she is as a human being. listen to the interview that giant bomb did, they explained very clearly why she is this way. she is in an earlier point in her life when these horrible things that happen to her are new, and shes not used to being a bad ass action hero, shes simply trying to survive and fight for her life. theyre show emotions and realism that other games dont, theres absolutely nothing sexist about it. you people, or feminists trying to make this a big dramatic issue need to take it the fuck easy. youre looking at this from the wrong perspective. and i imagine that its because some of you want to look cool in front of female gamers that could possibly be watching you. youre not going to get a date by skewing reality and talking shit about developers who are just trying to make a unique experience.

#21 Posted by altairre (1280 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

@SpunkyHePanda said:

@Hailinel said:

Dude, sober up. All the developer is saying is that, with the amount of punishment that Lara takes over the course of the game, the player is going to feel sorry for her, regardless of whether the player is male or female.

I'm not so sure.

""She's definitely the hero but— you're kind of like her helper," he said. "When you see her have to face these challenges, you start to root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character.""

So we're at the point where we're so eager to claim sexism that even acknowledging the fact that genders exist and sometimes we have differing feelings towards them is sexist, now?

Apparently yes.

#22 Posted by AlisterCat (5722 posts) -

I felt sorry for Phoenix Wright when he lost his attorney license. SEXISM!

#23 Posted by Chris2KLee (2338 posts) -

I think the developer just did a really poor job of conveying that Lara will be younger and less experienced than we are used to. His interview with Patrick was equally full of poorly chosen descriptions of young Lara. It's one of those cases where some good PR people might actually come in handy.

#24 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8606 posts) -

Ignore dev talk > Buy game > profit.

#25 Posted by BlackLagoon (1460 posts) -

So, basically new Tomb Raider is moé?

#26 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

I think game devs are just going to have to start making games that don't feature women whatsoever, because as soon as they do anything that involves a female character people line up to call them sexist.

I bet you there are women who work for Crystal D, do you think they spend every day crying in the bathroom because of their horrible, awful sexist environment or do you think maybe the Internet just tries to start controversy?

#27 Posted by Mnemoidian (960 posts) -

@Brodehouse: Then they'd be accused of sexism because of not having any women in their games, though ;)

#28 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3116 posts) -

I think the main problem with the portrayal of Lara so far is the lingering focus on her repeated and worsening injuries. It's like if in Die Hard they zoomed in every minute or so while you watched Bruce Willis get progressively sharper and nastier things jammed in his foot-wound while moaning and writhing in pain.

By the end of that movie he was clearly fucked up, and I kind of think that's the idea they're going for here- that limping out of the fire covered in blood and ashes scene- but the constant repetitive injuries, and the focus on them, turns it from just a bad situation into almost a parody, and it becomes really weird to watch and extremely uncomfortable in a bad way because you start wondering what the hell these people thought was appealing about it.

#29 Posted by killacam (1278 posts) -

i assert that YOU'RE the sexist one, for focusing on the fact that she is a woman, and not a man. never a man.

#30 Posted by Mnemoidian (960 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad: To be fair, that's part of the medium here. The scenes we've seen so far are in a strange way taken out of context and shown to us independent of one another. I personally believe that game developers show too much of their games before releasing them. It normally works great.

In other games, you can normally get 3 different slices of a game without really giving anything away. But in the case of a game where a large focus of the game is building a relationship between the player and the character, and then using that relationship as a lever while utterly brutalizing the character... doesn't really work when we don't really know the context of what we are seeing (because we haven't played the game).

Personally, once I've seen enough of a game to have decided on buying it, I stop watching trailers and pre-release coverage. Tomb Raider has reached that level of interest for me.

#31 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

Also, I think this just going to move more to developers not wanting to give interviews because people are just going to pull their words apart and make them look like racists, or sexists, or assholes because the internet loves nothing more than a fight.

You guys say that you hate canned PR answers, but if the alternative is people roaring and screaming and blasting them on twitter because they said something that can be construed as sexist, they're just going to stop answering questions and let PR handle it every time. That's why this thread is called "Exective Producer says" and not a person's name.

Also, it pretty much sounds like they're doing the exact same thing with Lara that Visceral did with Isaac Clarke. Where was all the cries of sexism and 'rape/pain fantasies' when Isaac was having giant industrial doors rip his body in two? If its a man getting hurt, it's fine. If its a woman getting hurt, it's sexist.

Reminds me of that billboard Sony put up for the PSP. It had a white lady manhandling a black lady. People said it was racist against blacks. If it was the opposite, if it was a black lady manhandling a white lady, people would say it was racist against blacks. Are we at the point when two people can't interact with each other without automatically victimizing someone?

#32 Edited by ProfessorEss (7518 posts) -

The only lesson I'm learning from this is if you're planning on making a game just make the main character male.

You can make a male character strong, weak, fat, fit, lazy, stupid, a liar, a thief, a coward, a cretin, the possibilities are endless. If you decide to go with a female lead you're instantly limited to one choice: strong, smart and independent. How boring.

#33 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3116 posts) -

@Mnemoidian: I've stopped watching the trailers as well, but only because I've really lost a lot of any prior interest for the game at all. I still keep up with the news so that I can get some glimmer of hope here- I'd love to be rebuffed and have something or someone show me something to balance all of this out, but I'm just not interested in the game that they seem to have made, or at least the one they're showing everyone.

And I think a good example of what they were attempting here, making you want to protect the player character, was already achieved in Alice: Madness Returns. Things go extremely badly for Alice, her mental health deteriorates while things go further and further into hell in the real world as well, and by the end of the game there is a sort of need to see things work out for the best because you do get that protective urge, in a sort of parental way. If the same things were happening to a male character they would prove equally effective, and by the time the ending twist rolls around it packs the emotional punch of a gunshot to the chest.

I think a big part of why that succeeded there and seems so offputting here is simply that in Alice there is a matter-of-factness about the whole ordeal that allows you to keep moving, and in this new Tomb Raider they seem to go out of their way to constantly linger on each and every injury in a way that just seems distasteful and exploitative. It's not a natural feeling of wanting to protect her because you care about her character, it's a forced emotional response because they're beating someone like a pinata.

#34 Posted by RVonE (4700 posts) -

But I want to protect Laura!

#35 Posted by JeanLuc (3608 posts) -

I think the guy's words are poor but the core message doesn't seem wrong. She's injured and because of that I want to help her. Well yeah, why wouldn't I? I mean I wanted to help Nathan Drake when he got shot in Uncharted 2. I wanted to help Cortana when she got captured in Halo 3. I wanted to help my crew and squad mates in Mass Effect 2. I am a helpful person.

That is where I disagree with him. I don't want to help Lara because she's a woman in danger. I want to help Lara because she's a person in danger.

#36 Posted by Tackchevy (266 posts) -

Too much angst. Sexism is rampant in all media and culture. People should applaud them for creating a heroine that is tough but also gets hurt like a real person. Everyone is our course entitled to their own thoughts and opinions, but this argument would be much more effective targetting most anything else in gaming.

#37 Posted by Milkman (17316 posts) -

This is gross as hell. "Please guide this poor woman to safety! She might break a nail and needs a big strong man to guide her!"

#38 Posted by Toxeia (725 posts) -

Yeah, I guess watching someone getting the shit beat out of them only makes you want to protect them if you're a misogynist, sexist, bigot, and let's throw racist in there just because bigot doesn't end in "ist", and you know that rule of threes!

It's too bad it's just not a human condition that makes you want to help people who are in trouble.

#39 Posted by Jimbo (9992 posts) -
@ProfessorEss said:

The only lesson I'm learning from this is if you're planning on making a game just make the main character male.

You can make a male character strong, weak, fat, fit, lazy, stupid, a liar, a thief, a coward, a cretin, the possibilities are endless. If you decide to go with a female lead you're instantly limited to one choice: strong, smart and independent. How boring.

Yeah look at all those fat, lazy, stupid, cowardly male leads in games.  If your lead is male you make him a male power fantasy. If your lead is female you make her a male wank fantasy.  Simples.  
 
Tomb Raider is breaking the mold to some extent, by swapping the typical sex object for a victim, with the gamer effectively in the White Knight role, according to that guy at least. I'm not sure if that's an improvement in how we view female protagonists, but it is different I suppose.
#40 Posted by ProfessorEss (7518 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

Yeah look at all those fat, lazy, stupid, cowardly male leads in games.

Yeah I guess you got me there but at least you could do it if you were so inclined without dealing with a mountain of backlash.

#41 Edited by Mnemoidian (960 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad: Good point on Alice, though... I think my negative reactions to it's technical and superfluous mechanics have given me an negative reaction to the game, but you are right about the characterization. (actually had to go back and look at my notes on the game to remember what I felt about it. *sigh*)

However, as I was saying, I think it's an unfair comparison, because you've played Alice in context of itself, while you've only seen Tomb Raider in the context of E3 trailers/demos. Basically trailers trying to sell the game to an audience that is being shell-shocked by all of its' competitors bling and flair. It's a problem of all game trailers (see the Hitman: Absolution battlenun trailer, for instance) where most seem to feel like they need to show the flashiest and loudest parts... because it's hard to sell the quiet moments in situations like that.

Personally, it tends to be the quiet moments that I carry with me after I'm done with a game/movie. Like how my strongest memory of Bioshock is where the big "Would you kindly" reveal came. I remember standing in a room and just struggling with myself, trying to disprove it to myself.

Anyway, I can't imagine that we are talking about an 8 hour game of watching Laura get thrashed. As much abuse as the trailers showed, they also showed hints of character development. Of finding her limits and pushing herself past them. Hints of the quiet, memorable moments. If it's just 8 hours of celebrating abuse of a poor polygon woman, then I'm on board with hating on the game, but that's not the feel I've gotten.

(Example of what I'm talking about in Tomb Raider, that quiet "sorry...", when she's about to fire an arrow at a deer, in one of the trailers, here: http://www.giantbomb.com/heres-three-and-a-half-minutes-of-mostly-terrible-things-happening-to-lara-croft/17-6030/ at about 01:25 to 01:30)

#42 Posted by laserbolts (5365 posts) -

You people are nuts. That doesn't seem sexist at all.

#43 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3116 posts) -

@Mnemoidian: Like I said, I would like to be proven wrong in my initial feelings about the game- I went from excited, to a little uncomfortable with the seeming focus on the whole 'getting injured' part of things, to outright tired of seeing it. I'm hoping there's more to the game, but if all they want to show is someone getting the hell beaten out of them, then I don't want to see what they have to offer. It's like they're hitting a puppy with a stick, and each time going "So, do you care now? No? How about after three or four more whacks?". It's the laziest way to get an emotional response out of people, and if it's all they can come up with then I sincerely hope it backfires on them.

#44 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3924 posts) -

Guys I can't tell anymore what's sexist and what isn't. Am I sexist? Am I not? I need somebody to write me a guide or something...

#45 Posted by triviaman09 (803 posts) -

This seems like kind of a tempest in a teapot. The "want to protect Lara" line was in relation to how the developer saw people reacting to the character, not what he was shooting for. And the game is more about her learning to survive than balls out action, so being her "helper" makes some degree of sense. Could he have worded this stuff better? Absolutely. The guy obviously doesn't give a great interview. People should wait until the final product to pass judgment on it.

#46 Posted by Jams (2966 posts) -

Sometimes it seems like the world has lost all of its wisdom. Luckily it seems that a lot of people here understand the difference between sexism and not sexism.

"When people play Lara, they don't really project themselves into the character," Rosenberg told me at E3 last week when I asked if it was difficult to develop for a female protagonist.

"They're more like 'I want to protect her.' There's this sort of dynamic of 'I'm going to this adventure with her and trying to protect her.'"

What I believe he's saying here is that Lara isn't going to be a Gordon Freeman. You're going to feel like you're standing beside her and be really apart of the story. That you're going to have real feelings and emotions while you play out the story. He doesn't mean that you're going to be her white knight, just that you care going to care about what happens to her.

The new Lara Croft isn't just less battle-hardened; she's less voluptuous. Gone are her ridiculous proportions and skimpy clothing. This Lara feels more human, more real. That's intentional, Rosenberg says.

She's not just some dumb bimbo or faceless hero. Just like when you invest your emotions with a friend going through hard times, you'll feel the same way with Lara. You'll leave the game feeling like you really helped a person through a tough time. That is what I get from that article.

#47 Posted by MegaMetaTurtle (414 posts) -
@TheSouthernDandy
Guys I can't tell anymore what's sexist and what isn't. Am I sexist? Am I not? I need somebody to write me a guide or something...
Seems to be pretty simple; if you're a male gamer, you're a sexist pig.

Kinda getting boring now...
#48 Posted by benjaebe (2784 posts) -

Poor choice of wording on his part. I've been following the game a lot and this is definitely the first time I've seen any kind of mention of that, not to mention he didn't say anything outwardly offensive. It gets to the point where people are yelling fire where there is none, and it's blurring the lines between what is ACTUALLY sexist (because it does exist) and what is not. I don't think the team at Crystal D is sexist, I think they're trying to humanize Lara and make the player emotionally involved in her transformation from zero to hero, a la Die Hard or The Descent. More and more games are focusing on the characterization of the player character. I've never felt like I actually WAS Nathan Drake, I've always felt like I was along on his crazy adventure. The same could be said for Lara Croft. This is the result of more cinematic, third person games. The player is less the main character and more the invisible "sidekick" helping the main character through the story. Usually silently, but games like Deadly Premonition have played with it and acknowledged it in interesting ways, right Zach?

Is it just me or are people really touchy about this stuff lately?

#49 Posted by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

@bwheeeler said:

http://kotaku.com/5917400/youll-want-to-protect-the-new-less-curvy-lara-croft

"You're kind of like her helper." Because male characters don't need your help, but female ones do.

I'm not upset about the moaning and the attempted rape and all of that stuff. We'll have to see how it pans out in the final game to make any judgments on that. But these statements seem...blatantly sexist. It's just the executive producer, and I'm sure he isn't really a sexist, but this story made me feel weird. I wish he could just say "Lara is a woman, yes! Moving on." Instead, this guy dwells on how being a female protagonist is different by steeping it in this bullshit "men protect women" thing.

In sum, I'm a little drunk and am very concerned about this thing that, when you get right down to it, is really not that important at all. Cool!

I get what you're saying but man they just can't win can they? If they shut up they're misogynistic. If they emphasize the player's connection with her through a poor choice of words (i.e. protecting her) they're sexists.

#50 Posted by nomorehalfmeasuresdoctor (143 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

Also, I think this just going to move more to developers not wanting to give interviews because people are just going to pull their words apart and make them look like racists, or sexists, or assholes because the internet loves nothing more than a fight. You guys say that you hate canned PR answers, but if the alternative is people roaring and screaming and blasting them on twitter because they said something that can be construed as sexist, they're just going to stop answering questions and let PR handle it every time. That's why this thread is called "Exective Producer says" and not a person's name. Also, it pretty much sounds like they're doing the exact same thing with Lara that Visceral did with Isaac Clarke. Where was all the cries of sexism and 'rape/pain fantasies' when Isaac was having giant industrial doors rip his body in two? If its a man getting hurt, it's fine. If its a woman getting hurt, it's sexist. Reminds me of that billboard Sony put up for the PSP. It had a white lady manhandling a black lady. People said it was racist against blacks. If it was the opposite, if it was a black lady manhandling a white lady, people would say it was racist against blacks. Are we at the point when two people can't interact with each other without automatically victimizing someone?

You make a good point. We won't get there however anytime soon because it's too ingrained in our society to judge people not as people but on their superficial features because they look different.

Everything's sexist and everything's racist. He shouldn't have said those things that way he said them with regards to Lara's character. What he described though is how I feel with any character in any medium that I care about male or female. I never project myself on to them but I am going on an adventure with them and I do want to protect them. He shouldn't have claimed people only feel that way because she's a girl. I feel like they focus tested this aspect a lot and he was just taking the answers he was given out of context and using them in the real world instead you know thinking about the ramifications of what he was saying.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.