Would anyone be complaining about misandry if Lara was a man?

#101 Edited by HatKing (5821 posts) -

Anybody complaining about something being sexist against men could not be more pathetic, and they come off like they're just desperate to find some way of devaluing the arguments against misogyny in the medium. It doesn't work both ways, children.

You can't be disenfranchised when you run the world.

#102 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

@BisonHero: It's probably a male instinct to enjoy seeing violence in fictional events/games. I don't think it's that concerning unless it's too realistic or overdone. Violence in games is vital to the medium. Expecting otherwise is foolish.

#103 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@HatKing said:

Anybody complaining about something being sexist against men could not be more pathetic, and they come off like they're just desperate to find some way of devaluing the arguments against misogyny in the medium. It doesn't work both ways, children.

You can't be disenfranchised when you run the world.

I don't think you understand a thing that has been said in this thread by either side of the debate.

#104 Posted by Freshbandito (654 posts) -

@HatKing said:

Anybody complaining about something being sexist against men could not be more pathetic, and they come off like they're just desperate to find some way of devaluing the arguments against misogyny in the medium. It doesn't work both ways, children.

You can't be disenfranchised when you run the world.

Did you even read the thread?

#105 Posted by MC_Hify (321 posts) -

@DonChipotle said:

People who think her moans sound sexual are fuckin weird.

I agree. It's like they are trying to take the "Whoas!" "Uh-ohs!" and other grunts that Nathan Drake says as he moves precariously throughout a level and integrate them into Tomb Raider. Except it seems like there are ten times more of them and I thought they were really distracting and annoying.

#106 Posted by Korwin (2828 posts) -

@Freshbandito said:

@HatKing said:

Anybody complaining about something being sexist against men could not be more pathetic, and they come off like they're just desperate to find some way of devaluing the arguments against misogyny in the medium. It doesn't work both ways, children.

You can't be disenfranchised when you run the world.

Did you even read the thread?

Shit I better tell the Prime Minister that she doesn't really run the country.

#107 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@BestUsernameEver said:

@Vorbis said:

Someone, somewhere, will complain either way.

Let's make them transgender then.

but she'd still look like a woman or a man (I assume they wouldn't put an unpassable trans person in there, protagonists have to look pretty after all) and we'd still have the same argument.

Yeah, that was a joke, because there'd be even more complaints.

#108 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

If those moans and grunts sound sexual, you are either doing something very wrong, or very right.

Either way, I want to learn.

#109 Edited by Encephalon (1240 posts) -

In response to some of the more ridiculous characters in this thread, there isn't a single utterance in any promotional materials for this game that has reminded me of a woman climaxing.

You fucking people.

#110 Posted by Stonyman65 (2591 posts) -

Does it really matter? As much as I hate to sound like "that guy" IT'S A VIDEO GAME PEOPLE.

#111 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3186 posts) -

@BisonHero said:

To directly answer your question: no, people wouldn't complain about misandry, but that doesn't prove the point you think it does. Genders as a social construct have all kinds of traits assigned to them, and yes, the same scene but with genders swapped can elicit entirely different emotional responses from people. And no, that isn't anybody's cue to go "SEE! Political correctness means we can't do or say anything bad to women". It's a double standard, but only in the sense that human beings are almost incapable of thinking of things as equal, and will assign different traits/prejudices to the various groups/tribes/races/genders they encounter in everyday life. That's always in flux, and it's really never going to magically be balanced.

The fact of the matter is that women have had such a raw deal in terms of having little to no influence or standing throughout most of human history, so it can still be rather hard to write a strong female character who also has human vulnerabilities. If you try to sell the vulnerabilities too hard, people just think you're writing the woman as "helpless", and that you're just using the same old tropes of women being useless in a lot of actiony adventurey fiction.

Sure, they could've made Lara Croft into female John McClane who cracks wise anytime she gets hurt, but it would clash with the tone of the game. Some men still prefer women to be submissive, so I can see why people have issues with the trailers, because she is constantly in a weakened, whimpering state. I don't think it's what the developer intended, and I get that they want to show her eventually kicking ass despite all this adversity, but seriously, they need to change the ratio, because it's like 90% adversity, then a quick montage of explosions and ass-kicking. Whoever has been conceiving of these trailers has been doing a bad job.

The other part of the problem is that all the enemies in video games are pretty much all male, and it's kind of preposterous that you could make a bunch of pirates/mercenaries all female, because that just doesn't match up with the real world makeup of violent criminals and hitmen. So unfortunately, if you make a female protagonist, it's inevitable that she will mostly be fighting men, unless your game is sci-fi/fantasy and can just make up how society works.

You're an intelligent person, for you and I carry very similar notions about sexes.

#112 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad said:

...Yeah? I don't find it appealing to watch anyone get the shit kicked out of them. I admit, it's more uncomfortable when it's happening to a woman, because my parents raised me with the idea that if you hit a woman you are a worthless piece of shit. That said, replace Lara with a dude in these videos, have him get hurt that much and whimper the whole way through, and you bet your ass I'd be uncomfortable with it. I don't play games to watch someone get fucking torn up and beat to hell. If you do, I've gotta ask what is wrong with your head.

I KIND of agree with you.

Tomb Raider, as much as people might not know it, is a decendant of the original Prince of Persia. That being the case, it's heritage has always featured the player being forced to see the consequences of their misjudgements. Whether the prince was imaped on spikes or chopped in half by razor blades, you had to see every gory second of it.

It's one thing to call it sadistic, but truth be told, there was always a little bit of extra "oomph" that made you not want to make a mistake in those games. It wasn't like mario where death was a cost of time only. There was a visceral penalty for playing poorly.

I recall Resident Evil 4 using the same technique quite well. I HATED getting caught by the chainsaw guy and having to watch Leon get his head chopped off, every single time.

I think there can be a use for gore, used in that way. That being said, I'm generally not sadistic at all and I don't enjoy people suffering in any way.

#113 Posted by thomasnash (539 posts) -

It's a pointless discussion until the full game is out really - if they do actually show growth and so on then it probably justifies itself, doesn't it?

What I would say to a lot of people saying, essentially, she handles these situations differently to male action heroes; is it more or less "feminist" to have a female hero who conforms to a homo-normative ideal of the "action hero"?

#114 Posted by solidlife (877 posts) -

Im more offended by the fact that the team thought it was ok that lara can be impaled in the abdomen and expect us tp believe she can get and run like nothing happen! haha.

#115 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4594 posts) -

@BisonHero said:

@Phatmac said:

Why don't people complain when Isaac Clarke from the Dead Space games moans like a girl and cries in pain every time he gets hurt?

I actually did find that a little excessive, and not particularly entertaining. Even in Dead Space 1, I remember one part of the final boss fight where the boss grabs you by the leg and slowly pulls you closer to its mouth, and if you don't free yourself in time, instead of just immediately crushing you in its jaws, it forcibly ripped off Isaac's leg (or maybe arm?), then the tentacle just kind of swings Isaac around for like 5 or 10 seconds while he howls constantly in a pretty convincing display of horrendous amounts of pain.

It's one thing if you do Evil Dead 2-style dismemberment where dude chops his hand off, but it's so silly and over-the-top that it's no big deal. And a lot of the violent deaths in Dead Space (and say, Resident Evil 4) are immediately fatal, so whatever, at least it was quick. But in Dead Space 2 (and the boss fight I mentioned earlier in DS1), it really draws out Isaac's death, forcing you to watch as he endures the most terrible trauma a human being could experience. It's like it expects you to be amused or gain something from it.

I know it's all for fun and not real, but it just seems weird to be entertained by someone in that kind of horrible pain, when there are regions of the world (say, Central Africa) where psycho warlords will hack off somebody's hand or arm. It seems weird to make it into a video game spectacle.

The reason for the long-winded and awful death scenes for Isaac is simple, really - they want you to be afraid of fucking up. When you die, you don't just ragdoll to the floor, you have something violent and awful happen to you. This helps instill fear in the player with certain enemies, because you do not want to see that again. Such as the Hive Mind in DS1, or any of the numerous death scenes in DS2. The eye trauma one was horrific, and when I saw it on youtube (I didn't mess up in-game), I cringed. There is a point to that violence, though, and it's not sadistic. The point of those death scenes is to give consequence to your action (or in-action, as the case may be). By doing that, by failing and seeing this horrible, awful shit done to your avatar, whenever you see those enemies again or are faced with similar situations, the tension is heightened because you know what they can do and you don't want none of that. All in all I feel that DS and DS2 did an excellent job of making me afraid of the enemies. I didn't find the death scenes entertaining in the slightest, but that was the point.

Anyway, keep fighting the good fight for logic and reason. I felt that you misunderstood Dead Space's death animations, and that's really all I had to add on the subject.

#116 Posted by Zaccheus (1788 posts) -

I find the double standards this game seems to expose in people fascinating. Making people judge their own views on gender roles and arguing about them with others... and some say video games can't be art.

#117 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

I've got no issue with the game especially since they toned down the sex noises she made in the demo last year.

#118 Edited by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

@chrissedoff said:

The thing is that Tomb Raider and the character of Lara Croft have a history of some very reasonable accusations of sexism, and so has the video game industry as a whole. I think that when the video game business collectively grows up in terms of how it chooses to depict women, people will no longer be so quick to alleging misogyny at every prominent female game character at times when it's not completely warranted.

Ding ding ding. This is so right. While I don't think the new Tomb Raider is sexist (and hopefully manages to present a compelling arc for Laura), you can't just look at this thing in the vacuum. The entire game industry is horribly juvenile in terms of its treatment of both violence and women, so when there's a trailer that highlight those two so close to on another, it's going to raise a few flags for some people. Tomb Raider, I think, has a chance to turn this on its head in a really exciting way, but what they showed last year definitely warranted pause.

It kind of irritates me that gamers can get so self-righteous and ask this when a live conference had tits for the sake of tits (and don't try to tell me those where "native breasts" because that shit was way too well sculpted for anything remotely similar to the National Geographic channel) or when we have game designers who argue over the size of breasts (I forget which video, but there was a developer diary for Gears 3 where a female designer admitted her job was to basically tone down the breast sizes her male counterparts modeled). Tomb Raider doesn't exist separate from an industry that is only now shedding "booth babes." It exists in an industry that I wouldn't call sexist, but I would absolutely call juvenile. Ideally, though, Tomb Raider will be able to subvert this in a manner similar to the original Alien. That would be killer.

#119 Posted by ThePhantomStranger (353 posts) -

@Anwar said:

just leaving this here and waiting for reactions...

Ehh I think I'll be the only one who bothers to react.

The Daily Show and the Colbert Report make fun of tragedy all the time and no one gives a fuck. It's their job to laugh or make jokes.

Also on the whole Lara moaning thing, I think I agree with the idea that the advertising and marketing isn't exactly the best but with any luck the game itself will deliver. Perhaps Lara getting beat the fuck up is used in a similar way to how Dead Space used their death scenes, perhaps they actually want you uncomfortable so you don't want to screw up. More so I would imagine that as the game progresses and she grows into the tomb raider we know and love they'll change the way she grunts and reacts to show the character's evolution.

I think the tennis comparison is rather apt, no one claims tennis is sexist and misogynistic...well actually I don't know...is it?

OK so the extent of the moaning sways a bit from that comparison but at that point I think it might be more the voice actor for that final inch of the argument.

#120 Posted by dudeglove (7688 posts) -

@CaptainTightPants said:

Yeah it's a bit weird, I mean look at this, did anybody complain about it?

No, but people (rightly) complained about the ludicrously unfunny "Your mom will hate this" ad campaign that went with it.

#121 Posted by Raven10 (1727 posts) -

Other than this being more bloody than your average Uncharted, I don't think she's taking more abuse than Drake does. He just responds to it by saying "Oh Crap" a lot while she responds to it by grunting. Both get tossed in some ridiculous situations that no normal human could survive. If the problem people have is with the grunting and moaning then I say, well that's what people do when in pain. Yea Nathan Drake may not do it, but that is a lighter story than this. Nothing wrong with telling a dark story in a game. This game makes the pain feel very real in a way that Uncharted doesn't. Is that a good thing? I have no idea. But giving some humanity to the pain a character should be feeling after the shit she is going through isn't a bad thing. Like someone said, it reminds me of Cast Away. So, yea, I have no problem with it. I get that she is moaning and grunting a lot, but what person wouldn't be moaning and grunting a lot? Just because she isn't Nathan Drake doesn't mean her character is poorly written. I dunno. I'll wait and reserve judgment until after I play the full game.

#122 Posted by RyanHunt (2 posts) -

I think there's a real difference between how the violence towards Lara Croft is presented in this trailer and how violence towards men is depicted in similar video games and film. At no point does John McClane moan is a sexualized manner. The violence against Lara Croft seems geared toward titillation.

I felt a bit on the creepy side doing this, but I edited all the moans in the Tomb Raider trailer into one sound file to see how they sounded when divorced from the video. Of course it's subjective, but they sound a lot more sexual than they sound like pain. You can find the sound file here: http://ivrytwrdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tomb-raider-cut.wav.

I wrote a longer examination of sexualized violence in video gaming here http://ivrytwr.com/2012/06/10/tomb-raider-masculinity-femininity-and-sexualized-violence/ if anyone is interested.

#123 Posted by Levio (1783 posts) -

Society can't decide whether men and women should be treated equally or differently. Hilarity ensues!

#124 Posted by Digiwth (149 posts) -

I know I would.

#125 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

I didn't know the word misandry until now. So no, I would not complain.

#126 Posted by The_Nubster (2047 posts) -

@RyanHunt said:

I think there's a real difference between how the violence towards Lara Croft is presented in this trailer and how violence towards men is depicted in similar video games and film. At no point does John McClane moan is a sexualized manner. The violence against Lara Croft seems geared toward titillation.

I felt a bit on the creepy side doing this, but I edited all the moans in the Tomb Raider trailer into one sound file to see how they sounded when divorced from the video. Of course it's subjective, but they sound a lot more sexual than they sound like pain. You can find the sound file here: http://ivrytwrdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tomb-raider-cut.wav.

I wrote a longer examination of sexualized violence in video gaming here http://ivrytwr.com/2012/06/10/tomb-raider-masculinity-femininity-and-sexualized-violence/ if anyone is interested.

How does one define a moan as sexualized? What makes vocalization "sexual?" Where is there evidence that the violence against Lara is titillating? She isn't getting all kinds of naked from these encounters (even though branches and glass and fights tear clothes up), she isn't walking around with the camera doing a close-up on her ass. She's in pain and she's vocalizing that pain.

You're reading into the moans and putting your own judgments and values on them, making them seem to yourself what you want them to be. You sat down and took time to edit them into an audio file so you could listen to them, but you're just hearing the noises you want to hear. You aren't divorcing yourself from them at all. it's kind of like the McGurk effect, but instead of sights dominating sounds, it's biases dominating sounds. You can take your time and splice up audio, but I'll firmly say that, no, those aren't sexual sounds. And do you know why? Because she isn't having sex. It's that simple.

#127 Posted by sb5k (49 posts) -

@BisonHero: I guess you're right hahaha

#128 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@ThePhantomStranger said:

@Anwar said:

just leaving this here and waiting for reactions...

Ehh I think I'll be the only one who bothers to react.

The Daily Show and the Colbert Report make fun of tragedy all the time and no one gives a fuck. It's their job to laugh or make jokes.

I dunno. Colbert (not sure about the Daily Show) is satire. It does make jokes, but it's still an overall attempt to criticise whatever the jokes are about in a constructive way. These people are just...laughing at it. There's no biting satire, they're not making any points, they just come right out and say that it's funny.

#129 Posted by Anupsis (284 posts) -

If she is still screaming EVERY time something happens to her by the end of the game then I will find it annoying. If she is like that at the beginning and grows out of it a bit I don't see the problem.

#130 Posted by psylah (2162 posts) -

@CrossTheAtlantic said:

The entire game industry is horribly juvenile in terms of its treatment of both violence and women, so when there's a trailer that highlight those two so close to on another, it's going to raise a few flags for some people.

Don't you think the huge outcry over the moaning and screaming Laura does is (on the contrary) evidence of this?

I think it implies ALOT about the observer that a woman who is grunting in exertion or pain sounds sexual. There was a context to all audio in those trailers that was hard to ignore, but still, the immaturity of the observers tends to shine through in that all they hear is a porn session while a game trailer plays.

The double standard for male and female protagonists even figures into it. I remember hearing Vinny and Brad praise the sound engineers from Dead Space for the guttural moaning, groaning, grunting and screams that Isaac would let out, but not ONCE had I heard anyone refer to the sounds Isaac made as being sexual!

#131 Posted by Kazona (3059 posts) -

That's why I always say that if everyone wants equal treatment, they have to take the good with the bad. Applying equal treatment, such that it only works in one group's favor, is not equal treatment.

#132 Posted by bunnymud (717 posts) -

I have sand in my vagina and I wish to complain.

#133 Edited by MuttersomeTaxicab (667 posts) -

@Kazona said:

That's why I always say that if everyone wants equal treatment, they have to take the good with the bad. Applying equal treatment, such that it only works in one group's favor, is not equal treatment.

This essentialization of feminism to "women want equal treatment but whine when they get it" is so hair-pullingly asinine I don't even know where to begin.

Cultural change is a process, and one that typically is never "done." Especially in video games, where strong characters, regardless of gender, are so rare and strong female characters are mostly nonexistent. Most of the controversy about the new Tomb Raider game isn't necessarily the depictions of Lara (which are still questionable, but pulled from their larger context, it's hard to get a reasonable bead on them.) The larger reason why a lot of people are (rightfully) up in arms about this is not necessarily the depictions of violence against Lara, but rather the statements made by Ron Rosenberg, the executive producer for the game made recently:

"When people play Lara, they don't really project themselves into the character," [...] "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.'"

“The ability to see her as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualized version of yesteryear,” he said. “She literally goes from zero to hero… we’re sort of building her up and just when she gets confident, we break her down again.”

In the new Tomb Raider, Lara Croft will suffer. Her best friend will be kidnapped. She’ll get taken prisoner by island scavengers. And then, Rosenberg says, those scavengers will try to rape her.”

“She is literally turned into a cornered animal,” Rosenberg said. “It’s a huge step in her evolution: she’s forced to either fight back or die.”

This is not "equal treatment." Not by a long shot. What Ron is articulating here is a very specific reinforcement of already-established power struggles, in which women are perpetually in peril and are literally reduced to non-human status. To make her a sympathetic character they have to reduce her to a cornered animal? It's easier to empathize with something that's rhetorically reduced to non-human than it is to identify with a female character? It boggles my mind that anyone who reads those statements isn't anything but concerned about what the fuck they're trying to do with this game.

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

#134 Posted by Demoskinos (14562 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab: Dude, anyone thrown into that situation is going to turn into a cornered animal when your reduced to your basest human element of survive or die.

#135 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (667 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab: Dude, anyone thrown into that situation is going to turn into a cornered animal when your reduced to your basest human element of survive or die.

1. At no point does Lara's male foil, Nathan Drake, come across as a caged animal.

2. You're still missing the point. The executive producer on this game has already decided that "gamers" will not project themselves into Lara, so they're making her this weak, frightened animal so she'll be sympathetic; something to be looked down upon and protected, not considered an equal.

#136 Posted by Demoskinos (14562 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab: Fuck Nathan Drake. He has nothing to do with this. And he has never been portrayed like that anyways. He always has a gun ready to be the heroic bad ass and save the day. Secondly, what the producer "thinks" doesn't fucking matter what he "thinks" gamers will do and what they actually do are up to them. The views of one man doesn't mean we should condemn the whole project for being misogynistic.

#137 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (667 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab: Fuck Nathan Drake. He has nothing to do with this. And he has never been portrayed like that anyways. He always has a gun ready to be the heroic bad ass and save the day. Secondly, what the producer "thinks" doesn't fucking matter what he "thinks" gamers will do and what they actually do are up to them. The views of one man doesn't mean we should condemn the whole project for being misogynistic.

As a character that is engaged in roughly the same profession as Lara, I think it's reasonable that people have pulled him out as a comparison. The fact that he's never been portrayed like that is exactly my point. And as far as Ron is a dude out there talking to the press about the game, I'd say what he "thinks" about the game carries a fair bit of weight, given his position. Games are never just blank slates - especially a larger title like this. What gamers "actually do" is explicitly limited to what is programmed into the game, so while, yeah, he's making a bit of a leap assuming that players won't "project" themselves into Lara (which kind of baffles me, but he doesn't give a reason why) - it's certainly something that has come up during development, which means design decisions are at least provisionally being made as a result of that dialogue. I'm not saying we should condemn the whole project as misogynistic, but the fact that his comments and attitude were reported and have not been roundly and vocally condemned by the community is troubling as hell.

In actuality, I really hope Tomb Raider is still an excellent game in spite of Ron's comments. I truly do. The idea of a weighty survivalist game that puts some meaning to its violence is interesting to me. It's just disheartening that the guy they're letting speak for the team sounds like exactly the kind of piece of shit that, through his own ignorance, reinforces the perception that the video game industry is still a collection of juvenile manchildren.

#138 Posted by Demoskinos (14562 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab: And Uncharted has never tried to be like this game they are a bombastic indiana jones thrill ride not a story about human survival. Its like chastising Burnout for not being realistic when thats never what they were fucking going for in the first place. Uncharted and the new Tomb Raider are by far on opposite ends of the spectrum here comparing them is fucking dumb because at this point Lara isn't raiding tombs or setting off on wacky adventures to battle T-Rex she is a human being trying to survive. And for once... once the damsel in distress is going to save herself instead of needing a strong man to come and save her and people are flipping the fuck out about it. At best comparing nathan drake to lara in this is only doable by past games. And if Uncharted 4 puts drake in the same situation thats great and I'm sure it would be a fine game and honestly a more interesting direction for the series but their decision not to do that is motivated by nothing else than the fact that they wanted to make an action game not a survival game.

#139 Posted by Harkat (1100 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab: I didn't actually have the slightest issue with the game, but I still really dislike what Ron's saying here. I really hope this bullshit angle of theirs doesn't shine through more clearly than what's already been shown, because I hate the idea of wanting to "care for" my game protagonist because she's a woman. Fuck.

#140 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (667 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

The executive producer on this game has already decided that "gamers" will not project themselves into Lara, so they're making her this weak, frightened animal so she'll be sympathetic; something to be looked down upon and protected, not considered an equal.

Funny, the Lara I saw in the E3 demo was too busy peppering guys with arrows and stabbing dudes in the throat to bat her eyelashes and beg for help.

Did I miss a trailer where she's tied up and left on a railroad line or something?

Leaving aside the awkward moaning, also not appearing in the E3 demo: Dynamic Rape Scene Action! Now with Quick Time Events.

@Demoskinos said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab: And Uncharted has never tried to be like this game they are a bombastic indiana jones thrill ride not a story about human survival. Its like chastising Burnout for not being realistic when thats never what they were fucking going for in the first place. Uncharted and the new Tomb Raider are by far on opposite ends of the spectrum here comparing them is fucking dumb because at this point Lara isn't raiding tombs or setting off on wacky adventures to battle T-Rex she is a human being trying to survive. And for once... once the damsel in distress is going to save herself instead of needing a strong man to come and save her and people are flipping the fuck out about it. At best comparing nathan drake to lara in this is only doable by past games. And if Uncharted 4 puts drake in the same situation thats great and I'm sure it would be a fine game and honestly a more interesting direction for the series but their decision not to do that is motivated by nothing else than the fact that they wanted to make an action game not a survival game.

Valid point, re: Uncharted. I could question why Uncharted also never "needed" to go the survival action route to make the character sympathetic, but point taken.

The problem is the idea that the "damsel in distress" trope even needs to be applied to Lara. (or to any female protagonist) Especially since this game's primary function, per last year's E3, is to take her in "new and mature directions" and "rehabilitate her image." I'm all for taking the series in a grittier direction and hypothetically diverging from its core formulas, but it still blows my mind that to make her "a strong character" they need to first beat the holy hell out of her and still dangle the omnipresent threat of sexual violence over her head, then they've already fucked up. Again, I haven't seen the final game, so I'm reserving full judgement, but the disparity between what they say the game should do, what one of the people actually working on the game says it should do and what the game itself is doing is absolutely shocking, and continues to underscore the fact that anyone claiming gender equality in video games has lost their goddamn mind.

#141 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab: Holding up Uncharted as your example is doing you no favors.

#142 Posted by Demoskinos (14562 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab: But that is the entire point of the game to show how Lara went from Point A to point B and show her growth as a person. If your a 20 something person who wakes up after surviving a horrible plane crash on an island regardless of gender your going to be frightened as all shit if your not used to having to survive like that.

#143 Edited by PenguinDust (12450 posts) -

You damn right I'd be complaining. I'd be saying "Suck it up you damn pussy, quit your moaning and be a man!"

But, she's a woman so I expect her to be weak and helpless...and unable to drive stick.

#144 Posted by Panpipe (472 posts) -

It's fucked up that so many people think a woman moaning is always sexual.

#145 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3020 posts) -

@Panpipe said:

It's fucked up that so many people think a woman moaning is always sexual.

Did you ever think that the complaints about all the moaning have more to do with it being really weird and omnipresent instead of sexual? I get that they want her to get beaten up, put in dangerous situations, alla that crap. It's because, just like in Die Hard, when the Hero gets beaten all to hell and still comes out on top of things, you respect them all the more for powering through their injuries. The issue is the weird sort of focus they have on the injuries, and the way that each time she seems to be making a recovery they just re-injure her. There's an unhealthy, almost voyeuristic focus on 'oh look, now she's hitting her already broken ribs against this tree branch while falling! Watch her writhe for a while and groan.' From the way the developers are talking, that cycle of getting injured again and again in worse ways will continue throughout most of the game. "...we’re sort of building her up and just when she gets confident, we break her down again."

It's fucked up, and I'd question that sort of weird 'stare at it' violence if it was happening to a male or female character, but they haven't helped themselves with some of the statements they've made.

#146 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (667 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab: But that is the entire point of the game to show how Lara went from Point A to point B and show her growth as a person. If your a 20 something person who wakes up after surviving a horrible plane crash on an island regardless of gender your going to be frightened as all shit if your not used to having to survive like that.

Yep. But a dude going through all that would not be framed as a "damsel in distress" - and far and away, it's particularly telling that there really isn't some easy term for a male character going through those ordeals. The lack of a male-oriented "damsel in distress" trope suggests that such a state would be perceived as "unnatural." So why apply that to Lara? Especially since its origin comes from chivalric romance stories in which women only exist to be rescued. I haven't seen enough of the game to say how they handle fear, but given the inclusion of the rape scene, it's absolutely fair to say that, were it a male protagonist, the tone of the fear expressed by that character (if, indeed, they expressed any fear at all) would be drastically different.

At any rate, that's beside my point. I was responding more to statements like this:

@Kazona said:

That's why I always say that if everyone wants equal treatment, they have to take the good with the bad. Applying equal treatment, such that it only works in one group's favor, is not equal treatment.

And trying to articulate the point that, while an attempt to take the Tomb Raider games in a different/gritty/survivalist direction is laudable, the methods they're using are, at worst, actively harmful to public perception of the video games industry and at best, simply reinscribing the same bullshit box for female characters to be forced into, just with a slightly altered (but maybe more worrying) context.

#147 Posted by Ursus_Veritas (383 posts) -

As I said in another thread on this topic, I'm not comfortable with some of the stuff they've shown not because Lara's a woman. I'd be just as uncomfortable if it was Nathan Drake, or any male hero - the stuff they've shown Lara going through is pretty hellish, and as it's all we've seen of the game it's just showing a constant barrage of one terrible thing after another happening to her, to the point that it's almost comical. Give her a break! I want to see more to the game than 'LOOK AT ALL THE BAD THINGS HAPPENING TO LARA CROFT, OH GOD', and I'd feel exactly the same way if it was a male character. 
 
Her gender has nothing to do with what's made me a little uncomfortable about Tomb Raider. I'm sure it's all in context of their 'a survivor is born' tagline, and we're told that Lara will go through an arc and become the strong character that she is throughout the course of the game, but they've not shown that yet. All they've shown is Lara being run ragged again and again and again, and that's what bothers me, not the fact that she's a woman being put through this. Show me at least a hint of that strong character, that survivor, rather than just beating her up all the time.

#148 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@Ursus_Veritas said:

As I said in another thread on this topic, I'm not comfortable with some of the stuff they've shown not because Lara's a woman. I'd be just as uncomfortable if it was Nathan Drake, or any male hero - the stuff they've shown Lara going through is pretty hellish, and as it's all we've seen of the game it's just showing a constant barrage of one terrible thing after another happening to her, to the point that it's almost comical. Give her a break! I want to see more to the game than 'LOOK AT ALL THE BAD THINGS HAPPENING TO LARA CROFT, OH GOD', and I'd feel exactly the same way if it was a male character. Her gender has nothing to do with what's made me a little uncomfortable about Tomb Raider. I'm sure it's all in context of their 'a survivor is born' tagline, and we're told that Lara will go through an arc and become the strong character that she is throughout the course of the game, but they've not shown that yet. All they've shown is Lara being run ragged again and again and again, and that's what bothers me, not the fact that she's a woman being put through this. Show me at least a hint of that strong character, that survivor, rather than just beating her up all the time.

I consider it a good thing when videogame violence is disturbing, relentless, and brutal. What disgust me is when violence is just played off as fun and frivolous with no impact or consequence. At least with this game you feel something.

#149 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3020 posts) -

@Ursus_Veritas said:

As I said in another thread on this topic, I'm not comfortable with some of the stuff they've shown not because Lara's a woman. I'd be just as uncomfortable if it was Nathan Drake, or any male hero - the stuff they've shown Lara going through is pretty hellish, and as it's all we've seen of the game it's just showing a constant barrage of one terrible thing after another happening to her, to the point that it's almost comical. Give her a break! I want to see more to the game than 'LOOK AT ALL THE BAD THINGS HAPPENING TO LARA CROFT, OH GOD', and I'd feel exactly the same way if it was a male character. Her gender has nothing to do with what's made me a little uncomfortable about Tomb Raider. I'm sure it's all in context of their 'a survivor is born' tagline, and we're told that Lara will go through an arc and become the strong character that she is throughout the course of the game, but they've not shown that yet. All they've shown is Lara being run ragged again and again and again, and that's what bothers me, not the fact that she's a woman being put through this. Show me at least a hint of that strong character, that survivor, rather than just beating her up all the time.

I feel pretty much the same way as this, though I will say that I do feel a little more uncomfortable with this kind of thing because it's a woman, and that's just how I was raised. I can still separate that ingrained aversion to violence against women well enough to say that, yeah, put any character through the wringer the way they've done to Lara and I'd be calling it pretty F'in gross.

#150 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

Yeah people would complain because there's too few women in video games and removing Lara from Tomb Raider would further that.

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