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

#151 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (668 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

@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.

Oh, objecting to things that you haven't even seen? Well don't mind me, I need a moment to prepare so that I can take you absolutely seriously.

G'head. Take all the time you need. There's already been plenty of talk about how the e3 demos were not representative of the actual games that were being made. Plus, if you'd bothered to read any of the previous posts in this thread, part of my ire is coming from the fact that the executive producer of the game is trotting that scene out like a goddamn selling point. Regardless of what's being shown in that video, the idea that people are "only getting up in arms about this because Lara's a woman and that's hypocritical" is fucking insane. Regardless of how badass she's depicted in that five-minute swathe of gameplay, the fact that they're even bothering to bring rape into the equation is so gender-specific that, yeah, of course it's about the fact that she's a woman.

Again, I'm just as curious as anyone else to see the game, but if you're going to even touch on a topic like rape, you'd better fucking be able to do it in a mature, reasonable manner. Given the way Rosenberg has been talking about the game, it's completely reasonable to object to the idea that the developers are in any way equipped to handle that scene responsibly.

#152 Edited by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab: As I said in the other thread tt is shitty to condemn the game and by extension the entire body of developers who worked on it based on speculative bullshit. You going to need to know more before you decide to label anyone as misogynistic pieces of shit, because those are some serious accusations that should not be made lightly or casually.

#153 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

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.

You must have been similarly outraged with Casino Royale then, where, to explain why James Bond became who we know him as, they first needed to show that he was a broken man, crippled by his love for a woman, emotionally dependent and despondent, in addition to literally having his testicles smashed over and over again after being stripped nude, beaten, and tied to a chair; stripping away his emotions, his ability to love, and his very manhood.

You know, that movie that nobody complained about? That was critically and commercially lauded for reinventing and reinvigorating a flagging franchise? The movie that is considered by many to now be a high point in the series, with emotional and psychological relevance to a once mysterious, yet iconic, character? Sound familiar?

#154 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (668 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

Again, I'm just as curious as anyone else to see the game, but if you're going to even touch on a topic like rape, you'd better fucking be able to do it in a mature, reasonable manner. Given the way Rosenberg has been talking about the game, it's completely reasonable to object to the idea that the developers are in any way equipped to handle that scene responsibly.

Yes, let's not give them the opportunity to present the scene in context and approach it with an open mind, let's judge it based on the executive producer's ability to communicate the idea because that's the important thing. Why are you bothering to attempt to justify your pre-judgement of the game? Let your prejudice speak for itself, the window-dressing around it isn't adding anything to your argument.

On release, this will be a good game or a bad game and all of the pathetic posturing and pointless drama will be exposed as an idiotic waste of time and effort either way. But let's not miss the opportunity to throw a few more insults, slurs and diminishing remarks in the meantime, there's only 8 months left to fill!

1. Look at the title of this thread. See how it's specifically asking if anyone would be this upset if Lara was a man? The main point of what I'm saying is that there is reasonable cause to be concerned with the gender politics in this game. If, in the next 3rd-person action game with a male protagonist with survivalist undertones is basically Deliverance: The Game, replete with rape scene, I'll eat my hat. But it won't. Because, with men, the threat of murder is enough, but not enough for a female protagonist.

2. At no point have I roundly condemned the game itself. My critique has largely been based on the information that Crystal Dynamics is choosing to release about the game, and how the handling of that information isn't just damaging to the reputation of what could be an interesting game, but also makes the games industry itself look like a collective of juvenile asshats.

3. It absolutely blows my mind that you've committed yourself so wholly to defending this game that, even when I'm simply offering a critique of where this thing seems to be going, and how it's evidence of other execrable trends in the industry, you're taking umbrage and presuming that I'm prejudiced against it. Against what? Sexism? Sure. Absolutely. Aren't you?

#155 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (668 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

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.

You must have been similarly outraged with Casino Royale then, where, to explain why James Bond became who we know him as, they first needed to show that he was a broken man, crippled by his love for a woman, emotionally dependent and despondent, in addition to literally having his testicles smashed over and over again after being stripped nude and tied to a chair.

1. Video games aren't movies. Huge difference.

2. Casino Royale is an interesting example, because it went into territory that very few other narratives go with male protagonists. But they also didn't bring rape into the equation, so again, not quite the same.

3. The treatment of Bond's feelings for Vesper in that film was my only complaint. You can't oscillate between strongly hinting that he's actually a coldblooded psychopath AS WELL AS hopelessly in love with Vesper. Super erratic writing.

#156 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

When I moan in pain it ALWAYS sounds sexual. people tell me its a problem

#157 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab:

1.) Not sure what the difference is in regards to this discussion.

2.) I'd argue that taking away the characters manhood and smashing his testicles is figuratively along the same lines as rape. He was sexually abused, beaten, and humiliated. And severe damage to the testicles would have PROFOUND psychological impact on a man.

3.) I always figured that he was walking the line between the two. That the psychopath was a veneer he used to protect and distance himself, but the loss of Vesper pushed him over the edge and made that persona his true identity by the end. When "Moneypenny" psychoanalyzes him on the train, it implied to me that there was some humanity left in him, though he tried to hide it.

#158 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

@Wrighteous86 said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

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.

You must have been similarly outraged with Casino Royale then, where, to explain why James Bond became who we know him as, they first needed to show that he was a broken man, crippled by his love for a woman, emotionally dependent and despondent, in addition to literally having his testicles smashed over and over again after being stripped nude and tied to a chair.

1. Video games aren't movies. Huge difference.

No there really isn't.

#159 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3095 posts) -

@Wrighteous86: I'd disagree with your 2nd point there vehemently. Bond was being tortured because he was a goddamn spy who got captured, and you are not going to tell me that getting hit in the balls is anywhere near in the same league as being raped. He was beaten, tied up, threatened, and tortured by getting whacked in the balls because the dude hated him for what he'd done. Rape is being used by another person to satisfy whatever fucked up sexual desires they have. Aside from the fact that sexual organs were involved, not even close to the same thing.

#160 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@Wrighteous86: I'd disagree with your 2nd point there vehemently. Bond was being tortured because he was a goddamn spy who got captured, and you are not going to tell me that getting hit in the balls is anywhere near in the same league as being raped. He was beaten, tied up, threatened, and tortured by getting whacked in the balls because the dude hated him for what he'd done. Rape is being used by another person to satisfy whatever fucked up sexual desires they have. Aside from the fact that sexual organs were involved, not even close to the same thing.

It is by definition sexual mutilation. Bu I guess you are right that it is different in that it is worse.

#161 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (668 posts) -

@Wrighteous86:

1. Film, as a medium, has a much longer history than video games. There is typically a richer background to draw from and a wider array of techniques to communicate subtleties. Video games typically get their point across through game mechanics. The medium still has a long, long way to go to be able to mechanically deal with something like rape in a way that is anywhere near respectful. I'd hoped to go as long as possible before having to talk about "rape culture" and video games, largely because the term seems to be misappropriated a great deal of the time, but while there is a lot of charges laid at Hollywood's feet for phallocentrism, it has nowhere near the same history of sexualized violence being directed at female characters (and players) that the video game industry does, as well.

2. You're quite right, and I can count on the fingers of one hand the films that have even ventured into that territory with male protagonists. On the one hand, it was framed as a deliberate response to the elaborate traps previous Bond villains have used, and while I was actually a little weirded out at the decision to use that sort of sexual violence in what seemed like a joking way, it was still nullified in a way that rape could never be, since nothing actually comes of it. Aside from a throwaway line, they don't have to deal with any of the consequences and Bond's virility is re-established in a few minutes. If it were a female character, that kind of shit would have taken on a completely different tone.

3. Hmm. That's an interesting interpretation. The definition I'd presumed they were using was that psychopaths can form relationships with others, but typically don't value them to any great degree.

#162 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@Wrighteous86: I'd disagree with your 2nd point there vehemently. Bond was being tortured because he was a goddamn spy who got captured, and you are not going to tell me that getting hit in the balls is anywhere near in the same league as being raped. He was beaten, tied up, threatened, and tortured by getting whacked in the balls because the dude hated him for what he'd done. Rape is being used by another person to satisfy whatever fucked up sexual desires they have. Aside from the fact that sexual organs were involved, not even close to the same thing.

I was referring more to physical trauma to sexual organs, the psychological implications, and the humiliation/shame involved, but you're absolutely right that the motivations and intent of the tormentor makes it very different. Thanks for making that point.

#163 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3095 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@Wrighteous86: I'd disagree with your 2nd point there vehemently. Bond was being tortured because he was a goddamn spy who got captured, and you are not going to tell me that getting hit in the balls is anywhere near in the same league as being raped. He was beaten, tied up, threatened, and tortured by getting whacked in the balls because the dude hated him for what he'd done. Rape is being used by another person to satisfy whatever fucked up sexual desires they have. Aside from the fact that sexual organs were involved, not even close to the same thing.

It is by definition sexual mutilation. Bu I guess you are right that it is different in that it is worse.

Except that the intent behind the two acts is totally misaligned. The dude wasn't lusting after Bond, he was beating him to get information and revenge. Rape is a vastly more traumatic experience, whether it happens to a male or female, than just being tortured in that manner, and let's be honest his balls apparently work just fine for the dozens of movies afterwards so saying he was mutilated is going too far.

#164 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@Wrighteous86: I'd disagree with your 2nd point there vehemently. Bond was being tortured because he was a goddamn spy who got captured, and you are not going to tell me that getting hit in the balls is anywhere near in the same league as being raped. He was beaten, tied up, threatened, and tortured by getting whacked in the balls because the dude hated him for what he'd done. Rape is being used by another person to satisfy whatever fucked up sexual desires they have. Aside from the fact that sexual organs were involved, not even close to the same thing.

I was referring more to physical trauma to sexual organs, the psychological implications, and the humiliation/shame involved, but you're absolutely right that the motivations and intent of the tormentor makes it very different. Thanks for setting me straight.

The motivations of both are about holding power over someone for personal satisfaction and really aren't very different at all.

#165 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab: Just to be clear, have they shown or said that she will be up against rape in the game? All I noticed in that preview was one scene where a guy holds her against the wall, looks at her lustfully, and is about to touch her thigh.

If that's all it is, I don't think they are really delving very deep into the subject at all, just acknowledging that rape and lust exist, and that in a situation like that, a mercenary would likely have those thoughts running through his head.

Visually, however, it doesn't seem like it's going any deeper than that, from the cutscene. I mean, there's a scene in Alien where Ripley is held against the wall and the dripping Xenomorph almost lustfully sizes her up before sticking out it's phallic tongue-head thing. (Then again, the Alien series is just a metaphor for rape, anyway.)

#166 Posted by NMC2008 (1237 posts) -

Would it be a valid complaint for guys to complain about always being the death targets in video games? Why aren't there more women to kill in games? Is it taboo or something? I am curious as I played though hundreds of games of man and animal and monster killing. The last female I killed in a game was a vampire. I mean do guys care about being murder targets?

#167 Posted by FateOfNever (1839 posts) -

I think the goal of this game was just to make everyone sexist. You're sexist if you don't think she should be getting beat up because then you think that women shouldn't be in "guy" roles. You're sexist if you think it's ok because somehow that makes you a misogynistic pig that delights in torture porn. You're probably sexist for looking at the game at all.

#168 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

@NMC2008: I was playing through The Darkness recently and was surprised that some of the police enemy fodder were actual female models. It says something that I was that surprised by it.

#169 Edited by NMC2008 (1237 posts) -

@Wrighteous86:

Ah The Darkness, I couldn't get past that weird WWII(or if not WWII some sort of weird place he traveled to) type level, or whatever it was.

#170 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3095 posts) -

@NMC2008: The last game I played had me stick a lady in the trunk of her car, then position it so that her boyfriend would crush her with his monster truck, giving him the keys afterwards so he could see what he'd just unknowingly done. You guys should play Saints Row 2.

#171 Posted by TheHT (11276 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@Wrighteous86 said:

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@Wrighteous86: I'd disagree with your 2nd point there vehemently. Bond was being tortured because he was a goddamn spy who got captured, and you are not going to tell me that getting hit in the balls is anywhere near in the same league as being raped. He was beaten, tied up, threatened, and tortured by getting whacked in the balls because the dude hated him for what he'd done. Rape is being used by another person to satisfy whatever fucked up sexual desires they have. Aside from the fact that sexual organs were involved, not even close to the same thing.

I was referring more to physical trauma to sexual organs, the psychological implications, and the humiliation/shame involved, but you're absolutely right that the motivations and intent of the tormentor makes it very different. Thanks for setting me straight.

The motivations of both are about holding power over someone for personal satisfaction and really aren't very different at all.

I'm not gonna get into the whole "which is worse" bullshit, but there is indeed a difference between someone being tied down and their balls beaten against their will and someone being held down and a dick put inside them against their will.

Sorry to be blunt.

#172 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab: Just to be clear, have they shown or said that she will be up against rape in the game? All I noticed in that preview was one scene where a guy holds her against the wall, looks at her lustfully, and is about to touch her thigh.

If that's all it is, I don't think they are really delving very deep into the subject at all, just acknowledging that rape and lust exist, and that in a situation like that, a mercenary would likely have those thoughts running through his head.

Visually, however, it doesn't seem like it's going any deeper than that, from the cutscene. I mean, there's a scene in Alien where Ripley is held against the wall and the dripping Xenomorph almost lustfully sizes her up before sticking out it's phallic tongue-head thing. (Then again, the Alien series is just a metaphor for rape, anyway.)

GIGER INCOMING:

#173 Edited by DeF (4893 posts) -

That "rape" thing keeps popping up. I don't get it. It's not rape, it's attempted "rape" (and hardly even that much). I feel like people act nuts because they think Lara does actually get raped in the game which is ridiculous!

Everything about this game is completely overblown, over-analyzed, over-criticized and overly dramatized. It's both the fault of the PR guys talking about the game with poorly chosen words (the "protect her" incident) and the press and gaming folk immediately throwing gut-reactions around. The discussion during this week's bombcast really put me off because I expected a little more level-headedness from them concerning an out of context general statement made during an exhausting multi-day trade show.

#174 Posted by Harkat (1102 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

@Wrighteous86 said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

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.

You must have been similarly outraged with Casino Royale then, where, to explain why James Bond became who we know him as, they first needed to show that he was a broken man, crippled by his love for a woman, emotionally dependent and despondent, in addition to literally having his testicles smashed over and over again after being stripped nude and tied to a chair.

1. Video games aren't movies. Huge difference.

2. Casino Royale is an interesting example, because it went into territory that very few other narratives go with male protagonists. But they also didn't bring rape into the equation, so again, not quite the same.

3. The treatment of Bond's feelings for Vesper in that film was my only complaint. You can't oscillate between strongly hinting that he's actually a coldblooded psychopath AS WELL AS hopelessly in love with Vesper. Super erratic writing.

I think that ball torture thing isn't very far from rape. Sexualized physical power over someone, etc.

#175 Edited by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@TheHT said:

@TentPole said:

@Wrighteous86 said:

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@Wrighteous86: I'd disagree with your 2nd point there vehemently. Bond was being tortured because he was a goddamn spy who got captured, and you are not going to tell me that getting hit in the balls is anywhere near in the same league as being raped. He was beaten, tied up, threatened, and tortured by getting whacked in the balls because the dude hated him for what he'd done. Rape is being used by another person to satisfy whatever fucked up sexual desires they have. Aside from the fact that sexual organs were involved, not even close to the same thing.

I was referring more to physical trauma to sexual organs, the psychological implications, and the humiliation/shame involved, but you're absolutely right that the motivations and intent of the tormentor makes it very different. Thanks for setting me straight.

The motivations of both are about holding power over someone for personal satisfaction and really aren't very different at all.

I'm not gonna get into the whole "which is worse" bullshit, but there is indeed a difference between someone being tied down and their balls beaten against their will and someone being held down and a dick put inside them against their will.

Sorry to be blunt.

Sexual mutilation and rape are pretty fucking similar considering they are both sexual assault and all. They also come form similar psychological drives on the part of the offender with similar psychological trauma on the part of the victim.

#176 Posted by DeF (4893 posts) -

@rebgav: totally agree with your post, duder!

#177 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (668 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab: Just to be clear, have they shown or said that she will be up against rape in the game? All I noticed in that preview was one scene where a guy holds her against the wall, looks at her lustfully, and is about to touch her thigh.

If that's all it is, I don't think they are really delving very deep into the subject at all, just acknowledging that rape and lust exist, and that in a situation like that, a mercenary would likely have those thoughts running through his head.

Visually, however, it doesn't seem like it's going any deeper than that, from the cutscene. I mean, there's a scene in Alien where Ripley is held against the wall and the dripping Xenomorph almost lustfully sizes her up before sticking out it's phallic tongue-head thing. (Then again, the Alien series is just a metaphor for rape, anyway.)

I'm going from Rosenberg's comments about attempted rape being an important "milestone" for the character. Even if it's the suggestion of groping and then the merc is killed, it's still incongruous as hell, especially if you're going for a "mature" approach. Who in their right mind is going to try to rape someone who, from the looks of things, has spent a good chunk of her time arrowing the hell out of other dudes?

That's kinda the problem. If it's just the scene you described, then it's indicative of a terribly immature approach to writing the game, and falls into the already well-worn trap of writers using rape as a way to demonize the "enemies" while still showing that, no matter how strong Lara ever gets, she'll always have that looming threat of sexual violence that is absent for pretty much every other male protagonist in a video game.

#178 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@TheHT: Something tells me if we were talking about a girl being tied up and having her clitoris cut up you would not be objecting so strongly.

#179 Posted by TheHT (11276 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@TheHT said:

@TentPole said:

@Wrighteous86 said:

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@Wrighteous86: I'd disagree with your 2nd point there vehemently. Bond was being tortured because he was a goddamn spy who got captured, and you are not going to tell me that getting hit in the balls is anywhere near in the same league as being raped. He was beaten, tied up, threatened, and tortured by getting whacked in the balls because the dude hated him for what he'd done. Rape is being used by another person to satisfy whatever fucked up sexual desires they have. Aside from the fact that sexual organs were involved, not even close to the same thing.

I was referring more to physical trauma to sexual organs, the psychological implications, and the humiliation/shame involved, but you're absolutely right that the motivations and intent of the tormentor makes it very different. Thanks for setting me straight.

The motivations of both are about holding power over someone for personal satisfaction and really aren't very different at all.

I'm not gonna get into the whole "which is worse" bullshit, but there is indeed a difference between someone being tied down and their balls beaten against their will and someone being held down and a dick put inside them against their will.

Sorry to be blunt.

Sexual mutilation and rape are pretty fucking similar considering they are both sexual assault and all.

No. Genital mutilation and sexual assault are two different things.

#180 Edited by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@TheHT: Genital mutilation is by definition sexual assault. You don't get to make up your own fucking definitions. Sexual violence is sexual violence.

#181 Posted by TheHT (11276 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@TheHT: Something tells me if we were talking about a girl being tied up and having her clitoris cut up you would not be objecting so strongly.

Wow, where did that come from. What makes you think that?

#182 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

If it's just the scene you described, then it's indicative of a terribly immature approach to writing the game, and falls into the already well-worn trap of writers using rape as a way to demonize the "enemies" while still showing that, no matter how strong Lara ever gets, she'll always have that looming threat of sexual violence that is absent for pretty much every other male protagonist in a video game.

I get what you're saying, and I agree to an extent. But isn't that just how the world is? I see that less as a form of sexism and more as a reflection of society. Women are more likely to be raped. Men are more likely to be rapists. An older criminal man probably could forcibly have sex with a young woman he has captured, and is probably more inclined to, than if the situations were reversed.

There's a reason that it's somewhat safer for a man to walk through a bad neighborhood or a dark alley than a woman: physical intimidation and sexual/psychological inclinations on the part of criminals (who also tend to be men).

@TentPole said:

@TheHT: Genital mutilation is by definition sexual assault. You don't get to make up your own fucking definitions. Sexual violence is sexual violence.

Look at it this way, getting your ass beat by a guy in a bar is one thing, and getting your ass beat because you're black or gay by someone that is intolerant is another. Sure, both of them are physical violence, but they have different psychological effects and implications.

They're closely related, but they aren't the same.

#183 Posted by TheHT (11276 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@TheHT: Genital mutilation is by definition sexual assault. You don't get to make up your own fucking definitions. Sexual violence is sexual violence.

Genital mutilation: the terms genital modification and genital mutilation can refer to permanent or temporary changes to human sex organs.

Sexual assault: a statutory offense that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat

You done now?

#184 Edited by Draugen (649 posts) -

What's misandry?

And by the way, if the main character was a physically inferior man and being fondled by a larger captor, you can bet your ass I'd find that just as uncomfortable. :P

#185 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (668 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

@rebgav said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

Again, I'm just as curious as anyone else to see the game, but if you're going to even touch on a topic like rape, you'd better fucking be able to do it in a mature, reasonable manner. Given the way Rosenberg has been talking about the game, it's completely reasonable to object to the idea that the developers are in any way equipped to handle that scene responsibly.

Yes, let's not give them the opportunity to present the scene in context and approach it with an open mind, let's judge it based on the executive producer's ability to communicate the idea because that's the important thing. Why are you bothering to attempt to justify your pre-judgement of the game? Let your prejudice speak for itself, the window-dressing around it isn't adding anything to your argument.

On release, this will be a good game or a bad game and all of the pathetic posturing and pointless drama will be exposed as an idiotic waste of time and effort either way. But let's not miss the opportunity to throw a few more insults, slurs and diminishing remarks in the meantime, there's only 8 months left to fill!

1. Look at the title of this thread. See how it's specifically asking if anyone would be this upset if Lara was a man? The main point of what I'm saying is that there is reasonable cause to be concerned with the gender politics in this game. If, in the next 3rd-person action game with a male protagonist with survivalist undertones is basically Deliverance: The Game, replete with rape scene, I'll eat my hat. But it won't. Because, with men, the threat of murder is enough, but not enough for a female protagonist.

2. At no point have I roundly condemned the game itself. My critique has largely been based on the information that Crystal Dynamics is choosing to release about the game, and how the handling of that information isn't just damaging to the reputation of what could be an interesting game, but also makes the games industry itself look like a collective of juvenile asshats.

3. It absolutely blows my mind that you've committed yourself so wholly to defending this game that, even when I'm simply offering a critique of where this thing seems to be going, and how it's evidence of other execrable trends in the industry, you're taking umbrage and presuming that I'm prejudiced against it. Against what? Sexism? Sure. Absolutely. Aren't you?

I have no argument with the idea that this would be a different game if it were a male character's story, hopefully that is the case otherwise what is the point of Lara being a woman? If you could hot-swap her with Nathan Drake then why bother in the first place? That's fine.

I am not committed to defending the game so much as observing that the game doesn't look offensive and that the arguments seem to be about knee-jerk reactions, overstatements of aesthetic concerns and general self-feeding internet drama.

When I used the word "prejudice" I meant in the context of pre-judgement, I feel that I specified that in the previous sentence but I'm sorry if that was not clear, that's on me.

I think that the combination of the torture-porn label, the complaints about Lara vocalizing pain, and the Kotaku interview mentioning the rape scene are a potent concoction which make it easy to craft ugly arguments about this game. I don't think that any of the drama is actually justified based on what has been shown so far. I have no problem with the idea of the developer portraying an attempted rape, I don't see a single convincing reason as to why they should not try to do so. If the game turns out to be a horrible, exploitative, mean-spirited anti-feminist screed I'll be happy to take the developer to task based on first-hand experience of the game itself. I think that all of the chest-beating and posturing from allegedly feminist side of the debate has been unwarranted, unjustified and it's getting to be a little bit embarrassing and disgusting. Smacks of a witch-hunt.

A lot of the feminist critique is borne from the feeling that video games have very few avenues for reasonable female representation. I get the feeling that much of the groundswell of arguments is a result of misgivings that have been building for a long while. This happens to come along at the same time as that FemFreq attack, the GoW/rape culture discussion at Kotaku and the blowup over the Hitman trailer (and other stuff, I'm sure) so you're probably right that some of the upset is not explicitly directed at the game itself as much as the entrenched attitudes of an entire industry that refuses to see women outside of very specifically designed stereotypes. For me, in a lot of ways, the upset is justified, since it's a debate that probably should have been going on for a while. Plus, there's probably some echoes of the back and forth that happened with Metroid: Other M, where Samus was suddenly deflated as one of the few "strong female" leads.

For me, I'm still fascinated to see what comes out. I imagine Crystal Dynamics is watching the general uproar with some interest (or at least I hope so.) My involvement in this thread stemmed initially from seeing one of the most absurd "counter arguments" about gender equality that, yeah, was totally impacted by Rosenberg's comments. I think, also, a lot of people are being critical of this re-launch, because if Crystal Dynamics actually puts together a well-realized female protagonist that doesn't rely on reinforcing the same tired cultural power struggles that have always existed within the industry, well, there's a lot of potential to that. There's a lot of weight behind that concept, and it's probably something that more than a few people would love to see.

#186 Edited by Rohok (554 posts) -

People take shit way too seriously, lol. Most of the people complaining about this kind of thing are men anyway who are too overprotective of women.

#187 Posted by Draugen (649 posts) -

@Rohok: Actually, it seems to me that most of the people complaining are people complaining that others have a problem with it. Do a headcount in this thread for instance.

#188 Edited by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@TheHT said:

@TentPole said:

@TheHT: Genital mutilation is by definition sexual assault. You don't get to make up your own fucking definitions. Sexual violence is sexual violence.

Genital mutilation: the terms genital modification and genital mutilation can refer to permanent or temporary changes to human sex organs.

Sexual assault: a statutory offense that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat

You done now?

No

Legal definition

Types of Sexual Assualt

In addition any unwanted physical contact with genitals is sexual assualt by any definition. You done yet?

#189 Edited by EthanielRain (851 posts) -

@Draugen said:

What's misandry?

Hatred towards men.

To answer the OP, there are a ton of games that have a male protagonist vs male antagonists and I've never heard anyone complain about it, so...no. Some people just can't handle having a female protagonist I guess.

#190 Posted by TheHT (11276 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@TheHT said:

@TentPole said:

@TheHT: Genital mutilation is by definition sexual assault. You don't get to make up your own fucking definitions. Sexual violence is sexual violence.

Genital mutilation: the terms genital modification and genital mutilation can refer to permanent or temporary changes to human sex organs.

Sexual assault: a statutory offense that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat

You done now?

No

Legal definition

Types of Sexual Assualt

In addition any unwanted physical contact with genitals is by definition sexual assualt.

Yeah dude, you're right. Rape is the same as someone tickling your balls against your will. A sex offense is a sex offense.

#191 Edited by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@TheHT: They are not the same just as molestation and rape are not the same. But they are both sexual violence and are relevant for comparison in this thread. And more to the point you don't get to make up your own fucking definitions to discredit others arguments.

#192 Posted by TheHT (11276 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@TheHT: They are not the same just as molestation and rape are not the same. But they are both sexual violence and are relevant for comparison in this thread. And more to the point you don't get to make up your own fucking definitions.

Whether you want to compare which is worse is up to you, I already said I wouldn't partake in that and certainly didn't say you shouldn't (which makes your defensive tone all the more perplexing). My original point was exactly what you just admitted: they're not the same.

And I didn't even have to make up definitions to get it out of you.

#193 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (668 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

If it's just the scene you described, then it's indicative of a terribly immature approach to writing the game, and falls into the already well-worn trap of writers using rape as a way to demonize the "enemies" while still showing that, no matter how strong Lara ever gets, she'll always have that looming threat of sexual violence that is absent for pretty much every other male protagonist in a video game.

I get what you're saying, and I agree to an extent. But isn't that just how the world is? I see that less as a form of sexism and more as a reflection of society. Women are more likely to be raped. Men are more likely to be rapists. An older criminal man probably could forcibly have sex with a young woman he has captured, and is probably more inclined to, than if the situations were reversed.

There's a reason that it's somewhat safer for a man to walk through a bad neighborhood or a dark alley than a woman: physical intimidation and sexual/psychological inclinations on the part of criminals (who also tend to be men).

Right. But our current conception of society isn't a constant, and is in constant dialogue with culture and varying forms of representation. Rape, for example, is a thing that certainly happens to men, but it has an utterly different stigma surrounding it. And, yeah, it does happen in the real world. Though part of the complaint levelled at video games for fostering a sort of "rape culture" is that both developers and player communities treat rape as a casual subject, something to be joked about or taken lightly. And, yeah, the film industry does that from time to time and is (usually) raked over the coals for it.

To me, it just feels like a dumb move. These armies of men already apparently want to kill Lara. What does the addition of rape add to the story or the character? She's already physically smaller than them and dishevelled and whatnot. As someone who'd like to see this game be able to pull off its aspirations, this feels like a crazy decision: shock value for the purpose of shock value.

#194 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@TheHT said:

@TentPole said:

@TheHT: They are not the same just as molestation and rape are not the same. But they are both sexual violence and are relevant for comparison in this thread. And more to the point you don't get to make up your own fucking definitions.

Whether you want to compare which is worse is up to you, I already said I wouldn't partake in that and certainly didn't say you shouldn't (which makes your defensive tone all the more perplexing). My original point was exactly what you just admitted: they're not the same.

And I didn't even have to make up definitions to get it out of you.

Obviously I was never saying they were literally the same thing. Your orignal argument is that they are not comparable, which is bullshit. I think you are just being daft for the sake of being daft at this point.

#195 Posted by TheHT (11276 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@TheHT said:

@TentPole said:

@TheHT: They are not the same just as molestation and rape are not the same. But they are both sexual violence and are relevant for comparison in this thread. And more to the point you don't get to make up your own fucking definitions.

Whether you want to compare which is worse is up to you, I already said I wouldn't partake in that and certainly didn't say you shouldn't (which makes your defensive tone all the more perplexing). My original point was exactly what you just admitted: they're not the same.

And I didn't even have to make up definitions to get it out of you.

Obviously I was never saying they were literally the same thing. Your orignal argument is that they are not comparable, which is bullshit. I think you are just being daft for the sake of being daft at this point.

It is obvious. Which is why I never suggested that you're saying they're literally the same act, because that would obviously be wrong. I'm having difficulty though finding the part where I wrote that they're incomparable. Point it out to me?

@TheHT said:

@TentPole said:

@Wrighteous86 said:

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@Wrighteous86: I'd disagree with your 2nd point there vehemently. Bond was being tortured because he was a goddamn spy who got captured, and you are not going to tell me that getting hit in the balls is anywhere near in the same league as being raped. He was beaten, tied up, threatened, and tortured by getting whacked in the balls because the dude hated him for what he'd done. Rape is being used by another person to satisfy whatever fucked up sexual desires they have. Aside from the fact that sexual organs were involved, not even close to the same thing.

I was referring more to physical trauma to sexual organs, the psychological implications, and the humiliation/shame involved, but you're absolutely right that the motivations and intent of the tormentor makes it very different. Thanks for setting me straight.

The motivations of both are about holding power over someone for personal satisfaction and really aren't very different at all.

I'm not gonna get into the whole "which is worse" bullshit, but there is indeed a difference between someone being tied down and their balls beaten against their will and someone being held down and a dick put inside them against their will.

Sorry to be blunt.

#196 Posted by iAmJohn (6120 posts) -

misandry |misˈandrē|

noun

the hatred of men by women: her brand of feminism is just poorly disguised misandry.

So no, I'm pretty sure no one would be accusing the game of misandry if Lara Croft was a man because it wouldn't be possible.

Also, no one is accusing the game of being misandrist, so way to get your argument completely wrong?

#197 Edited by BabyChooChoo (4516 posts) -

Jim Sterling just put up a nice editorial and before anyone starts with the "omg no Destructoid. they're such trollz" bullshit, just read it.

In any case, my personal take on this whole thing is that it has gotten a bit out of control. I'm not exactly bothered by what they're (Crystal Dynamics) doing to her as much as I'm bothered by why they're doing it. Jim mentioned it in the article, but I'm one of the fans who questions the need for a backstory to a character I've always enjoyed regardless.

#198 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (668 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab

There is very little reasonable female representation in entertainment media at all, these are industrial endeavors attempting to attract the widest audience possible without inviting commercial or critical controversy, given the storm in a teacup around this game it's not difficult to see why commercial creators would shy away from attempting to depict their vision of a strong female protagonist. When clearly lumbered with the concept that any depiction of a female character is a statement on all women for all time, it must be a revoltingly restrictive prospect for an author in any medium. If creators aren't allowed the freedom to explore the ramifications of gender or race or sexuality on their individual fictional characters without being expected to carry the torch for an entire segment of society then there can be no equality in media representations, there can only be Generic White Males because you can do as you please with that character without fear of controversy or reprisal.

Creators have to be able to try to tell stories with female protagonists without every moment of their attempt being put under some socio-political microscope - more importantly they have to be allowed to fail, perhaps spectacularly, in their attempts otherwise there is no way to learn what sort of approach will be satisfying or interesting or pleasing for their audience. Hell, they have to be allowed to take completely unpopular approaches which don't paint their subject in a positive light, without fear of their efforts being decimated by populist thinking or their careers being harmed by torch & pitchfork mobs. Otherwise we simply have to make do with nondescript white male protagonists fighting nebulous conflicts against generic malevolent forces until the end of time, brought to us by an industry of cowards.

Except in other mediums, there are reasonable female characters. Agreed, they're still not the norm. Neil Gaiman, for example, has expressly said that he prefers writing female characters. "Revoltingly restrictive" seems like an odd word choice, but given Lara Croft's prominence, I imagine this isn't exactly the discussion that Crystal Dynamics wants to have.

At any rate, I'm all for creative freedom on the part of the designers to do what they want, but that doesn't preclude the audience, arguably part of the target demographic from voicing their concerns. Yeah, it's conceivable that this may just give rise to more homogenous nondescript white male protagonists in AAA titles, but consider the business that Tomb Raider did. I think any moneyman worth their salt would probably say it's worth the internet hand wringing if they can pull it off.

#199 Edited by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

My favourite thing about this thread: People going "people just ALWAYS need to complain about SOMETHING because they're WHINERS" while not realizing they're still complaining.

#200 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@TheHT: the whole thing started when said that the scene in Casino Royal was a scene in a film that could be compared to Tomb Raider. You took offense to this by saying...

At this point I went to copy your original complaint... only to find out that I have been arguing with two different people why thinking they were the same person. I thought I was still arguing with about the validity of that comparison.

Sorry about mixing you two guys together and I apologize for this entire argument as the whole point was trying to disprove something you didn't even say. I fucked up.

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