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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Smart Post & Discussion on: When Narrative Turns Creepy [Tomb Raider] - What Games Are

Really interesting post on & read the discussion thread:


"...So the setup for the new game is that of a prequel. You play a young, more realistically proportioned, Lara trapped on an island fighting for your survival. You're caught in a very tough predicament, with a variety of bad guys chasing you and many other hazards to overcome. So far it sounds like a straightforward action adventure game.

My problem with it started at E3 2011, where the original presentation for the game showed a young girl beaten, bloody and terrified, yelping, screaming and otherwise really very afraid. All while being relayed thoroughly dispassionately by the hosts. I thought to myself that perhaps this was within context, that conferences tends to be bloodless, and the game could be much like some movies or survival horror games Though it made me feel uncomfortable maybe that was a part of the art of games. Maybe it was a challenge to me, the player, to think differently.

Fast forward to this year and it's more of the same (limping, bleeding, crying etc) and the threat or inferrence of rape. What really pushed it over the edge for me was some interviews that I read with the game's makers talking about how this was all intentional, that the idea is to bring some reality into games, to really make the player want to protect this young girl, and so on.

Depending on who you are this sounds either highly avant garde or the subject of appallingly crass male fantasies. It also sounds highly equivalent. In a few debates on the subject this week, for example, I have encountered many opinions that state that the level of violence is no different than many movies. This is true. Similarly that if the character was actually male I would have no issue. This is false. Male injured characters in games are rarely portrayed as actually terrified or threatened with sexual violence. ...."

read the original post & discussion here:

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

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