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Submitted by Pozzle 960d ago | opinion piece

Lara Croft’s growing pains – maturity and art in videogames

TGC writes: Ron Rosenberg’s of Crystal Dynamics’ comments about the upcoming Tomb Raider, including of course the term “attempted rape” has been one of the most talked about happenings of recent in video games. Unfortunately this has given the overly-PC members of the media fuel for attack on our industry. It doesn’t particularly help that Crystal Dynamics keep fanning the flames themselves, especially when they use terms such as “close physical intimidation” to describe the event as justification. We’ve all seen the footage from E3 and can make up our own minds on whether or not attempted rape is the right phrase or not. The debates this controversy has given rise to centre around whether or not video games are still yet to mature as a medium, which can lead to a discussion about video games place as art in general. (PS3, Tomb Raider, Xbox 360)

Christopher  +   960d ago
My problem with the "attempted rape" scene that was shown was that it was followed by a few minutes of gameplay where she is blasting random opponents away.

You see, it's an action game that is knee-jerking in a mature subject that really doesn't have any follow through with it nor is it centered around it. In action movies, if you see a person raping another person, it's usually done to make him look even more evil. To make the audience feel good when the protagonist kills him. When it's done to the protagonist, it's usually to overcome the situation, but then again you don't personally go through 6-12 more hours of blowing guys away in the face as opposed to watching the movie for another 60 minutes.

I think the mature element of rape, or attempted rape, would be handled well by a game like Heavy Rain. And, it was handled well in the game as far as the one scene where Paige gets attacked in her apartment and fights off her assailants (or doesn't). The focus is on the scene at all times and it is emotionally drawn out to realize what she is going through, her fear, and the panic that is involved.

In Tomb Raider, it's a small, cinematic moment, and is easily overlooked as Lara frees herself and follows it up by starting her parade of violence across the island. Sure, she doesn't do this out of a desire to kill, and that is shown in her first shooting, but after that the point is to kill or be killed by the majority of NPCs she encounters.

In Heavy Rain, the gameplay isn't focused around mindless killing. It's focused on the story and the characters. So, when you bring up a mature subject like this, it settles a bit better and isn't lost in the typical shooting elements of many games. Your mind continues to think about the story and characters and not about mowing down bad guys.

I think maturity is in video games, I just think it's like many of the movies we watch where you have to differentiate between the mature elements of Conan the Barbarian and the mature elements of Schindler's List.

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