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Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett on why she hoped to make Lara gay

KSD - As EA’s recent “Full Spectrum” event showed, players and developers alike have begun to realize that videogames could do a much better job handling diverse identities than they have in the past. How the game industry and its core audience of consumers begins to do so, however, is another question.

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jc485731194d ago (Edited 1194d ago )

thank you. seriously man, shooters is not just about shooting, you gotta give a damn about the characters. Do you like it? or would you prefer a different character for a change? is that one character gay? maybe she is. *people continue to shoot the boobs.

zeal0us1193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

I'm all for giving a damn about the character but sexuality isn't something that should be forced just because the writer think its a good idea or hope for it.

If the game introduce relationship mechanics like in ME, Fable or etc, then I think choice should be left up to the players and not the writers. This way everyone can get what they want and not be forced to choose something they don't like

Amazingmrbrock1193d ago

Telling a story in an artistic manner is not about leaving stuff up to the player. Gameplay is for the player, story is written by the author.

In real life, to many people, sexuality is something that defines their life. That can not be said for any character where it was left as a player based optional system. It's kind of like how choose your own adventure books almost universally suck. If you provide that many options the ability to actually craft a proper character go swirling down the drain.

MaxXAttaxX1193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

I don't recall the original Lara being gay...

There's no need to try to make statements by changing a pre-existing character. Either write a book or create a new character/game. They already changed a couple of traits about her.

SilentNegotiator1193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

Plenty of progressivism for progressivism's sake behind Tomb Raider...

"All men are rapists and large breasts are bad!! RAAWWR!!"

I'm glad she made these statements; it makes it a lot more apparent where the motivations of the changes came from.

jc485731193d ago

I'm talking mainly new games guys. Tired of the same old character stereotypes.

Ser1193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

Agreed with SilentNegotiator.

Stop trying to shove this stuff down people's throats.

Winter47th1193d ago

They wanna shove sexuality down our throats by force keep your sexuality, religion and politics out of my fucking video games!

ChronoJoe1193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

The hell are you guys on about? how is defining someones sexuality as gay any more forcing homosexuality down your throat than any other game forces heterosexuality down your throat?

What kind of bigot feels they can't enjoy a story unless they can control the characters sexuality? The point is, it shouldn't matter either way. Anyone with any experience with the Tomb Raider series would know that its canon has been changed various times as it branched into different mediums.

Ser1193d ago

@ChronoJoe

I'm that "bigot", I guess. I would prefer not to play as a homosexual character. And given the option, I wouldn't. Take that for what you will. The same goes for transgenders. It's just my personal preference.

I've got nothing against homosexuals or transgenders, but I don't want to play as one in a video game. Just like I don't want to play as giant hulking space marine bro. It's all personal preference. And if you've got a problem with my preference, my only advice is to deal with it.

It's only progressive if it walks and talks a certain agenda. That's not me, I guess.

joab7771193d ago

Exactly. Its the age old, is it my character or the writer's? Unless u r trying to ruin something great and exclude many ppl, just leave it alone...especially Lara. My boss is a smart businessman. I know his political views but most ppl do no. Why? Because it is terrible for business. MJ once said when asked about his views that he had no comment because both dems and republicans buy shoes. Also, if u wanna do this, make a new IP and have the main character be gay. This cant be done so many iterations into it. Honestly, i think she just wanted to take one of video games biggest sex icons and change it...huge victory for the cause. Pick another game, better yet ...leave it alone unless its integral to the story or character.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 1193d ago
Christopher1193d ago

Just to note, the quote is actually: "There's A PART OF ME that would've loved to make Lara gay."

It does not say she hoped it, only that a part of her would have loved to have seen it. That doesn't mean she gives into that thought or that she, overall, though that it was a good decision to make with Lara. It's just an expression of one of the ways she thought about Lara during the writing process.

Fullmetalevolust1193d ago

I understand that the most common argument found on N4g is the following :the relevance of sexual orientation is based on the core gameplay, does it require you to be one or the other or both in order to advance in the game?
And yet,we have seen games that put forth a heterosexual relationship without having a real impact on actual gameplay. Shouldn't the same be of gay characters?
If we are telling a story, why isn't it easily acceptable to have a protagonist with a same sex relationship than one with a heterosexual relationship?
It doesn't feel "forced" down our throats when Drake flirts with Helena,does it?

OptimisticPrime1193d ago

Some heterosexuals are uncomfortable with homosexual relationships. I'm not talking about people who are hateful, but it still makes some of them uncomfortable. A gay gamer isn't going to offended by a heterosexual relationship though, nor is it going to take them out of the immersion... That's the differnce imo

vickers5001193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

"A gay gamer isn't going to offended by a heterosexual relationship though"

Says who? Are you gay? Even if you could find one or even a few gay people who weren't offended by hetero relationships, there's probably still some of those who are.

And if they're so freaking uncomfortable, then they can simply NOT BUY THE GAME. Those weird and creepy japanese games with tentacles make me extremely uncomfortable just thinking about them, but I don't bitch at the creators of those games, I simply don't buy them.

If a writer wants to incorporate a homosexual character in their game as part of the story, then people shouldn't be against it. Maybe it wouldn't be a good idea for Tomb Raider since it's an established franchise, but if it's a new IP (or a brand new character), then devs should be able to make that character gay if they want to.

The world does not revolve around just one sexuality, and devs shouldn't change their games based on some peoples phobias. Feel uncomfortable about something? Too bad, play something else. There's plenty of other games out there without gay characters, not every single thing about gaming needs to be straight, and devs shouldn't bend over backwards just to make sure you feel safe and comfortable in your little bubble where gay people don't exist (not speaking about you personally, just those who have such a problem with homosexuality that they feel they are entitled to expect game devs to change their game just to make them feel more comfortable).

I'm straight by the way, so don't think I'm biased.

rainslacker1193d ago

A forced relationship within a story is forced no matter if it's straight or gay. It's distracts from the story in a game, the same way a forced relationship distracts from a story in a movie.

There are certainly ways to make a relationship fit into a story, most often by making it a motivation of the main protagonist of the story, but I never got that sense from tomb raider. It was always about Lara and her exploits. All the relationships ever presented of Lara in a TR game(at least the ones I've played) have always been in how they affect her adventures or her character. Could that be extended to a intimate relationship? Or course. Does her sexual preference make a difference? Not at all. An intimate relationship is the same regardless of preference, it's just societies viewpoint of it that makes it different.

Blacktric1193d ago

"Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett on why she hoped to make Lara gay"

Because she's anoter Jennifer Hepler grade pretentious fanfic writer with absolutely zero talent and maximum pandering?

You want to make a serious games that has a gay protagonist? That is absolutely fine. Just don't turn an already established character (over the course of more than 5 games mind you) gay just because you think it'll be positive PR for your anti-homophobia campaign or to show how open minded you or the industry is.

Fez1193d ago

Don't want to use some sort of argument from authority but that's Terry Pratchett's daughter so I think she's probably had a pretty good literary upbringing.

Also, it was a reboot, so surely that would be the perfect time to make any changes to the chracter? Doiiiiii.

Conzul1193d ago

Exactly. Remember how inFamous fans revolted when SP tried to change Cole's hair colour? I'm sure many more Lara Croft fans would have taken issue.

Not to say I'm anti-gay-in-games. With Lara killing all those dudes, I must admit it woulda been a hotbed opportunity for some lesbian jokes.

rainslacker1193d ago

If making her gay had some context to the story then fine, but I fail to see how making her gay is anything more than just trying to be edgy for the sake of it. It's not mature to just make a character gay for no reason. TR story has never been about Lara's sexual preference, so why start now?

Basically it boils down to "why does it matter what her sexual preference is?". If you can't answer that seriously within the context of the story, then the answer is "it doesn't", thus it's best to just leave it alone. Trying to force it into the story is just shallow, and serves no purpose whatsoever.

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hellvaguy1194d ago

Kinda dont wanna play a gay toon. At the very least, why cant they give a choice at the beginning to go straight or gay?

BanBrother1194d ago ImmatureShow
REALgamer1194d ago (Edited 1194d ago )

The thing is, the same question could be raised for all games that present straight romance in them. As far as I'm aware there's yet to be a protagonist in a game defined as gay (ie: not one where the choice is given), whereas RPGs, JRPGs, action and adventure games frequently feature a protagonist with straight romance presented in the story (Assassin's Creed 2, The Witcher, GTA, etc).

I don't see why the sexuality of the protagonist would affect whether you feel comfortable playing them. Same with gender, race, etc.

If it's written and presented well, any character can be engaging whether you share their gender / sexuality / race / nationality / whatever or not.

I think publishers are still stuck in the mindset that their target audience is a stereotypical 'male 12-18' group that can't handle playing as anything but a gruff, shaved-head, straight, white male character without feeling uncomfortable or offended.

fr0sty1193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

Not all people enjoy seeing a dude making out with another dude, whereas there aren't many who would say they're grossed out by seeing a dude with a chick. It isn't even a homophobia issue, some people just don't like to see certain things, and I can't say they should be held at fault. It's just a matter of personal taste, and the majority happens to favor that taste.

It's like my friend who rented that movie with Jim Carey where he plays a gay... He told me afterwards "I didn't know what the movie was about when I got it, and while I don't mind gay people, I don't really care to see a dude pounding another dude in the ass when I watch a movie.". Of course, the bleeding hearts will be quick to scream "homophobe!", but that isn't the case.

I have nothing against a game featuring a gay character, but I won't say that wouldn't make me give pause when I considered buying it or not. I have nothing against gays, but when I play a character, I want them to be someone I can identify with, and since I'm not gay I can't exactly identify with that kind of character. I can't put myself in their shoes as I play. As such, I'll probably play more games with heterosexual protagonists.

A lesbian Laura is something that would sell to even the 18-35yr. male typical gamer crowd, however. In fact, it'd probably generate sales just from the horny 12 year olds hoping to get a glimpse of a digital lesbian make-out session.

KrisButtar1193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

@ realgamer, "If it's written and presented well, any character can be engaging whether you share their gender / sexuality / race / nationality / whatever or not." 100% agree, bubble up

@frosty, "I have nothing against a game featuring a gay character, but I won't say that wouldn't make me give pause when I considered buying it or not. I have nothing against gays, but when I play a character, I want them to be someone I can identify with, and since I'm not gay I can't exactly identify with that kind of character. I can't put myself in their shoes as I play. As such, I'll probably play more games with heterosexual protagonists.

A lesbian Laura is something that would sell to even the 18-35yr. male typical gamer crowd, however. In fact, it'd probably generate sales just from the horny 12 year olds hoping to get a glimpse of a digital lesbian make-out session."

so from your comment you can't relate to a character due to sexual preference alone? even if you had a lot of other things in common, that you could use to relate to? also by reading your comment it seems gay women are ok but not gay men, whats the difference they both have the same sexual preference(they both like the same sex), so what makes gay women ok and not the men? i have some close friends who are gay(male and female) i can relate to them in a lot of ways other than sexual preference. we like games, we cheer for the same teams, we like drinking, have the same taste in music, the list goes on and on.

edit fixed spelling

stuna11193d ago

I don't disagree with what you're saying, but looking at the demographic of the fanbase, I think more adolescent to pre-adolescent would be subseptiable to the message being sent! Most haven't etched out an identity for themselves as of yet.

I think that in itself is why they have rating for games in general.

REALgamer1193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

@fr0sty - "Not all people enjoy seeing a dude making out with another dude, whereas there aren't many who would say they're grossed out by seeing a dude with a chick. It isn't even a homophobia issue, some people just don't like to see certain things, and I can't say they should be held at fault. It's just a matter of personal taste, and the majority happens to favor that taste."

The majority have also made Call of Duty the biggest selling series of this generation. If you only cater to the majority, there's not going to be much variety.

I think what you highlighted are the double standards at work. Below is your statement with only the subjects replaced with a different minority:

----

"Not all people enjoy seeing black people, whereas there aren't many who would say they're grossed out by seeing a a white dude. It isn't even a race issue, some people just don't like to see certain things, and I can't say they should be held at fault. It's just a matter of personal taste, and the majority happens to favor that taste.

I have nothing against a game featuring a black character, but I won't say that wouldn't make me give pause when I considered buying it or not."

---

Would you find that an acceptable reason to exclude that group from games?

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x5exotic1193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

Games that give you choices to affect the story usually have shitty, just-for-the-sake-of-it storylines.

#Skyrim #masseffect #wrpg

stuna11193d ago

The choice should be the players to make!

Lara in the older game came off as the tomboyish globetrotter, which in itself made her a relatable character. Making her straight or gay kind of ruins that illusion. It could also alienate portions of the fanbase, because they lose that relatable aspect of the game.

As a gamer I have related to characters in a "What if" type of scenario, it tends to make game play more immersive and enjoyable.

rainslacker1193d ago (Edited 1193d ago )

Edit: This was meant to be a response to RealGamer.

Well there was Fear Effect on the PS1. As I recall it actually scored very well partly due to it's rather mature story. It's worth pointing out though that it wasn't considered mature just because it had two suggestively lesbian protagonist.

The only time it's every really uncomfortable...for me at least...is when the relationship has no context or purpose to the story. For me though this is independent of sexual preference.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1193d ago
GrumpyGamer1194d ago

Surely it only matters if the romance is an option within the story if not the character is what you believe them to be

HarryMasonHerpderp1194d ago

Why should her sexuality even come into it would be a better question.

Spinal1193d ago

Agreed monnnnnsttterrrr kill!!!!'

HarryMasonHerpderp1193d ago

Thanks for the bubble up everyone who voted!
It's very much appreciated! :D

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