Wow. So many constraints. Definitely click this one to see it in its full glory.
Gaming has changed. It’s no longer about fun gameplay, pretty graphics, or cool characters. It’s an endless series of gender battles, fought by misogynists and feminists. Gaming, and its consumption of life, has become a well-oiled machine.
Gaming has changed.
There’s no need to continue on. You get the point. If you’ve ever played Metal Gear Solid 4, you may recognize that quote. Well, not that exact quote, but something like it. And it fits. An industry built on delivering fun experiences other media couldn’t deliver is now under attack. At least that’s how I feel.
I feel it’s under attack not because a lot of games feel the same or because they cost too much or anything like that. It’s under attack because of things that don’t really relate all that much to gaming in the first place: accurate gender, race, and sexual representation.
While I certainly agree with a lot of things said about these various topics, I still feel it isn’t right. It isn’t right when a review focuses on a game’s representation of its characters more than its actual gameplay mechanics. It isn’t right when a game is hated simply because the protagonist is male or praised simply because the protagonist is female.
It isn’t right when politics and ideologies take precedence over fun.
It’s right when you read more, of course.
You KNEW this image was going to be used again.
I’m making good on my promise from my review of 2013’s Tomb Raider: I’m finally going to give my opinions on why I believe Lara Croft is an excellent female video game character. With so much social justice and feminism hullabaloo suddenly surrounding video games (WHY?! They’re supposed to be fun), it’s hard to look at any female character in a video game without analyzing her as not only a character, but as a representative of an entire gender.
This doesn’t apply to male characters because any “harmful” image of a man in video games is obviously a fantasy that only serves to empower men. With such few female characters present in games, let alone playable in games, game creators will continue to be criticized for the way in which they portray this gender.
Lara Croft was one of the first great female characters who could take on any of her male counterparts in a variety of areas. Even now, she still is. She’s smart, independent, agile, adept at combat, curious, and much more. She isn’t merely a male character in a female body. She’s actually her own person.
So that should be enough to not upset women who both play and analyze video games, right? Don’t be too sure about that…
Lara Croft is reflecting upon how much she’s changed since 1996.
The Tomb Raider franchise had a promising beginning: the first few games delivered on their promises of exploration, careful jumping, fighting dangerous enemies, and unbelievable cup sizes. The games slowly became less successful and soon enough the best Tomb Raider games were called Uncharted. There was an attempt to reboot the franchise in 2006 with Tomb Raider: Legend, which was quite successful, but its sequel, Tomb Raider: Underworld, slowed any momentum the franchised had regained.
Then 2013 happened and Crystal Dynamics, the company responsible for the franchise since Legend, decided to reboot the series yet again. This time, they brought Lara into the modern world and rewrote all of her established history. While still considered a reboot, Legend only changed Lara’s background and still fit into the overall canon. 2013’s Tomb Raider is a brand new start.
This fresh start was necessary for the once-legendary franchise, but will it pave the way to greater adventures or will it seal its own tomb?
I’d like to find out