In what might be one of the worst ideas in the history of things, Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics has decided to subject protagonist Lara Croft to an unrelenting series of brutalities, including an attempted rape, in order to persuade players to care about her.
When people play Lara, they don’t really project themselves into the character,” executive producer Ron Rosenberg told Kotaku. “They’re more like ‘I want to protect her.’ There’s this sort of dynamic of ‘I’m going to this adventure with her and trying to protect her.'”
I bet they’re not.
“She’s definitely the hero but— you’re kind of like her helper,” he explained. “When you see her have to face these challenges, you start to root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character. The ability to see her as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualised version of yesteryear. She literally goes from zero to hero… we’re sort of building her up and just when she gets confident, we break her down again.”
So, apparently, Lara Croft can only be either a hyper-sexualised object for men to gawp at, or a helpless object who needs a man to save her. It’s like Toxic Gender Stereotypes: The Game, and it doesn’t even have dinosaurs this time.