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Crystal Dynamics addresses “rape” issue with Tomb Raider

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Crystal Dynamics is currently working on the newest Tomb Raider game which was unveiled at E3 this year and I must admit that this is without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best looking Tomb Raider games I’ve ever seen. Plenty of action, mature rated themes, this game isn’t for your average video gamer. Oh and of course now there is speculation of a rape scene that has the community up in arms.

Crystal Dynamics have denied such accusations and said their game features an “attempted rape scene”, which essentially goes against what they said before in an interview with Kotaku.

The article in question was posted this past Monday and Darrell Gallagher, Studio Head over at Crystal Dynamics, addressed all of the concern being focused on the game. In a short statement he said,

“There is no rape attempt against Tomb Raider hero Lara Croft in the scene shown in the “Crossroads” trailer. One of the character defining moments for Lara in the game, which has incorrectly been referred to as an ‘attempted rape’ scene is the content we showed at this year’s E3 and which over a million people have now seen in our recent trailer entitled ‘Crossroads’,”

He went on further to say,

“This is where Lara is forced to kill another human for the first time. In this particular selection, while there is a threatening undertone in the sequence and surrounding drama, it never goes any further than the scenes that we have already shown publicly. Sexual assault of any kind is categorically not a theme that we cover in this game.”

Now I am no public relations specialist but one would have to think this might impact the sales of the game and certainly the face value of the company going forward. The clarification contradicts a statement made by Ron Rosenberg, Crystal Dynamics Executive Producer to Kotaku last week. Here’s the relevant transcript from that interview.

RON: “And then what happens is her best friend gets kidnapped, she gets taken prisoner by scavengers on the island. They try to rape her, and-“

KOTAKU: “They try to rape her?

RON: “She’s literally turned into a cornered animal. And that’s a huge step in her evolution: she’s either forced to fight back or die and that’s what we’re showing today.”

Stay tuned to OnlySP for more details as they develop and as always let us know what you think below. Have you seen the “crossroads” trailer?

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16 Comments

  1. Why would they NOT allow for this kind of character-building scene? Sounds like another case of "video games are not a form of high art" / "video games are children&#039s toys."

    I guess they simply want to make money, and not worry about their free speech, AS USUAL.

    1. Jig, I suggest you read this article to understand why it&#039s a bad idea to use rape for character building.
      http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/fea

      tl;dr rape is not a cool scar that makes you badass, it&#039s a limp that hobbles you.

      1. I never said anything about rape being a "cool scar that makes you badass." And I didn&#039t mean to suggest that rape should be used simply as an element of entertainment, so I apologize if I came off that way.

        What I was trying to get at was, why not add something to the character that makes her less of a James Bond-y, typecast character? It doesn&#039t necessarily have to be "rape" that&#039s added to Lara Croft&#039s character. It can be ANYTHING; being orphaned, parents murdered, girlfriend kidnapped, etc. has been done so many times before, that&#039s all.

        I dunno, I just feel like they came up with an interesting idea, and they scrapped it for public image reasons. Just like the hubbub over Thor&#039s "He&#039s adopted" line in The Avengers, people who are sensitive to a certain subject *will* feel something, that&#039s a given.
        But it&#039s not like, if there were indeed a rape scene in this new game, they would GLORIFY it or anything. No. I&#039m sure these guys are smarter than that. It would probably be there to help the player empathize with the character even more, and maybe people who AREN&#039T sensitive to the subject would at least come a little closer to realizing the pain of rape victims, and the anonymous author of that linked article might hear less claims of digital "rape" on XBL….

        Who am I kidding? The type of people who might learn a lesson from such a scene would just stop playing and switch to a game with more face-shooting.

        1. You make a good point, it&#039s like, people want their games to be realistic, they want a story they can connect with and so on. Well, in the real world, if a good looking woman was stranded out in the forest and man with not so good intentions stumbled upon her…well you know how it goes from there. It&#039s annoying how we change our ideas just to fit with public opinion, really is.

      2. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568346/

        Huge franchise. Main character is a girl who was raped. I don&#039t see anyone complaining about that.

        1. A movie or book is one thing and while I do agree with you the sad truth is that things like that won&#039t exist in the gaming industry, at least not yet. Mainly because the company doesn&#039t want to give off a bad impression but they also don&#039t want the ESRB breathing down their necks. It would just further fuel the deabte of "videogames cause real world violence" and that&#039s not something Square-Enix or Crystal Dynamics is ready to deal with.

  2. I agree but at the same time from a marketing stand point, you certainly don&#039t want to give off the impression that Lara Croft is associated with rape or anything that could make your company look bad. Still your point is valid and certainly there may come a time when games are looked as a higher form of art but for now, its all about making money.

  3. Why would they NOT allow for this kind of character-building scene? Sounds like another case of "video games are not a form of high art" / "video games are children's toys."

    I guess they simply want to make money, and not worry about their free speech, AS USUAL.

    1. Jig, I suggest you read this article to understand why it's a bad idea to use rape for character building.
      http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/fea

      tl;dr rape is not a cool scar that makes you badass, it's a limp that hobbles you.

      1. I never said anything about rape being a "cool scar that makes you badass." And I didn't mean to suggest that rape should be used simply as an element of entertainment, so I apologize if I came off that way.

        What I was trying to get at was, why not add something to the character that makes her less of a James Bond-y, typecast character? It doesn't necessarily have to be "rape" that's added to Lara Croft's character. It can be ANYTHING; being orphaned, parents murdered, girlfriend kidnapped, etc. has been done so many times before, that's all.

        I dunno, I just feel like they came up with an interesting idea, and they scrapped it for public image reasons. Just like the hubbub over Thor's "He's adopted" line in The Avengers, people who are sensitive to a certain subject *will* feel something, that's a given.
        But it's not like, if there were indeed a rape scene in this new game, they would GLORIFY it or anything. No. I'm sure these guys are smarter than that. It would probably be there to help the player empathize with the character even more, and maybe people who AREN'T sensitive to the subject would at least come a little closer to realizing the pain of rape victims, and the anonymous author of that linked article might hear less claims of digital "rape" on XBL….

        Who am I kidding? The type of people who might learn a lesson from such a scene would just stop playing and switch to a game with more face-shooting.

        1. You make a good point, it's like, people want their games to be realistic, they want a story they can connect with and so on. Well, in the real world, if a good looking woman was stranded out in the forest and man with not so good intentions stumbled upon her…well you know how it goes from there. It's annoying how we change our ideas just to fit with public opinion, really is.

      2. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568346/

        Huge franchise. Main character is a girl who was raped. I don't see anyone complaining about that.

        1. A movie or book is one thing and while I do agree with you the sad truth is that things like that won't exist in the gaming industry, at least not yet. Mainly because the company doesn't want to give off a bad impression but they also don't want the ESRB breathing down their necks. It would just further fuel the deabte of "videogames cause real world violence" and that's not something Square-Enix or Crystal Dynamics is ready to deal with.

  4. I agree but at the same time from a marketing stand point, you certainly don't want to give off the impression that Lara Croft is associated with rape or anything that could make your company look bad. Still your point is valid and certainly there may come a time when games are looked as a higher form of art but for now, its all about making money.

  5. Indeed. Although the audience for Tomb Raider would then be called into question. Recent studies are showing that females prefer video games now than the conventional doll so it only makes sense for gaming industries to include content that appeals to that audience in their games, even if it is just a little thing. Rape is just that one sensitive issue that is best to be left outside of a medium used for entertainment. We are so desensitized to violence that killing another human being in the most grotesque ways possible is…child&#039s play. But any form of sexual assault is a whole other ball game. With that said, include a rape scene in a game that is meant to relaunch a dying franchise and you risk losing a huge part of your audience, mainly the females. And they will be lost forever.

  6. Indeed. Although the audience for Tomb Raider would then be called into question. Recent studies are showing that females prefer video games now than the conventional doll so it only makes sense for gaming industries to include content that appeals to that audience in their games, even if it is just a little thing. Rape is just that one sensitive issue that is best to be left outside of a medium used for entertainment. We are so desensitized to violence that killing another human being in the most grotesque ways possible is…child's play. But any form of sexual assault is a whole other ball game. With that said, include a rape scene in a game that is meant to relaunch a dying franchise and you risk losing a huge part of your audience, mainly the females. And they will be lost forever.

Comments are closed.

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