Tomb Raider Dev: Rape is Not in Our Vocabulary

The Wooster

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Jul 15, 2008
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Tomb Raider Dev: Rape is Not in Our Vocabulary


According to Crystal Dynamics, a little groping doesn't constitute sexual assault.

Crystal Dyanmics would like to make it clear that there's no rape in the upcoming Tomb Raider. None. Zero. Nilch. In fact, according to global brand director, Karl Stewart, the R-word isn't even part of the studio's vocabulary.

The studio is trying to distance itself from statements made by executive producer, Ron Rosenberg, who claimed that, as the game's trailer seems to imply, Lara would be the victim of attempted rape. He then went on to imply, perhaps accidentally, that the event would build Lara's character, whipping up a maelstrom of controversy in the process.

"He said something which is certainly a word that is not in our vocabulary and not in our communication," Stewart told Kotaku, when asked about Rosenberg's statements. "He did say it... It's his personal opinion and certainly... like I said, it's not something that we communicate."

It seems like Stewart is trying to address the numerous media and blog sources who've erroneously reported that the game features a "rape scene," which is fair enough, but he then goes on to argue that the scene depicted in the trailer doesn't depict or imply sexual assault. Instead, he labels it "close physical intimidation," and a "pathological situation" meant to invoke fear and intimidation.

Stewart remained adamant that the scene did not depict sexual assault, despite interviewer, Jason Schreier's insistence on the contrary. Eventually, a PR representative listening in on the call asked him to drop that line of questioning.

Stewart also added that Rosenberg's claim that players would want to "protect" Lara, was a reference to the reaction of focus groups the game has been tested on.

Source: Kotaku [http://kotaku.com/5922228/tomb-raider-creators-say-rape-is-not-a-word-in-their-vocabulary]


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WaysideMaze

The Butcher On Your Back
Apr 25, 2010
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Grey Carter said:
According to Crystal Dynamics, a little groping doesn't constitute sexual assault.
Oh dear, that just sounds so pervy.

I'd rather they just stick to their guns though, this just seems like them backing down.

'Oh shit, we've caused a controversy!'
'Claim it was just a misunderstanding.'
'Crisis averted.'
 

80Maxwell08

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Jul 14, 2010
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Ok I have to ask this here. Who else thought of the retsupurae video for navgtr and tomb raider?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s0lzbCK9f8
 

anthony87

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Aug 13, 2009
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And they really think that this will cause people to unbunch their panties and let the oxygen flow to their brains again? That's some wishful thinking right there.
 

WaysideMaze

The Butcher On Your Back
Apr 25, 2010
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cursedseishi said:
The forum always seems to rotate through different cycles. One month it'll be threads about abortion, next month about womens rights, next month about religion. We just seem to be in the 'rape phase' at the moment.
Rape phase just sounds horrible, I apologise.
 

Iron Lightning

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Oct 19, 2009
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Well, there goes the only interesting thing about this new Tomb Raider game. For a few days I thought someone in the AAA gaming industry finally grew some balls but I guess not.
 

TheAmazingHobo

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Oct 26, 2010
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I don't even get the problem.

There is no rape in the game either way.
There IS an npc who might conceivably have the intention to commit rape, or at least feels a bit rape-y.
Said npc then gets fought off (and, in my Mind-Vision-Version at least, he also gets his nuts crashed).
So no rape happens.

So why the fuss ?
 

Diana Kingston-Gabai

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Aug 3, 2010
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TheAmazingHobo said:
I don't even get the problem.

There is no rape in the game either way.
There IS an npc who might conceivably have the intention to commit rape, or at least feels a bit rape-y.
Said npc then gets fought off (and, in my Mind-Vision-Version at least, he also gets his nuts crashed).
So no rape happens.

So why the fuss ?
Speaking only for myself: guess how sick to death I am of female characters getting sexually victimized in fiction. Go ahead, toss out an estimate. Lara Croft was one of the few who hadn't been caught up in that particular cliche, and now here we are again.
 

Xman490

Doctorate in Danger
May 29, 2010
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Well, at least people expect "one of gaming's toughest female icons" to be turned into "a shrieking mimsy in a submissive relationship" this time. (see: Other M)
 

Azuaron

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Mar 17, 2010
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Grey Carter said:
...but he then goes on to argue that the scene depicted in the trailer doesn't depict or imply sexual assault. Instead, he labels it "close physical intimidation," and a "pathological situation" meant to invoke fear and intimidation.
...so, he was gonna rape her? Because that's what male-on-female "close physical intimidation" coupled with "pathological situation meant to invoke fear and intimidation" essentially means.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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Yeeeaaahh...

While I think the reaction to that one trailer was hugely disproportionate, there's no denying that it was hinting at sexual assault of some kind.

I guess this is just them trying to snuff out the controversy that one guy generated with his rather boneheaded comments.
 

ZephrC

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Mar 9, 2010
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Xman490 said:
Well, at least people expect "one of gaming's toughest female icons" to be turned into "a shrieking mimsy in a submissive relationship" this time. (see: Other M)
I'm not quite certain how you get from blowing the dude's face off with a handgun to "a shrieking mimsy in a submissive relationship".

Don't get me wrong, they'll probably fuck this up. Badly. But most of the complaints so far seem to be from people who didn't actually watch the trailer.
 

Vrach

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Jun 17, 2010
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WaysideMaze said:
Grey Carter said:
According to Crystal Dynamics, a little groping doesn't constitute sexual assault.
Oh dear, that just sounds so pervy.
Aye, it's what you get when the Escapist writes an article on something.

OT: Honestly, I heard about all the rape stuff before watching the video. So when I finally got around to seeing it, I kept waiting for the rape scene. I agree with the dev, that's not rape. It might be attempted rape, but considering how early she cut him off, I really don't see what everyone's yammering on about.

Incidentally, even if it was rape, the whole damn shebang, how would that be an issue?
 

TheAmazingHobo

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Oct 26, 2010
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Diana Kingston-Gabai said:
TheAmazingHobo said:
I don't even get the problem.

There is no rape in the game either way.
There IS an npc who might conceivably have the intention to commit rape, or at least feels a bit rape-y.
Said npc then gets fought off (and, in my Mind-Vision-Version at least, he also gets his nuts crashed).
So no rape happens.

So why the fuss ?
Speaking only for myself: guess how sick to death I am of female characters getting sexually victimized in fiction. Go ahead, toss out an estimate. Lara Croft was one of the few who hadn't been caught up in that particular cliche, and now here we are again.
Sorry, I suppose it was unclear what I meant.
I was not commenting on whether or not including sexual assault or rape in a game is a good idea.
I was commenting on how the scene features no rape anyhow and thus a statement like "rape is not in our vocabulary" seems pointless.

Edit: I actually just got to read an article that references the rape-statement and now I DO understand why there was a fair bit of overkill and very specific language in this statement, specifically the "rape not in our vocabulary part, never, nope, under no circumstances".
Shit, some "journalists" on the net are morons.
 

kurupt87

Fuhuhzucking hellcocks I'm good
Mar 17, 2010
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As an above poster says, there is almost no chance a rape scene would ever have been put in the game. Even if the story would say she was raped (something I doubt very much, her existing character doesn't really accommodate it) it would have been done off screen.

Much more likely though, it would be attempted rape at worst. This is just panicky PR that makes them look pathetic though, which is the main message this story gives.

--

On another note, I'd like to have a go at those having a go at those who wanted to protect Lara. Most people that play games invest a part of themselves into the character they play. They also tend to end up liking the character they play. Then, when confronted with the character being put into a potential rape situation, they would not unreasonably want to protect the character from that.

Whether from a storied, "I like the character, I don't want her to be raped," or a practical gamers, "this character represents me, I don't want to be raped," the vast majority of players would try to protect Lara. It is a good reaction, the correct moral reaction. They don't think, "ah, she'll handle it." The player is in control, this is a videogame not a movie or book. Whether or not the story is written that she would have required help, the reaction to want to help her is the right one.

There will of course be those who will want to see what happens in the fail state, but in most cases will be down to being interested in how the game handles it. The most comparable game event to this I can think of is the lass in Heavy Rain, when she is trying to get information from a Club owner. It is the only place in game, that I am aware of, where there is an infinite no fail state; not even forcing the scripted end to the scene. In other words, it was handled poorly.

If you worry about the fetishes of people involving anything even remotely sexual in game before making it then you couldn't ever have anything remotely sexual in game. Heck, even non sexual things become sexual given the right (aka wrong) fan base.