Dude, where’s my franchise?

Hot on the heels of Anita Sarkeesian’s ordeal, we hear that gamers will “want to protect” a vulnerable year one Lara Croft who is subjected to attempted rape and “turned into a cornered animal”.

“That wasn’t what we meant” cries Crystal Dynamics. “Yeah, well it’s what you said,” says Kotaku.

The GuardianNew Statesman, and even the Sun pitch in by varying degrees. Helen Lewis in the New Statesman has the best, most pointed commentary – read that if the ad script doesn’t slow your browser to a crawl.

The strangest commentary I found was this rather conciliatory missive on destructoid. “Everyone is Right and Wrong,” says the author Jim Sterling.

Everybody has a valid concern here, whether their concern is just wanting to enjoy a good game or wanting a female character to be more than a frail woobie that needs a fire blanket and a cup of cocoa. Everybody is wrong, however, in the way that they cannot debate these issues without screaming, raging, and making frankly ridiculous assumptions.

Jim, you have missed the point. Missed the whole fucking barn, actually. Aside from the fact that journalists are perfectly able to debate these issues rationally, the clue’s in your own article:

The concept of “protecting” Lara was boasted of by Ron Rosenberg in a Kotaku article that has set the Internet aflame with debate.


p>See that word? Boasted. That’s what happened. To write a game with rape elements is bad enough, but to boast about it, to claim it as your USP, is repellant. That’s why the collective internet has gone “WTF?”.

Franchises have died for less. If this game is ever finished it will likely feature in a “top 100 most questionable decisions in video game development” article years from now – that decision being to allow Ron Rosenberg to open his mouth to a journalist.