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Crystal Dynamics denies claims of "attempted rape" in Tomb R

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"Sexual assault of any kind is categorically not a theme"

Do we hear the rumbling of a damage control machine? Crystal Dynamics has broken its silence over claims that the new Tomb Raider features an "attempted rape" scene, insisting that comments to this effect by executive producer Ron Rosenberg have been "misunderstood".... read more

Crystal Dynamics denies claims of "attempted rape" in Tomb R

Postby CunningSmile » 14 Jun 2012, 12:17

Translation: We did have a rape scene, but have now removed it after realising how much it would piss people off.
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Crystal Dynamics denies claims of "attempted rape" in Tomb R

Postby voodoo1102 » 14 Jun 2012, 12:31

Firstly - Given how that trailer was edited together, I don't think they can claim sexual assault wasn't a theme. I suppose its possible it was unintentional, but someone at CD surely must have seen it before release and said "Hmm...this looks a bit rapey."

My impression from the trailer was Lara killed Mr. Touchy-Feely before he could rape her. She gets spotted, and pulled out of her hiding place. The guy threatens her with a gun whilst running his hand down her leg. She knees him in the groin, he grabs her and is kissing her neck, she bites him. How is that not a depiction of a sexual assault? If it's depicted, it is a theme by definition.

Secondly - The Guardian article is somewhat thought-provoking. The author's main point seems to be that Lara currently doesn't have, and doesn't need, a vulnerable beginning or a "traumatic event" (such as rape) as a kick-starter to her later self. She makes sly references to the character being sexist
"Lara Croft has never been without design problems (or presumably back pain)..."

"Although Lara was originally best known for the remarkable size of her breasts – and that's still probably the first thing to spring to mind about her – she's grown into an interesting character, with plenty of adventures under her belt."

which I think undermines her a little and gives the article an undertone of the usual anti-Tomb Raider feminism. The physical design of the character is irrelevant to her (otherwise well made) point, that rape scenes are rarely justified. Whether this is the actual case in Tomb Raider won't be clear until release and we can judge for ourselves.

But there is no way CD can say rape isn't implied by that trailer.
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Re: Crystal Dynamics denies claims of "attempted rape" in To

Postby Bezza89 » 14 Jun 2012, 14:12

What would be the problem if it was? As the woman says, stuff like this should be tackled - it just needs to be dealt with the appropriate care, and this trailer suggests it seems about right, not gratuitous, just implications. I read on cvg about The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo, everyone likes that film, swedish or fincher or even the book, and that's an actual rape scene - not attempted or implied.

If it said saints row instead of this highly advertised as a character piece Tomb Raider game I'd be a little cautious.
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Re: Crystal Dynamics denies claims of "attempted rape" in To

Postby CunningSmile » 14 Jun 2012, 14:42

voodoo1102 wrote:Secondly - The Guardian article is somewhat thought-provoking. The author's main point seems to be that Lara currently doesn't have, and doesn't need, a vulnerable beginning or a "traumatic event" (such as rape) as a kick-starter to her later self.


Can see her point. Do you think Epic are sitting around say to each other "...we better do a Gears of War prequel, because otherwise people may not understand why Marcus Fenix is cutting people in half with a Chainsaw instead of writing poetry..." If no one sees the need to explain that in male characters why do it for Lara?

Although I'm really looking forward to the new game I don't think she needs an origin as such, I was quite happy just thinking she did this for shits and giggles and had been doing for that reason since her teens.
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Re: Crystal Dynamics denies claims of "attempted rape" in To

Postby Baryonyx » 14 Jun 2012, 18:26

Under the uk SOA 2003 I am quite sure the conduct depicted in the video would constitute sexual assault by touching (though attempted rape, not really). The video does hint at the intent of the attacker though, and I think this is little more than a corporate backtrack at comments already made and intentions already revealed. So to try and claim that sexual assault is not a theme here is preposterous. It might be an uncomfortable aspect of human interaction, but it exists all the same and it's depiction here does not appear gratuitous or exploitative, rather it appears to be a device employed to illustrate how dire the circumstances Lara finds herself in really are.

But perhaps the relaunch of an outdated series that last saw critical acclaim when the Spice Girls were popular is not the place to tackle such subjects.
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Re: Crystal Dynamics denies claims of "attempted rape" in To

Postby Chameleon » 15 Jun 2012, 14:07

First things first - the scene definitely has sexual assault written all over it, if not suggesting that the antagonist was using it as a precursor to something else, and to suggest otherwise is trying to backtrack a little too far, imo.

But really - the truth is that in some countries around the world, rape is used as a weapon against women, and there is no reason to believe that, held by a group of men somewhere in a jungle, one of them wouldn't want to try their luck with a lone female prisoner, especially an attractive one.

Then there's the 'traumatic event' issue - does she need one? The devs clearly think so, since the whole story revolves around these events. I think so too, and I don't think that this is necessarily "over-egging it". The threat of murder isn't enough - there are rape survivors who have said that death at the hands of their attacker would have been preferable to rape. Think about it - do women carry homicide alarms or rape alarms? Why do you think that is?
So Lara can manage the shipwreck and the rockfalls; the threat of murder is scary; but someone takes it further, and she snaps, and gets angry. There's some sense in there somewhere.

If the developers want to put Lara into a fight-or-flight, coupled with the understanding of how she came to be so proficient with guns hereafter (ie. self-defense), then it could be argued that this is at least a realistic way. To suggest that the mental scars of attempted rape are worse than those of attempted murder is entirely possible, if not probable, and a subsequent life of relic-hunting, leading to being solo for long periods of time... maybe the mental woulds are still raw and not dealt with.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into this.

Oh, and Marcus' story (along with Dom's) has been done. Yeah, there was still a lot of shooting and bravado, but it was done, and now their doing Baird's story, and how he became such a wis-cracking SoB. They DO do back stories for the guys after all...
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Re: Crystal Dynamics denies claims of "attempted rape" in To

Postby sonicmark » 15 Jun 2012, 17:53

You can always count on the good ol' media to make a mountain out of a molehill, it's a terrible thing for somebody to get raped but let's be honest here, if you don't see it in a game, you see it just about anywhere else, not saying that makes it ok but if the media want to kick off over this, then should the rape subject be in books or on T.V?
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Re: Crystal Dynamics denies claims of "attempted rape" in To

Postby Grummy » 16 Jun 2012, 02:23

The problem here is that when you say 'rape' it conjours up certain images of a helpless frightened girl being brutally assaulted in harrowing, sickening scenes. I don't blame Crystal Dynamics for wanting to distance themselves form that image. What they have is clear sexual assault in legal terms, but what you see, it's not particularly violent or shocking. It's a scene that will have been played out in one form or fashion in just about every TV show that involves relationships at one stage or another; a guy trying to get it on with a woman who isn't interested. In some cases it'll be played out lightly, in others it will go down a story route of sexual assault, but the actual visual act that is being witnessed by the viewer is fairly timid, at certainly nothing like the images people conjour when they think about rape.
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