Veteran video game writer Rhianna Pratchett, who worked on the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, its sequel, and a whole host of other popular games, has said it’s time for more diverse video game stories centred on women.
In an interview with Gamespot, Pratchett acknowledged the progress the industry has made in its treatment of female characters since the over-sexualised depiction of Lara Croft in the 90s but admitted there’s still some way to go before we achieve full equality.
The comments came in the middle of a discussion around the ‘dadification’ of games. Essentially, that men are having more diverse stories told around them (especially with reference to fatherhood – God of War, The Last of Us) whereas female stories still have to fit a particular model to be told. She said:
“There are very few mother stories. Mothers–and this goes for film and TV as well as games–they often tend to be absent or dead or missing.“
Pratchett also reiterated her desire to explore motherhood within a Tomb Raider game and explained how reactions from fans have been mixed – with some fans saying Lara is too independent to have children. Pratchett’s considered response is that sometimes these things aren’t planned, not to mention a woman can still be independent and have children.
Perhaps most interesting of all though, is that Pratchett draws attention to the fact that women are not allowed to age a gracefully in games. There is no female equivalent of Sam Fisher or Snake because women are not permitted to age in the same way as men.
All food for thought but personally I’d love to see Lara Croft as a mother – or even just an older Lara with even more complexity.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.