Tomb Raider’s Rhianna Pratchett Interviewed at The PA Report

Tomb Raider

Today at Penny Arcade Report, Ben Kuchera interviews Rhianna Pratchett, writer of the Tomb Raider reboot (and daughter of British national treasure Terry Pratchett). In the first part of the interview, they discuss the controversy surrounding the game’s PR blunders as well as Pratchett’s personal history with the Tomb Raider franchise and her approach to rebooting the game.

I especially liked her response to a question about how the reveal that she was the head writer affected perception of the game’s content:

It’s not fine because I’m a woman. It’s fine because we approached it with the right creative sentiments. It was an honest scene for those characters and that moment. It wasn’t done for titillation. It wasn’t prolonged. It was uncomfortable because it should be uncomfortable.

I played through the first two hours of Tomb Raider last night, including the controversial moment that caused so much furor, and I can attest to the fact that in context the scene isn’t at all played for titillation. The game is definitely intense and occasionally brutal – the first time Lara died, I cringed – but it’s all done in service to some of the best game writing and pacing I’ve experienced in a very long time. My heart was pounding for most of those first two hours, and it wasn’t because I was trying to “protect a woman”.

How about you? Did anyone else pick up Tomb Raider? Have you played through the controversial part of the game?

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Someday I will die under a pile of books, movies and music. Until then, I'll eke out my time spent in sunny Los Angeles, California by working on the Great American Blog Post.

5 thoughts on “Tomb Raider’s Rhianna Pratchett Interviewed at The PA Report”

  1. I honestly hadn’t been interested in the game until now. Way to go sensationalist media!
    All joking aside, I do want to play it now that I know there’s more to the game than I originally thought. Am I correct in assuming that the game deals with a more mature Lara-story? Or even more mature than most games out there? nowadays

  2. Sure, I think “mature” is a fair description, in that the characterization is fairly well-done so far, and they emphasize how aware she is of the consequences of her actions.

    Also, one little touch that I really liked is that Lara is totally under-dressed for the weather at the start of the game… so she starts shivering.

  3. Great interview, thanks for posting Jeff. My favorite part is that she calls the games media out for the double standard of looking at games out of context, when they gripe about the larger media world doing the same thing to video games in general. It’s great to read some of her thoughts on the character. I love seeing great writing in games, and now I really want to play this. So THANKS, jerk.

  4. I’ve been enjoying the hell out of the game, it’s a really mature story for a video game and I’m especially enjoying the writing. Good for Pratchett for holding her own.

  5. I am maybe a bit further than you Jeff, but I couldn’t agree more. I actually turned in disgust the first time Lara died, and it’s been a long time since that has happened in a video game – if ever. Great setting, Great use of lighting and I think most surprising of all, great platforming.

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