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Sanglyph
11-09-16, 17:20
I just read a post about the very first draft for the original Tomb Raider game and Lara's character (back in 95 during the alpha days) and how she was originally written to be an adventurer who steals artifacts and "then sells the heritage of these countries for profit, and perverse xenophobic pleasure."

As we all know, this draft was heavily revised and changed and Lara's final characterization differs quite a bit from it. However, I was wondering if you guys felt like there was still some form of xenophobia present in Core Design's version of Lara and her stories.

Examples that come to mind are her annihilating an entire native tribe in TR3's South Pacific section and her general tendency to blow up and rob various cultures of their historical heritage.

Has any of this ever bothered you or do you think it's not that big of a deal considering it's a fictional universe or just part of Lara's characterization?

Revenge
11-09-16, 17:25
Errr, not to me at least. For me she kills because she needs to defend herself, that's all.

lance6439
11-09-16, 17:37
Probably why I enjoy Reboot Lara better. In TR9 she kills all the CIS-gendered White males and let's the People Of Color survive! Queen!



im obviously kidding i prefer Core Lara but yeah I don't think any version of Lara is racist at all. She's above that.

Lyle Croft
11-09-16, 17:40
Lara doesn't care if you're black, white, gay, transgender, from a different or same culture, etc.. If you're in her way, you better watch out.

Enya Brennan
11-09-16, 17:47
Lara doesn't care if you're black, white, gay, transgender, from a different or same culture, etc.. If you're in her way, you better watch out.
Indeed. She shot her own mother, no more proof needed :p

Zreen001
11-09-16, 17:55
How Toby Gard put it, originally they didn't want to kill humans at all, so they put in animals.

Then people wanted to shoot people so they added lots of baddies in the second one.

The third just followed up on that. Native tribes guarding the entrance to the realm of Puma? Shoot'em all. Fictional Cairo militia fighting off demons and probably ordered by VonCroy to shoot Lara on sight? Shoot'em all. Etc.

Nigel Cassidy
11-09-16, 17:56
she was originally written to be an adventurer who steals artifacts and "then sells the heritage of these countries for profit, and perverse xenophobic pleasure."


Male bovine excrement. I don't believe any of that. Some funny boy just made that up to try to look interesting...

NoahCrofRaider
11-09-16, 17:59
Errr, not to me at least. For me she kills because she needs to defend herself, that's all. That's my view on it as well.

tomblover
11-09-16, 18:08
Male bovine excrement. I don't believe any of that. Some funny boy just made that up to try to look interesting... Google it! It's real. :p

lance6439
11-09-16, 18:14
The Monks in TRII didn't kill Lara if she didn't kill them, but why did the Tribesmen attack Lara in TRIII? (I hate that game and I haven't played it in full since forever so I forgot about a lot that's happened)

Sanglyph
11-09-16, 18:18
Male bovine excrement. I don't believe any of that. Some funny boy just made that up to try to look interesting...

It really is true. Taken directly from old scripts and notes and the first synopsis they wrote for Tomb Raider.

griefbacon
11-09-16, 18:23
Errr, not to me at least. For me she kills because she needs to defend herself, that's all.

Except for that time she murdered that poor pilot at the end of TR3 just so she could steal his helicopter. :p

In retrospect, certain things probably wouldn't fly today without a lot of outrage -- Lara wiping out that indigenous tribe in TR3 some other people mentioned is an obvious example. I don't think it was intended to be racist, though. People just weren't as aware of these issues as they are now.

As an archaeologist, I sometimes get annoyed about the portrayal of my field in entertainment in general, not just in Tomb Raider. But that's really because of the dumb questions I get asked all the time from people who I guess forget video games and movies aren't real. One of the more common questions is, "so how much money do you typically get after you dig up an artifact and sell it?" And like... no. That's not how that works. That's looting, which is an entirely different thing, not to mention very illegal, and causes irreversible damage to a culture's history.

I still love things like Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones. I just wish the fiction of it was more obvious to the general public, I suppose. :p These characters can come across as xenophobic, even if not intended.

Tyrannosaurus
11-09-16, 18:31
^ That's exactly what I mean whenever I try to argue that Lara isn't a true archaeologist in any accredited sense, or even an academic. She's more of an adventurer/treasure hunter like Nathan Drake, except a tad more educated. While I don't think Core's revised Lara was a racist or a xenophobe, she's still an anti-hero. The only major difference is that in the world of TR, people apparently love her for this

Sir Launcelot
11-09-16, 18:39
Probably why I enjoy Reboot Lara better. In TR9 she kills all the CIS-gendered White males and let's the People Of Color survive! Queen!


:confused:

One of the Solarii models is black, as far as I can tell. So, no, it's not all killing white people.

If you want a "racist" game, try Far Cry 2. You'll be killing plenty of black people in that one...

trfan16
11-09-16, 18:44
No, I feel that Lara has her own moral compass where she only kills only when someone gets in her way. She wouldn't ever kill an innocent bystander to get her own way. Most of the humans that she kills are cultists and have evil intentions. There are some times where I think some of her killings were questionable. For example, the security guards in Lud's Gate in TRIII. But you can argue that they were hired specifically by Sophia Leigh to kill anyone that enters her premises. I definitely feel that Core Lara has some kind of heart and would rescue innocent civilians if they were in danger by an evil organization.

Hazelphoenix
11-09-16, 18:44
I've just came across that silly statement on tumblr and "oh lord" is all I have to say. Just more people spreading loads of bullcrap about Core Design, where's the news?

It's a v-i-d-e-o-g-a-m-e, and a fictional character. Nothing that should be taken seriously, really, aside from spending a few hours playing and have fun.

Moreover, knowing Core's sense of humour, that line they wrote was probably meant as joke, no need to further read into that IMO.

DJ Full
11-09-16, 18:44
Lara isn't racist. She kills people of all nations and races, equally.

tomblover
11-09-16, 19:02
I've just came across that silly statement on tumblr and "oh lord" is all I have to say. Just more people spreading loads of bullcrap about Core Design, where's the news?

It's a v-i-d-e-o-g-a-m-e, and a fictional character. Nothing that should be taken seriously, really, aside from spending a few hours playing and have fun.

Moreover, knowing Core's sense of humour, that line they wrote was probably meant as joke, no need to further read into that IMO. Trust someone to make this about Core Design, and not the issues of "relic hunting" or what-have-you, as depicted in media. :p

We all know Laura Cruz was a canon psychopath -- or at least described as such in the same documents that the "xenophobia" quote is taken out of -- so I quite like the idea of her bein' even more of an asshole, in this way.
You'll have to remember she was still South American at this point, so there's no implication that being white is bad, either. :ton:

TR-Freak
11-09-16, 19:12
The Monks in TRII didn't kill Lara if she didn't kill them, but why did the Tribesmen attack Lara in TRIII? (I hate that game and I haven't played it in full since forever so I forgot about a lot that's happened)

because they are black:vlol:

For those who get offended by everything: this was a joke

Scottlee
11-09-16, 19:15
At some point you just have to remember you're playing a video game, and leave the common sense at the door. This is a series that didn't waste any time pitting Lara against full size dinosaurs, rubbery legged screeching banshee things with teeth, and blonde business types who grow wings. I could go on.

Yeah, it's a game.

jajay119
11-09-16, 19:22
I just read a post about the very first draft for the original Tomb Raider game and Lara's character (back in 95 during the alpha days) and how she was originally written to be an adventurer who steals artifacts and "then sells the heritage of these countries for profit, and perverse xenophobic pleasure."

As we all know, this draft was heavily revised and changed and Lara's final characterization differs quite a bit from it. However, I was wondering if you guys felt like there was still some form of xenophobia present in Core Design's version of Lara and her stories.

Examples that come to mind are her annihilating an entire native tribe in TR3's South Pacific section and her general tendency to blow up and rob various cultures of their historical heritage.

Has any of this ever bothered you or do you think it's not that big of a deal considering it's a fictional universe or just part of Lara's characterization?

No disrespect to Core but there were many times when they blatantly had little idea of what they were writing about; the St Francis folly gaff being a prime example and I think this is another really. That is, if they wrote this version of Lara and her bio. None of us are privy to the actual personality of Laura Cruz but to say she stole their things and sold them for 'xenophobic' pleasure seems to me that she did it simply because she didn't like them or their culture and was doing it purely out of disrespect which I don't think would have been the intended case.

I don't think there has ever been a case of Xenophobia in TR. Lara, or any of the stories, have never shown any sort of anti race/religion/nationality/ethnicity inclination.

To say Lara killing an entire south African tribe is Xenophobic, to me is racist in and of itself, as the only thing that separates them from the other hundreds of people she kills through the series is their race and/or origin of birth. The fact of the matter is there are times, at multiple points in the series, when Lara will not attack non hostile NPCs - She does this with the monks in TR2 and the monkey/ test subjects in TR3. The tribe in TR3 were canibals as seen in the end of level cut scene with the mercenary and they attack Lara. Lara kills the members of the village out of self defence. I wouldn't want to be poisoned and eaten either. Had they not attacked her, Lara, I'm sure, would not have attacked them either.



In retrospect, certain things probably wouldn't fly today without a lot of outrage -- Lara wiping out that indigenous tribe in TR3 some other people mentioned is an obvious example. I don't think it was intended to be racist, though. People just weren't as aware of these issues as they are now.

.

An indigenous cannibalistic tribe who had already eaten one man's leg when Lara arrived, you mean? Honestly, these days we're in social justice/political correctness overload and this is one case where I think, should anyone take issue with this on purpose of race alone, would be unjustified.

Sir Launcelot
11-09-16, 19:39
An indigenous cannibalistic tribe who had already eaten one man's leg when Lara arrived, you mean? Honestly, these days we're in social justice/political correctness overload and this is one case where I think, should anyone take issue with this on purpose of race alone, would be unjustified.

What a racist outrage! Indigenous native peoples have the RIGHT to practice cannibalism, especially if they are eating colonialist white people! Check your privilege, paleface!

:vlol:

Lyle Croft
11-09-16, 19:53
Except for that time she murdered that poor pilot at the end of TR3 just so she could steal his helicopter. :p

In retrospect, certain things probably wouldn't fly today without a lot of outrage -- Lara wiping out that indigenous tribe in TR3 some other people mentioned is an obvious example. I don't think it was intended to be racist, though. People just weren't as aware of these issues as they are now.

As an archaeologist, I sometimes get annoyed about the portrayal of my field in entertainment in general, not just in Tomb Raider. But that's really because of the dumb questions I get asked all the time from people who I guess forget video games and movies aren't real. One of the more common questions is, "so how much money do you typically get after you dig up an artifact and sell it?" And like... no. That's not how that works. That's looting, which is an entirely different thing, not to mention very illegal, and causes irreversible damage to a culture's history.

I still love things like Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones. I just wish the fiction of it was more obvious to the general public, I suppose. :p These characters can come across as xenophobic, even if not intended.
You're an archaeologist? That's so sexy. :cln:
What is your specialty? :cln::cln::cln::cln::cln::cln::cln::cln:
How many rejections have you gotten? :cen: (is that right?)

griefbacon
11-09-16, 20:33
An indigenous cannibalistic tribe who had already eaten one man's leg when Lara arrived, you mean? Honestly, these days we're in social justice/political correctness overload and this is one case where I think, should anyone take issue with this on purpose of race alone, would be unjustified.

You can't just place your own morals on a completely isolated culture. I don't think it's cool to eat people either, but I don't think isolated tribes who practice it today should be mowed down. Lara was protecting herself, obviously, and I don't think Core was trying to be racist at all. I'm just saying a situation like that probably wouldn't be included in a game today, since there are a lot of very real issues happening with indigenous peoples right now (that don't obviously have to do with cannibalism... that's really not a widely practiced activity).

What a racist outrage! Indigenous native peoples have the RIGHT to practice cannibalism, especially if they are eating colonialist white people! Check your privilege, paleface!

:vlol:

:rolleyes: Way to be completely condescending for no reason.

You're an archaeologist? That's so sexy. :cln:
What is your specialty? :cln::cln::cln::cln::cln::cln::cln::cln:
How many rejections have you gotten? :cen: (is that right?)

I don't think I understand your question, sorry. :o But I am an archaeologist, yes, and I specialise in New World archaeology, but I occasionally find myself in Old World tombs or settlements. I don't shoot people/animals or blow things up. :p If you have any other questions you can PM me, so we don't send this way off topic. :)

Nigel Cassidy
11-09-16, 20:36
It really is true. Taken directly from old scripts and notes and the first synopsis they wrote for Tomb Raider.

If that is true it must be the biggest 'what were they thinking?' in videogame history since E.T. on Atari.

Anyway, no; Tomb Raider is not racist, it's also not sexist to women or sexist to men, not by the norms set within the bounds of reason.

jajay119
11-09-16, 20:36
I'm sure Sir Launcelot was only being playful :tmb:

LateRaider
11-09-16, 20:48
No, I feel that Lara has her own moral compass where she only kills only when someone gets in her way. She wouldn't ever kill an innocent bystander to get her own way. Most of the humans that she kills are cultists and have evil intentions. There are some times where I think some of her killings were questionable. For example, the security guards in Lud's Gate in TRIII. But you can argue that they were hired specifically by Sophia Leigh to kill anyone that enters her premises. I definitely feel that Core Lara has some kind of heart and would rescue innocent civilians if they were in danger by an evil organization.
This is how I feel about Lara as well. Killing the security guards in and the pilot in the FMV in TRIII are probably the only questionable things she does. Besides, the intent is only to defend herself. I've never once shot someone who didn't attack me first.

Reggie
11-09-16, 21:07
I find it hard to care when you have games like Call of Duty these days where you gun down a crowd innocent people, including women and children screaming for their lives in an airport in high definition.

TR's violence was sub-comicbook level realism and never meant to be taken at any moral face value. The enemies function in terms of gameplay was all that the developers needed, not any deep exploration of whether museum guards had families to go home to.

Kinda reminds me of that bit from Austin Powers. :vlol:

Ag_AFraxj-4

Caesum
11-09-16, 21:12
I don't think I understand your question, sorry. :o But I am an archaeologist, yes, and I specialise in New World archaeology, but I occasionally find myself in Old World tombs or settlements. I don't shoot people/animals or blow things up. :p If you have any other questions you can PM me, so we don't send this way off topic. :)
Which part of the New World? Do you have your own excavation site or do you work for someone else? Personally I'm pretty interested in Meso-american sites, especially Teotihuacan. Although thanks to Warsaw University I hate Archaeology of America in general lol.

Sir Launcelot
12-09-16, 11:22
:rolleyes: Way to be completely condescending for no reason.


You have no sense of humor. :ton:

I suppose that while TR is not really racist, it might be considered classist. After all, Lara is a rich aristocrat, entitled to the honorific of "Lady" and she slums around in some of the lowest places, talking down to the lumpen people she comes across in her adventures. At least Core/LAU Lara does.

Reboot Lara is a bit lumpen herself though... :ponder:

Daring Do
12-09-16, 13:16
I have two theories. Either Core put that down more as a joke, or they didn't quite know what xenophobic meant.

But yeah, Lara's not a racist. She kills people equally. :p

Catapharact
12-09-16, 13:53
I find it hard to care when you have games like Call of Duty these days where you gun down a crowd innocent people, including women and children screaming for their lives in an airport in high definition.

That little "addition" to the game was seriously uncalled for and it triggered me to the core. I absolutely detested Infinity Ward for pulling an "Edgelord" the masses and creating controvesy for the sake of creating controversy.

PallasAthene
12-09-16, 18:10
I just read a post about the very first draft for the original Tomb Raider game and Lara's character (back in 95 during the alpha days) and how she was originally written to be an adventurer who steals artifacts and "then sells the heritage of these countries for profit, and perverse xenophobic pleasure."

Really? I've never heard this before...I thought the very first idea for Lara Croft was that she was a South American adventurer and treasure-hunter called Lara Cruz. You can even see the original concept art of her as Cruz*. I read that the reason they changed her to an English woman was because they thought that a British-made game could market her 'Britishness' more effectively, so they changed her from a Latin American treasure hunter to a British aristocrat, archaeologist. Making her xenophobic and horrible wouldn't have been marketable.

It's true classic Lara was always supposed to be, and certainly ended up being a total kleptomaniac, but I think she would just as readily have stolen a relic from a site in her own country as she would have from one on the other side of the world.

*(I've always kind of had this head-canon idea that Lara Croft is partly Spanish and has the name Cruz somewhere in her family history though.:p)



As an archaeologist, I sometimes get annoyed about the portrayal of my field in entertainment in general, not just in Tomb Raider. But that's really because of the dumb questions I get asked all the time from people who I guess forget video games and movies aren't real. One of the more common questions is, "so how much money do you typically get after you dig up an artifact and sell it?" And like... no. That's not how that works. That's looting, which is an entirely different thing, not to mention very illegal, and causes irreversible damage to a culture's history.

"So have you always been interested in dinosaurs?" Is up there with the most facepalm-inducing questions.

But seriously, as a fellow archaeologist, I definitely share your irritation with the Hollywood perception that we are these weird, colonialist throwbacks who still go gallivanting around the world, plundering foreign cultures for personal profit. That perception is so out of step with the realities of modern anthropology.

charmedangelin
12-09-16, 19:14
Oh good Lord, I just can't anymore. At this point every single person on the planet, fictional or otherwise, is phobic something. :facepalm:

Tyrannosaurus
12-09-16, 20:15
I have two theories. Either Core put that down more as a joke, or they didn't quite know what xenophobic meant.

But yeah, Lara's not a racist. She kills people equally. :pKeep in mind that Toby also originally used the word "psychotic" to describe Lara, and the character was also meant to be Puerto Rican named Laura Cruz at some point, so clearly she's undergone some crucial conceptual changes.

Hazelphoenix
12-09-16, 20:30
I have two theories. Either Core put that down more as a joke, or they didn't quite know what xenophobic meant.

But yeah, Lara's not a racist. She kills people equally. :p

Seems a plausible explanation considering the way the whole text was worded:

"Lara Cruz [Croft] is a modern day adventurer and procurer of rare artefacts, which she relieves from Johnny foreigner with the gay abandon of a five year old stealing mars bars from the local cornershop. She then sells the heritage of these countries for profit, and perverse xenophobic pleasure."

It looks more like a series of ironic remarks/jokes altogether, and most definitely nothing to be taken too seriously.

HRHCroft
12-09-16, 20:32
Reboot Lara is a bit lumpen herself though... :ponder:

But she's so relatable, working in a bar, slumming it in a (large) flat with an irritating roommate, she don't talk so posh anymore, swears like a navvy, can't do gymnastics... ;)

But yeah, Lara's not a racist. She kills people equally. :p

Exactly. It's like Batman: "I'm an equal opportunity crime fighter." Doesn't matter where you come from or what's between your legs, if you're a criminal, he's gonna knock your law breaking ass out.

Lara has never discriminated where she steals from or who she kills along the way. The cannibal tribe in "TR3", for example, technically speaking, did they really have to attack and shoot poison darts at her? Just for being on their island?

Nigel Cassidy
12-09-16, 20:34
The cannibal tribe in "TR3", for example, technically speaking, did they really have to attack and shoot poison darts at her? Just for being on their island?
Come to think of it; it was them who were xenophobic :D

King Ultra
12-09-16, 22:52
Lara isnt Racist,she kills all kinds of people from all kinds of different places,including white people

Wooxman
13-09-16, 13:38
Classic Lara isn't racist or xenophobic but just anarchic (LAU and reboot Lara also aren't racist or xenophobic, but also not very anarchic)! Every time her creation is described, it's pointed out that she was partially inspired by the British comic book anti-hero Tank Girl. I started reading the original TG comics 1 or 2 years ago and the similarities are pretty strikingly. Like Lara, Tank Girl isn't "evil" but still will kill anyone and anything that comes in her way. The biggest difference is that Lara is a well-mannered aristocrat. But that early Laura Cruz description seems to be even more similar to Tank Girl.

Lara doesn't care, where the people she kills come from. When they're in her way, she'll shoot them. She also doesn't care all that much about preserving ancient temples: When there's no way through, she'll creates one by destructing them.

And like said before, I don't think that Core Design intended that this bio should be taken seriously. To me it sounds like typical British humour with a lot of randomness to it. Also, how could anyone possibly get "xenophobic pleasure" from selling artefacts? :p The only reason why one would do this is to get lots of money! And since Lara (after being changed to an aristocrat) is already pretty rich, there's no need for her to sell the artefacts she finds. But instead she keeps them in hidden exhibition rooms in her house which isn't that much better and certainly still illegal. :p Of course, keeping the more dangerous and powerful artefacts like the dagger of Xian or the Iris makes sense, but for example in TR II she also has tons of gold and the cat statue which she found in Egypt in TR I hidden in her basement.

_Doppie_
13-09-16, 13:58
"Lara Cruz [Croft] is a modern day adventurer and procurer of rare artefacts, which she relieves from Johnny foreigner with the gay abandon of a five year old stealing mars bars from the local cornershop. She then sells the heritage of these countries for profit, and perverse xenophobic pleasure."

What the hell?

After the sexism, we have to deal with xenophobia and racism? This series is serious business. Even if the final version might be different, that's still a weird idea from Core...

Also, people saying that since she is killing white people, she is not racist. You should think deeper. Even white racist skinheads are fighting and beating white people. Why? Because they don't share the same belief/vision.

Zreen001
13-09-16, 14:10
I'll agree with what other people have said, that it's a splurge of British humour. (Added a 'u' for good measure)

Wooxman
13-09-16, 14:19
What the hell?

After the sexism, we have to deal with xenophobia and racism? This series is serious business. Even if the final version might be different, that's still a weird idea from Core...
Some people search desperately for any reason to be offended.

Also, people saying that since she is killing white people, she is not racist. You should think deeper. Even white racist skinheads are fighting and beating white people. Why? Because they don't share the same belief/vision.
But Lara certainly doesn't kill people because of her believes, but because they're in her way and/or try to kill her.

(Added a 'u' for good measure)
Jolly good, old chap! :tiphat:

peeves
13-09-16, 16:51
I don't think core's version of lara is racist the same applies to reboot lara.

Sir Launcelot
13-09-16, 17:26
What the hell?

After the sexism, we have to deal with xenophobia and racism? This series is serious business. Even if the final version might be different, that's still a weird idea from Core...

Also, people saying that since she is killing white people, she is not racist. You should think deeper. Even white racist skinheads are fighting and beating white people. Why? Because they don't share the same belief/vision.

Are you saying Lara IS racist then?

Cochrane
13-09-16, 19:59
Who knows or cares whether Lara is racist. But the way the games depict just about anything definitely comes from a long tradition of stuff that was kind of racist. Take this case:

What a racist outrage! Indigenous native peoples have the RIGHT to practice cannibalism, especially if they are eating colonialist white people! Check your privilege, paleface!

:vlol:

Dude, the problem isn't killing cannibals. The problem is that the game designers went for the most hilarious stereotypes about "these savages" from the 1910s. If you look at the actual history of cannibalism, you'll find that it's an incredibly rare thing. But there are millions of jokes based on racist caricatures about South Pacific Islanders who totally want to eat every white person who comes along. Tomb Raider perpetuates that stereotype. That's the racist part.

Another part: Lara will kill whoever is standing in her way; but who is standing in her way? With very few exceptions, Lara's peer group is white, rich, and either European or American. The lost cities and ruins are considered "lost" and free for the taking. The fact that there are actually people living around to whom this belongs never shows up in the game. All these places that are important to people living there, that are someone's home or history - as far as Tomb Raider is concerned, these are just playgrounds for white people. Natives don't count.

(Preemptive reply to comments I expect: Well done finding one or two levels that are exceptions to the rule I pointed out. Have a cookie.)

I'm not sure if that's racist in and of itself, but it's at least not entirely unproblematic. And it is likely not the result of any conscious choice n the developer's part; Tomb Raider rips off the same adventure literature and adventure serials from the early 20th century as Indiana Jones did, and these were created based on a rather racist world view. It doesn't hurt to at least talk about that.

Nigel Cassidy
13-09-16, 20:15
All these places that are important to people living there, that are someone's home or history -

Only since the rise of nationalism (a western invention by the way, taken over by the rest of the world). Before that the native peoples couldn't be bothered less about the old crap lying around in their country. Sometimes they even want to get rid of it when it comes from a 'pagan' past. Just look at the Ottoman sultan firing cannons at the sphinx to 'wipe away that pagan smile'. Really, for centuries, the Europeans were actually the only ones taking an interest in ancient cultures.

For instance, during the Ottoman reign of Egypt pillaging old tombs was an official source of state income. Because those funny Europeans were willing to pay a lot of money for that ancient garbage.

Once the idea of nationalism had taken root the people started to see that stuff as the source of their national pride and demanded that the European thieves give it back... Unless another war or rebellion brakes out, then they start looting the museums again... :rolleyes:

I appreciate your intentions about respecting other peoples culture, but reality is never quite as simple as some people make it out to be...

Cochrane
13-09-16, 20:29
Edit to add: First attempt at reply too incoherent because tired. Will rewrite later, maybe. As a short summary:

The whole aspect of "when did natives start to care about their cultural heritage" is, ironically, not quite as simple as you make it out to be. It's not the same among different countries, it changed a lot over time, it changed depending on things like economic factors, and it changed sometimes as a direct result of westerners carrying off priceless artifacts.

But that doesn't really matter, does it? Tomb Raider is set around the turn of the 21st century, when all the countries Lara's in actually do have interest in their heritage, museums and so on. The appearance of terrorist groups does change the dynamic again, that's true. Either way, it's a complicated topic, and nowadays, we do realize how complicated it can be. Except Tomb Raider, which completely ignores it. That's an issue, I think.

_Doppie_
13-09-16, 20:30
Are you saying Lara IS racist then?

How should I know?

Nigel Cassidy
13-09-16, 20:43
The whole aspect of "when did natives start to care about their cultural heritage" is, ironically, not quite as simple as you make it out to be. It's not the same among different countries, it changed a lot over time, it changed depending on things like economic factors, and it changed sometimes as a direct result of westerners carrying off priceless artifacts.
True, yeah... But even if it doesn't matter in this discussion I'd like to hear some examples of native people caring for the ancient stuff in their country earlier than say... a hundred years ago...


But that doesn't really matter, does it? Tomb Raider is set around the turn of the 21st century, when all the countries Lara's in actually do have interest in their heritage, museums and so on. The appearance of terrorist groups does change the dynamic again, that's true. Either way, it's a complicated topic, and nowadays, we do realize how complicated it can be. Except Tomb Raider, which completely ignores it. That's an issue, I think.
Not unless you chose to make it an issue, in my opinion. Tomb Raider is so far from any reality (and in my opinion it should be a lot further from it still) as is almost every game's subject from it's real world counterpart.

griefbacon
13-09-16, 20:47
Dude, the problem isn't killing cannibals. The problem is that the game designers went for the most hilarious stereotypes about "these savages" from the 1910s. If you look at the actual history of cannibalism, you'll find that it's an incredibly rare thing. But there are millions of jokes based on racist caricatures about South Pacific Islanders who totally want to eat every white person who comes along. Tomb Raider perpetuates that stereotype. That's the racist part.

Exactly.



Only since the rise of nationalism (a western invention by the way, taken over by the rest of the world). Before that the native peoples couldn't be bothered less about the old crap lying around in their country. Sometimes they even want to get rid of it when it comes from a 'pagan' past. Just look at the Ottoman sultan firing cannons at the sphinx to 'wipe away that pagan smile'. Really, for centuries, the Europeans were actually the only ones taking an interest in ancient cultures.


I can't speak for things that happened during the Ottoman empire as that's not my area of expertise, but I can say that for the indigenous populations of the Americas, as well as those of Polynesia, this is untrue.

But even if there are examples elsewhere where that is true, I still don't see how it doesn't matter. If you have something in your house you don't really use much anymore, is it okay if someone just comes in and takes it? You didn't really care about it at the time, but wouldn't it piss you off to have it stolen without any say in it? It was still yours.

Sir Launcelot
13-09-16, 21:32
Dude, the problem isn't killing cannibals. The problem is that the game designers went for the most hilarious stereotypes about "these savages" from the 1910s. If you look at the actual history of cannibalism, you'll find that it's an incredibly rare thing. But there are millions of jokes based on racist caricatures about South Pacific Islanders who totally want to eat every white person who comes along. Tomb Raider perpetuates that stereotype. That's the racist part.

Well, yes, but it's funny. :vlol:

This is the problem with you and so many people like you these days - everything has to be all serious and politically correct and ****. Why? Can't you just STFU and enjoy the game without going all SJW on it?


Another part: Lara will kill whoever is standing in her way; but who is standing in her way? With very few exceptions, Lara's peer group is white, rich, and either European or American. The lost cities and ruins are considered "lost" and free for the taking. The fact that there are actually people living around to whom this belongs never shows up in the game. All these places that are important to people living there, that are someone's home or history - as far as Tomb Raider is concerned, these are just playgrounds for white people. Natives don't count.

As Nigel said, many of these people weren't even developed enough to UNDERSTAND the concept of archaeology when the first "rich white people" started showing up and carting off artifacts. How can said people properly claim ownership?

dinne
07-10-16, 12:52
Hm... I've never had feelings like that, only I can remember the cutscene with Lara+indigenous but she is also justified by his behaviour. Instead, she seemed close to the tibetans. I think that she hasn't preserved any kind of xenophobia, she's only an exaggerated ambitious british girl that only wants rare ancient artifacts in her house, and no one knows how this permits her to be so much rich, but heh. "It's the game". :)

Racism in another thing, it isn't when you kill a black/asian person, it's when you think that all a race is bad, whites included. Lara isn't like that, she kills everyone she have to, and surely more white people than black/asian people.

In any case, all the story doesn't start as violent (Lara doesn't go to find an artifact killing native people) but she becomes more violent against people that obstacles her or want to use the artifacts for bad purposes (Natla, Bartoli, RXTech, Von Croy, Monstrum ecc) or when someone else put her in difficult situations like Area 51. In other cases (at the first, when she doesn't have contacts with these bad organizations), she only kills animals that attack her eventually. Her targets are always abandoned places, where no one is living around and no one is currently using the artifact.

Today we have a disturbed idea about the racism and we are phobic of being called racists, so now I think that no one famous publisher would permit to insert a killing of a black person (but "yes, sure!" for a white one [.....]) because they know that people are hysterical with the politically correct trend. This afflicts only whites, considering that the major racism comes -towards- the whites, but it hasn't audience.

For sure she's not a true archaeologist, she's an adventurer, but she has also a lot of books and knowledge about the history. Maybe she -was- an archeologist, before being invaded by the "omg I want this now in my house!!!!" feeling :P In a videogame it is acceptable. Can we talk about the story of other videogames like Tekken, that has a very riddiculous story with a lot of stereotypes everywhere? I like Tekken anyway because I'm not interested in playing a concrete reality or I can go out to my door emulating Lara with no success. Movies (not cartoons) could be more serious, so if you create a so realistic graphic quality in a videogame and destroy the gameplay you have to put a bit more of realism in the story too, but it's not mandatory if you put the accent on the gameplay.

______________________________

If there is something that hurts my feelings in the series is Rise of The Tomb Raider, because it's realistic and killing animals in a so brutal way (and with a so high graphic quality), touches me a lot. Wtf it's a gore videogame or what?! With polygons was light and neutral, but with this realism is heavy. They could put an animation like in Metal Gear Solid 3, where the animals die fast with a symbolic animation, without showing suffer and becoming instantly a rounded suspended object, ready to be picked up.

Reggie
07-10-16, 13:09
Orientalist? Yes. But mostly lampooning the tropes inherited by the Indiana films.

It's hardly the stuff of Mein Kampf.

OrangeJuice
08-10-16, 05:44
I don't think Lara herself can be labeled as racist or not racist as she's a fictional character and she's changed her personality something like one thousand times. That being said, the TR franchise has made some questionable narrative and gameplay choices (whether the intention behind those choices was negative or positive or there was no intention at all is a completely different story). I mean, even TR2013 tried to implement diversity in its cast in a way that was more offensive than actually progressive.

Well, yes, but it's funny. :vlol:

This is the problem with you and so many people like you these days - everything has to be all serious and politically correct and ****. Why? Can't you just STFU and enjoy the game without going all SJW on it?
Wow. This reply made me sad, really.
Do you realize you can enjoy a game and acknowledge it has problematic aspects? Or is it so scary that you have to go and tell people who recognize those issues that they have a problem and that they should "STFU"?

Sir Launcelot
08-10-16, 08:37
I don't think Lara herself can be labeled as racist or not racist as she's a fictional character and she's changed her personality something like one thousand times. That being said, the TR franchise has made some questionable narrative and gameplay choices (whether the intention behind those choices was negative or positive or there was no intention at all is a completely different story). I mean, even TR2013 tried to implement diversity in its cast in a way that was more offensive than actually progressive.


Wow. This reply made me sad, really.
Do you realize you can enjoy a game and acknowledge it has problematic aspects? Or is it so scary that you have to go and tell people who recognize those issues that they have a problem and that they should "STFU"?

The problematic aspects exist only in your own mind. In fact, the WORLD as you want it to be only exists in your own mind. While, on the other hand, things like cannibalism, human sacrifice, etc. are real. They REALLY happened. In a few places, they are STILL happening. There is still cannibalism and headhunting in New Guinea, and I have heard some stuff about cannibalism in the meaner places of Africa, though I can't give you sources on that.

Drink some reality tea, and stop being so sensitive. The world at large doesn't care that you want to turn it into a multigender friendly, culturally sensitive safe space. The natives of New Guinea don't give a damn if you are sorry that they are racially stereotyped by patriarchalist CIS gendered white men. In fact, depending on what time of year it is, they might be far more interested in how much meat you have on your bones.

Blue_light
08-10-16, 09:44
To me it honestly seems that she's just an extreme collector, who doesn't care if it's legal or not, as long as she gets her prize, and a good challenge in between.

We also have to have in mind that the artifacts she collects are lost and forgotten from the world, and possess incredible power beyond human comprehension, that could bring world annihilation in the wrong hands (Bartoli for the Dagger of Xian, Willard for the stones, Lara herself for the Amulet of Horus, and if you count the movies then we have the Triangle of Light, and Pandora's Box.). While Lara doesn't really realize at times (or maybe she does?) that she's gambling the world with her adventures, ultimately she just wants to collect the artifacts, not necessarily use them.

As for the ethnicity/culture of the enemies, I view that as more of accuracy reasons for the place Lara visits, than racism. For example the mexican poachers in TRU Mexico, the japanese Yakuza in Legend's Tokyo, the tigers in China, Thailand and India, etc...To be honest I was more offended by the stereotypes in TR2013 (especially Grimm's)

They are killed because this is a situation of "kill or be killed". Lara has shown that she doesn't kill people who aren't hostile to her (except the pilot of TR3, I was always like "wth?").

Also, if we're accusing Tomb Raider of having racist/xenophobic elements, then we also have to accuse it of anti-environment (well, we kinda did have a topic discussing the tiger killing topic, back when TRU was being developed), normalization of genocide, thievery, and vandalism.

An indigenous cannibalistic tribe who had already eaten one man's leg when Lara arrived, you mean?

I still think the raptor did it.