clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett on the silver lining behind controversy

Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett described her frustration over the over-zealous reaction of gamers and press when it was revealed the reboot would include the suggestion of rape: "I felt disappointed."

Speaking last night during a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Q&A attended by Polygon, Pratchett offered insight into the period that followed an interview with Kotaku in which executive producer Ron Rosenberg reportedly spoke of a sexual assault in one scene of the game.

Pratchett went on to describe her disappointment in the community, which reacted without an understanding of the context of the scene and its writers.

"I felt very disappointed by this," said Pratchett, who paraphrased the community's reaction as "What must the writers be like to have done this?"

At the time, Pratchett had yet to be announced as lead writer on the game and could not publicly comment. "It was very frustrating," she said.

Despite the period of controversy, Pratchett describes a silver lining that followed the announcement of her role on the game. According to the writer, what followed was a community-wide discussion on the subject.

"There's silver linings that come from just talking about these things," she said. "Once I did get announced and could talk, we could finally discuss how we think about female characters in games."

Pratchett went on to describe the current state of writing in games, a profession she refers to as being a "narrative paramedic."

According to the writer, the games industry is only beginning to gain a sense of what to do with the narrative designers they have hired, adding that often these writers are hired guns brought in late during development. The result is similar to attempting to write a film while the film is being shot - games writing is continuously in flux as other aspects of the release are being tweaked and re-worked.

"The narrative literacy in games is quite low," said Pratchett, "but we should be interacting with all areas of the team because story comes through everything."

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.