The creators of Lara Croft have tried to add some depth to their character's back story for an upcoming game reboot, and Mary Hamilton at the Guardian is among many crying foul. For one thing, Lara is subjected to a beating and attempted rape, the latter generally a "lazy shorthand that allows a writer to paint a bad guy as particularly bad, and a woman as particularly vulnerable." It's a shame, writes Hamilton, because Lara—despite her gravity-defying bosom—has evolved into an interesting, tough female character and the new story line demeans her. She needs this history to explain her actions?
One executive producer explains that game designers want players to "root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character." They want players to protect Lara, instead of just playing the game via her avatar. "It's hard to see that as anything other than a sexist approach, an assumption that men can't lose themselves in stories with female protagonists and/or that female gamers simply don't exist," writes Hamilton. Adds Tom Mendelsohn at the Independent: "This is weak storytelling; women, being people too, can have their personalities and motivations shaped through avenues other than their genitals." (Read more Lara Croft stories.)