It's exactly what will make gamers plug their ears, but it's a thing that should be discussed.
If she's citing Atari, I suspect she's not aware of the video game crash in '83.
They were a toy company.
Like, the military *produces its own games* as recruitment tools, and many games are super jingoistic, so the link still exists.
Read up on how many movies are partially funded by the military in exchange for script approval on how the military is portrayed.
Yeah, here in the US, we make jingoistic war movies bankrolled by the military because we CHOOSE to!
Highly lethal and highly erotic.
Deeply sexualized Lara is both violent and sexy, destruction and creation, eros and thanatos.
Well, let's be frank: it's gender essentialist in a gross way.
But the dominant narrative about womannness doesn't acknowledge this.
It's unclear whether Herbst is going to acknowledge this. Don't know how to feel about that yet.
She comments that the majority of people designing the Tomb Raider series are "men in their teens and twenties."
I promise you, the number of men on the dev team in their teens was functionally zero.
Weird fact I didn't know: in early games it was known that Lara did charity work with children and had a degree in needlework?! This was retconned out in later entries.
(There's a moment where she says the player is sometimes called "the user," which, oh, my sweet little noob.)
With decent feedback, the character feels like an extension of the player's own body.
When we play Goldeneye, we say "then I climbed out of the vent," not "then James climbed out of the vent" or even "then I had James climb out of the vent."
Because it creates identification, and it means something that we don't ask men to identify with female protagonists.
For gameplay purposes, you need Lara to be the person the player is looking THROUGH.
For marketing purposes, you need Lara to be the person the player is looking AT.
Yes, there's a difference, but, again, it's not enormous.
A video game character is a star from the outset, because she never controls her image.
She has the body Victorian women needed a corset to achieve.
She's not just a mashup of the sex and death drives, she is each cranked up to 11.
Couldn't help but think that, if devs are gonna make a woman protagonist, they usually want to let you look at her.
Pretty sure I disagree.
It does, however, say something that that's the kind of gameplay devs prefer for female protagonists.
She doesn't wear armor because she needs to leap around.
Yeah, Herbst's gender essentialism is sincere. Ew.
Isn't a gun on your leg FARTHER from your reproductive organs than normal?
She can't fulfill the normal role for women so it's OK for her to fulfill one for men.
I think the game codes her lack of children, relationships, and motherly instinct as a choice, a privileging of adventure over maternity.
But I think this being Lara's choice is a significant difference.
So, here's the crux (or one crux) of Herbst's argument:
Because cloning is possible.
Herbst is arguing that men are okay with female characters on the battlefield.
she's arguing female characters only just became expendable in violent media since cloning became possible
has she ever SEEN an action movie?!?!
If you beat the game, Lara is legit THE ONLY PERSON you know for a fact will be alive!
a) Demonstrate this, you gender essentialist weirdo.
b) It's "differently FROM men."
If she's a soldier, than it's obviously OK to shoot her in combat.
Anyone who knows what happens when you put a woman on the cover of a wargame knows that's a ridiculous claim.
The strong feminine body is one that can be brutalized.
Getting your rocks off on seeing Lara brutalized was still a long way off.
I mean, that essentially means there's no way for women to exist in a violent movie, right?
That's baffling nonsense.
There are a lot of fucked up ways that many action games and movies reinforce rape culture but that is not one of them.
...does she not know that Lara is a wealthy heiress who goes into these combat situations for sport?
Or is the argument that, once you're in a combat zone, you ain't heiress of shit?
I have no idea, because she doesn't acknowledge the narrative at all.
THE FIRST PROGRAMMERS WERE WOMEN, YOU DINK
But she cannot take these conversations anywhere interesting.
As a friend of mine was fond of saying: I am too third wave for this shit.
Anyway, thanks for joining on... whatever that was. #IanLivetweetsHisResearch