Thursday, June 14, 2012

Will the New Tomb Raider Sexism Controversy Survive till its Launch?

I will not deal here with all the controversy per se. It is getting a bit tiresome and everything who could be said was said already. While I particularly don't agree with the controversy, it is always good to have some talk about difficulty matters like sexism. But I wonder if this controversy is a real one or it is just one made on the current environment we find ourselves in. See, the new Tomb Raider found itself was caught in the middle of the sexism in games talks, and everybody now seem to try very hard to find sexism in ALL games in order to keep the talks going on. But what I question here is if when the game launch next year, will everyone who is so eagerly talking about it will even remember what they talked about right now.

This is not the first time, and probably will not be the last time, where a game rise some eyebrows before it even launched about its content and potential controversy, only to be completely forgotten when gamers are to busy enjoying them to even remember to find all the controversy it raised in the first time. Games like Bully or Catherine, who also got caught in some polemics and people don't even remember that anymore.

In Bully, we have the possibility of making the main character, a high school boy, kiss another boys. Many complained about it, it got some talk about, but when the game came out and people was having fun with it, many even thought how much the controversy was stupid. There was nothing so shocking about the kiss and many seemed the previous controversy as something blown out of proportion.

Once people got their hands in the game, they just saw that there was nothing so incredible shocking about the gay kiss and forgot about it. Catherine, the very innovative game by Atlus, who mixed puzzles and RPG elements, also drawn attention about its sexual content and many people even seemed to expect the game to be a porn game of sorts. But when the game came out and most of the 'sex' people expected was not there, and instead of a sexual deviant game we got a game whose main theme is relationships, freedom and growing up, there was nothing of a polemic to be found. So, can this happen to Tomb Raider? Can people just forget all we talked this last weeks once they play the game?

I say it is very likely. This cycle of sexism in games discussions is reaching the point where people are tired of talking about it. It means that, as many controversies, it will cool down and be forgotten. It is very likely that when the game finally launch, people will completely forgotten why they were discussing this in the first time.

The game can be completely different from what people expected, like Catherine, and all assumptions they did in base of short trailers can be completely off base once the game comes out. Or, as happened to Bully, people will find that all the controversial elements weren't such big deal and that the game is way more than what they painted in their heads it to be.

There is also the very likely possibility that when this game come out next year, a new controversy about a completely different theme is making the rounds, being louder than this one will be till them, making everyone too busy with the new one to even remember the old one.

It also will tell us how much this controversy is true and how much is people seeing too much in that, because if all the elements people found to justify their accusations are weak or not there, nobody will rise the questions being made today. If they are real points, than the game will not be able to hide it. That is, if the creators of the game don't change it to eliminate the controversial points at launch. I hope they don't do it and keep with what they already made.

Controversies always came in two flavors. Real ones and manufactured ones. Sometimes they come very mixed together, with a real controversy being blown out of proportion due to manufactured reactions to it. If this is a real controversy, we will be talking about it when the game launch.

We will know for sure next year, but to me, nobody will remember this controversy till there.

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