Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett speaks to BBC Women’s Hour about how Lara Croft looks like a ‘young lady who dressed herself’Michael Johnson February 26, 2013 - 5:09 pm
Tomb Raider, out March 5th has an all-new Lara Croft – written by Rhianna Pratchett. So how does the game go about trying to set Lara up as a role model for young women?
Speaking to BBC Women’s hour, Rhianna Pratchett, being interviewed alongside Belinda Palmer from LadyGeek speaks about how the new Lara Croft is “dressed for what she’s doing”, foregoing “mid-riff baring tops and hotpants” for “combat trousers and boots”. She notes that the new Lara looks like “A young lady who dressed herself”. The interview certainly makes for a good counter-point to Conan O’Brian’s tongue-in-cheek pervy review of the game.
The idea of giving young girl gamers a role model was discussed, while noting that while around 37% of gamers are female the industry is by and large “yet to realise and take girls seriously” according to Belinda Palmer. Lara Croft, while being a step forward is “the exception, rather than the rule”.
Pratchett goes on to explain and discuss the multitude of opportunities in the industry, noting that there’s a lack of knowledge about the industry which could cause young women to overlook positions as writers, artists, animators and designers, beyond the more mathematics and programming oriented roles. Belinda Palmer agrees, noting that “we need more people like Rhianna”.
Rhianna Pratchett goes on to detail her own route into gaming by talking about her experiences as a child, being introduced to games by her father – Discworld author and legend Terry Pratchett. One anecdote caused me to snort into my coffee as Rhianna talks about playing Leisure Suit Larry as a child with her neighbour, trying to guess the questions to prove the player is over-18 – an experience we have in common.