TwitLonger

Jeevesmeister

Jeff @Jeevesmeister

2nd January 2014 from TwitLonger

@rhipratchett No worries, I butt in all the time.

I mean, Tomb Raider isn't guilty of this on it's own, and I'm not blaming you specifically - you work with what you're given, I get that - and it's a larger issue encompassing Uncharted, Indiana Jones, etc. But there's a long and storied history with whiteness and anthropology/archeology, and museums at large.

Like, there's a lot of stories of white people going into the ancient tombs of PoC and taking their relics and locking them away in primarily white museums, far away from the descendents of that history, usually profiteering from it. In Jones' defense he's fighting Nazis or at least trying to keep them out of the hands of profiteers and on his own, in a vacuum, he's more concerned about preserving history than anything else. Yet that doesn't really free him from guilty - http://firstpeoples.tumblr.com/post/46730509637/indiana-jones-and-the-indigenous-other

I mean, it's like, if I sneak into your house at night and steal your late great grandfather's pocketwatch, which was some big deal as he'd always pull it out in the middle of some moment of stress or whatever, so it meant a big deal to you, and I take it, and I put it up in my house which is surrounded by armed guards, barbed wire, and, well...ballistic missiles, then I sell people tickets to come and see it, and well, you don't really get a say and you're kinda fucked entirely in this whole deal. That's kinda what museums and the larger bodies of anthropology and archaeology represent nowadays.

Let me put it this way - 2013 Tomb Raider is the least bad of the Tomb Raiders about this. It's a "lost" kingdom, (which is kinda laughably white-centric) Lara doesn't have a giant mansion full of ancient PoC relics (to our knowledge), but, like, the tomb raiding stuff, mechanically is super gross for how it's not even under the delusion of preserving history, but doing weird magical gun alchemy to become a stronger better killer, which really undercuts the whole "a survivor is born" tagline.

Like, there's a cutscene/storyline tone about being "realistic" and "gritty" and Lara overcoming all this stuff and then there's all this mechanical goofyness that makes zero sense and is so bizarro, which doesn't really help the game at all, but that's not your fault considering all the shit the developers went on the record saying leading up to the release... again, I'm not blaming you specifically. It's a troublesome enough premise and TR2013 is the least offensive in that regard, but there is a kinda huge race issue with a white person breaking into ancient PoC temples and then pocketing relics only to run off to a campfire and turn them into... gun parts... somehow...

At the end of the day it's such a "too many cooks in the kitchen" sort of corporate deal that I'm not mad at any one specific person at, but yes, I do hope that maybe one day we can bury tomb raider and forget it was ever really a thing if games ever want to stop being a cultural paragon for whiteness




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