Video game narratives have proven to be one of the most challenging aspects of game development. Over the past few years, we’ve seen some exceptional storylines (Horizon, The Witcher 3) and with prominent titles like God of War cropping up, there’s no shortage of good story-driven games. These days we are lucky to have so many talented people out there, who are gamers themselves, on top of being terrific writers.
Rhianna Pratchett is one of them. She is a veteran writer and a passionate gamer. Credited for penning stories like Mirror’s Edge, Heavenly Sword, and Overlord, she is also involved with the new Tomb Raider series. Lara Croft has now evolved from a stereotypical, sexualized female, into a well-written character and inspirational female lead. The gaming scene needs heroines like that, but games still have “some growing up to do,” as Pratchett explains.
Sony’s God of War is very much in the spotlight right now. Games like that emphasize the importance of single-player storytelling, and even the God of War director said he prefers working on games that have a story mode.
Mind you, games like God of War are something Pratchett refers to as the “dad-ification of games.” Simply put, male devs and writers are now grown-up family men and they feel the need to illustrate their father-son relationships. As compelling as such stories are, Pratchett wishes to tell stories about moms too—kick-ass moms.
“That was one I kind of threw out there as a thought exercise partly as a reaction to the fact that there are so many father stories being explored in games,” she stated. “As developers themselves become fathers, [they] start thinking perhaps a little bit more deeply about the world and their place in it. There are very few mother stories. Mothers–and this goes for film and TV as well as games–they often tend to be absent or dead or missing.
“We’ve had a lot of what gets called the ‘dad-ification’ of games. You don’t really see moms in games, especially not kick-ass moms in games. [Lara Croft as a mom is] one of the things that I thought could be one interesting avenue to explore,” Pratchett explained. “I am not a mom and not likely to be a mom, but I have friends who are mothers and I obviously have a mother. I find it very interesting and powerful in itself. And I think the challenges of being a mother, while still being a superhero, are really interesting.”
You’ve got to hand it to Rhianna. Having worked on so many games, she’s not only bringing us better and better stories, but she’s also taking a proud stance in the name of kick-ass moms everywhere. We cannot wait to see what’s next for the Tomb Raider series. Be on the lookout for Shadow of the Tomb Raider on September 14, 2018 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.