Wednesday, November 21, 2007

CALARTS - Essay ‘She puppet’

‘She puppet’ follows Lara Croft, the shapely video game character from Tomb Rader, around the game’s many levels and adventure responsibilities. As a character, Lara has the super hero qualities as any shoot ‘em up video game lead. In her quest, she has abilities such as acrobatic fluency, acute marksmanship with an assortment of weapons, a mastery of reincarnation, and everlasting endurance when tackling intense situations. There isn’t much this lady can’t do. She probably has a penis, even

Lara Croft’s female identity is what makes this game so charming to the gaming population. She can do anything a man can do and has a sexy body, accessible to anyone who buys the game. What makes her character more engaging is her ‘female flaw’. The game uses the popular thought: woman are ‘naturally’ fragile and weaker than men. By playing an able, but initially flawed, character adds more of a draw to the game. Opposite to the ‘James Bond’ type of video game character. A character who make saving the world as easy as wearing pants. That ‘female flaw’ is what makes all the difference. In any game, film, or story: when the character has more of a struggle, it’s more interesting in the eyes of the viewer, player, etc.

The audience engages the game play outside of the realm of the video game interaction. Without acting through the character, we have a character with no soul, will, or personality. The game as film is transformed into a voyeur perspective of a controlled lady-body thrust into dangerous environments to suffer a hard, violent, “masculine world”. A woman in danger spells sexual tension. The film carries a voice over that adds an identity to the walking tits and ass of Lara Croft. The film gives Lara a personality independent from the player. A contradiction that defies the principles of the player vs. character game structure. Lara transforms into a thinking entity, a woman who suffers from a slavery to another. A purpose to only to give enjoyment to those who control her. The film, ‘She puppet’, identifies the sexism on that “female weakness” that sold the game’s popularity and success. She puppet exposes ‘Tomb Rader’ as an embodiment of a new ‘the male fantasy’: a strong, beautiful, extraordinary woman, but subservient when needed.
The End.

No comments: