The writer for Rise of the Tomb Raider has expressed her belief that strength shouldn’t be the sole characteristic when considering female characters, and that use of the words “strong female character” is “doing a disservice” to their other traits. She also voiced that she’d “love to see more diversity in male characters” as well (via. GameSpot).
“We do tend to overuse the words ‘strong female character'” Rhianna Pratchett told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview “you never hear them say ‘strong male character.’ It’s almost like that’s inherent. What we really mean is good or interesting or textured or broad or exciting. It’s more than strong and strong I think does these characters a disservice”
“And I know calling it a strong female character is just a step we go through before just calling them characters in the same way male characters are just called characters” Pratchett added. She also commented on the diversity of male characters in video games, claiming there’s “a lot we can do there with diversity of all of our characters.”
“When the numbers go up and we start having more diversity in the characters and we have more female antagonists and more female antiheroes, I think that’s going to be really interesting.”
Pratchett also expressed her belief that video games carry potential as “an empathic medium,” referencing video games such as That Dragon, Cancer and Papers, Please as having had a significant impact on her approach to other people.
“I’m now slightly more respectful – not that I was ever rude – to Border Control than I ever was before.” she said, “I thought that was really powerful and that was very good at using the mechanics of the game to create guilt in the player, which was remarkable.”
Other topics such as writing, storytelling and VR, were also discussed. You can read the full interview with GamesIndustry.biz here.
Rhianna Pratchett is best known for her writing for Mirror’s Edge, Heavenly Sword and the Overlord games. She also recently won an award for her work on Rise of the Tomb Raider at 2016’s Writer’s Guild Awards.