Tomb Raider Writer Calls Out All-Male GTA V

Tomb Raider Writer Calls Out All-Male GTA V
Square Enix | Take-Two Interactive

Written by 

Tom Chapman


20th Aug 2021 09:59

No matter what we say, this is still a man's world in the realms of video games. From Doomguy to Kratos, B.J. Blazkowicz to Master Chief, the industry is still largely dominated by male characters. Even The Legend of Zelda is named after a woman, but we run around Hyrule as Link.

Although women like Lara Croft have been flying the flag since the '90s, the video game circuit is still ruled by men, both in front of and behind the scenes.

One of the biggest examples of this is the trio of Franklin, Michael, and Trevor, who made up the roster of Grant Theft Auto V's playable rogues. Now, one of the writers on 2013's acclaimed Tomb Raider reboot has branded GTA's all-male cast as "disappointing". 

What has the Tomb Raider writer said about GTA V?

Speaking out against the male-dominated GTA V, Rhianna Pratchett didn't hold back in an interview with Wired. Discussing GTA V's legacy, Pratchett explained how she was "interested in what the developers that tend to do hypermasculine worlds would do with more female-lead stuff". She went on to admit she was "really disappointed" that GTA V's protagonists were all men.

It's no secret that GTA has previously been called out for its portrayal of women - with the game normally showing them as scantily clad eye candy or prostitutes you could beat up. Discussing the franchise's checkered past with women's issues, Pratchett concluded, "masculinity is not just the domain of men and femininity is not just the domain of women."

Despite arguments that male protagonists might fit this world better than women, Pratchett brought up the likes of Orange is the New Black and The Wire - both of which included powerful women traversing the criminal underworld. Elsewhere, there's Christina Hendricks' role in Netflix's Good Girls, which balances humour and crime capers. All in all, Pratchett asked developers like Rockstar to "take a stab at female-led stories" and move away from their hypermasculine narratives.

Will GTA ever get a female protagonist?

Pratchett's work includes a whole host of female-driven storylines, with her impressive CV boasting BioShock Infinite, 2013's Tomb Raider and its 2015 sequel, and 2008's Mirror's Edge. Despite all of the above, Pratchett says she has no interest in working on something like Call of Duty. Instead, she's more likely to tackle something like another Mirror's Edge or a Red Dead Redemption 2 spinoff focussing on the fan-favourite Sadie Adler.

Ironically, the notion of having a female protagonist has been long-rumoured for the equally long-rumoured GTA 6. Although Rockstar is yet to lift the lid on its mythical next entry, barely a day goes by that the internet isn't flooded by some sort of fanciful leak.

Hidden among the claims of a return to Vice City and an interconnected map that will let you tour the world, the mention of a female playable character repeatedly rears its head. Remembering that a third of male gamers prefer playing as women, there's also a big market there for female protagonists. In an era that the likes of Lara, Horizon's AloyThe Last of Us' Ellie, and FemShep all soar to the top of the charts, it's only a matter of time until GTA gets a woman's touch. 


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Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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