Before We Jump to Any Conclusions

Recently the gaming industry has been abuzz with arguments about whether or not the Hitman trailer is sexist or whether or not it is “ok” for Lara Croft to face potential rape on an island filled with men. For whatever reason, it seems that the community has forgotten that the same freedoms that give us the right to oppose such occurrences are also reserved by those who wrote them.

The Hitman trailer shows a team of hit women, if you will, approaching Agent 47’s motel dressed in the garb of kindly nuns. Then with very little warning (as I would assume appropriate) they discard their sacred robes and brandish a vast assortment of killing tools, the largest being an RPG. Without writing a screenplay for you, rocket nun blasts the motel room that is mysteriously empty, then Agent 47 emerges from behind them and dispatches the murderous force, and the trailer ends.

Arguments on the side of sexism in this trailer claim that the trailer portrays violence involving and against women that is offensive. However, upon reflection I see things differently. Violence against women is defined, in most places, as violence committed as a means of diminishing or repressing said female victims. Agent 47 does nothing of the sort in this trailer. His place of living is attacked with lethal force and, in response, he deals with the threat. Honestly we can’t have expected him to merely disarm the ladies. And as an act of compassion he leans down and closes the eyes of the last woman slain; the ole “thoughtful assassin” trope.

Agent 47 not only pays his respects after he has eliminated the “nuns”, he does so without any sexuality to his actions whatsoever. If you don’t believe me please look for yourself.

When it comes to good old Lara Croft, she is on an island, inhabited by savage, filthy men. What else would you expect? A woman in that environment would have to deal with that possibility. Why do you think Joel is protecting Ellie in Naughty Dog’s upcoming The Last of Us? Because not only is she a child, but men in that environment would be animals. As a man I acknowledge our history of brutality and savage atrocities against women. Having said that; even if Lara did get sexually accosted (which she didn’t) on an island full of savage men, I would have to see the context and application of this event before I accused the writers of being senseless.

On top of all of those facts, the head of Crystal Dynamics, Darrell Gallagher, said today that, “Sexual assault of any kind is categorically not a theme that we cover in this game.” On top of that even, the footage, or scene from the game that is in question, has already been seen. The “Crossroads” trailer shows exactly what happens and, correct me if I am wrong, Lara not only denies her potential attacker she kills him. The scene in question begins at 2:15.

Serves him right. How could anybody be offended by that? If anything, I feel insulted that all men in that situation/environment are portrayed as pigs.

Honestly I feel like people need to calm down a little bit when it comes to games/movies with any type of sexual abuse or harassment portrayed. Yes sometimes it is tasteless and vulgar, but other times it is done sensibly and respectfully. In this case I think we forgot that these things can be handled appropriately.