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Tomb Raider - On “Writing”

I have to write something about this latest drama. Have you heard yet? Have you heard? 

Go and read this interview with Tomb Raider executive producer Ron Rosenberg -

Now, a million people will write about this today. And if a million don’t, then they should. But a lot of those people will be talking directly about the harmful message that this Tomb Raider game seems to be carrying, and what it says about the treatment of female characters in games. There will be pieces about the notion that a male gamer audience can only relate to a female character if they feel like they are protecting them. There will be pieces about rape. 

Better writers, and better suited writers, will talk about those things. I just want to briefly talk about why this shit keeps happening. I want to talk about writing. And I need to be brutal here, so forgive me.

The vast majority of these idiots who make these games can’t write. They can’t tell stories. They can’t construct proper narrative arcs or realistically flesh out a character. They can’t write meaningful dialogue. They are not writers, but they think they are. The reason why they think they are is that no-one challenges the quality of their work. They are only writing games. They’re allowed to turn out shit and call it a job well done.

Think about it. If a great game is released, but the writing is terrible, how does that affect the overall critical take on that game? Hardly at all. And I’m not saying it should. I’m saying that the criteria by which we judge a video game barely touches on that whole, messy writing part of the equation.

Gears of War - sells a ton, critically acclaimed, terrible writing. Modern Warfare - same. Halo - same. Almost everything - same. But they sell in huge numbers and clock up high percentages on Metacritic. And so these “writers” coast by, believing that their work has value, believing that they are writers who can write. Hey, if your shitty work doesn’t negatively effect ANYTHING about your product, then how will you ever know how shitty it is?

But here’s the problem. If you’re not a writer who is constantly struggling to write well, and constantly questioning the quality of everything you do, then you are also not a writer who looks deeply into what you are writing about. You don’t pay attention to the messages within your work. You’re not asking yourself what you’re saying to your audience.

I genuinely believe that the writing team of that Tomb Raider game will today be asking themselves some questions about what they’ve turned out. The reason why they’re only asking those questions today is because they are not good writers. They’re only writing because someone gave them that specific job. They don’t have any talent for it, and they don’t love it. I have to believe that, because the alternative is ugly.

This is Stephen King, from his book On Writing:

“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair–the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.”

Video game “writers” come lightly to that blank page every single day.

  1. esotericadelmystica reblogged this from thegodofgames and added:
    Tomb Raider - On “Writing” I have to write something about this latest drama. Have you heard yet? Have you heard? Go and...
  2. gothamriver reblogged this from thegodofgames
  3. lordofgoats reblogged this from thegodofgames and added:
    Stephen King for summing up...easily my main problem with
  4. megazeo reblogged this from littlekiwi37 and added:
    I hadn’t heard much about this game since it was first announced a while back. Reading this now… This is just idiotic...
  5. littlekiwi37 reblogged this from basket-of-arrows and added:
    This is disgusting. I encourage anyone who thought they were gonna buy this game, to not buy this game. Even if you love...
  6. basket-of-arrows reblogged this from thegodofgames and added:
  7. journeyofagamer reblogged this from thegodofgames
  8. latergamer reblogged this from thegodofgames and added:
    One should mention that it’s also the method of writing games that’s somewhat “flawed”(I’m using flawed in quotes...
  9. dropkickpikachu reblogged this from bapeonion
  10. rinnosuke reblogged this from inoshi
  11. inoshi reblogged this from bapeonion
  12. kunedon reblogged this from cattylala
  13. chekhovs-bouncehouse reblogged this from weeaboo-chan
  14. mysterypoodle reblogged this from weeaboo-chan
  15. cicadas reblogged this from weeaboo-chan
  16. toastradamus reblogged this from weeaboo-chan and added:
    I wanna get into writing for games so I can actually contribute by making a fucking good narrative and help stop shit...
  17. cattylala reblogged this from bapeonion
  18. weeaboo-chan reblogged this from bapeonion and added:
    goddamnit this is why i want to get into games so i can fight to change this misogynist bullshit
  19. thatninja reblogged this from pixandwords
  20. bapeonion reblogged this from thegodofgames and added:
    “writers” come lightly...blank page every single day. tldr video game writers
  21. pixandwords reblogged this from madgearsolid
  22. madgearsolid reblogged this from thegodofgames
  23. hartmannsyoukai reblogged this from konekosilvertail
  24. byebabysayonara reblogged this from crossyloid and added:
    jesus can I punch this guy.
  25. scuttlebuggy reblogged this from sweetguts
  26. onefortheangels reblogged this from thegodofgames and added:
    King’s “On Writing” deserves
  27. andkatiemakesfive reblogged this from thegodofgames
About Me

Robert Florence

Comedian, Writer, Wrestling Promoter, Musician and GOD OF GAMES

Favorite Quote

I am the God of Games!

-Robert Florence