A killer is born: On ludonarrative dissonance in Tomb Raider

Lara Croft’s origin story ends up being appropriate, just not the way the developers had envisioned.

Lara Croft’s origin story is supposedly one of survival. The introduction shows an innocent female archaeologist and her friends heading for adventure and fame. Circumstances quickly deteriorate, and the first Lara does in the game is to set herself on fire, fall several meters down onto a metal pin, and brutally pull it out from her side. The sequence is emotional and well executed, the subtext being that this hurts Lara mentally as much as physically. Before the credits roll, the screen fades to white and the text a survivor is born appears in bold, rough letters. And it might have worked. She has undoubtedly become tougher and more experienced. But she has also become a cold-​blooded, psychopathic killer.

Continue reading “A killer is born: On ludonarrative dissonance in Tomb Raider”