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Rhianna Pratchett Wants Games to Write Female Characters Like The Wire, Not GTA

Rhianna Pratchett, famous writer of Mirror's Edge and the Tomb Raider reboot, wants the next Grand Theft Auto game to try something new.

Rhianna Pratchett, accomplished video game writer known for her work on the rebooted Tomb Raider trilogy, Mirror’s Edge and Overlord, was disappointed in Grand Theft Auto V’s protagonists.

During an interview with Wired, Pratchett said that she found Grand Theft Auto V’s story to be less than compelling due to its focus on masculine characters. “I am interested in what the developers that tend to do hypermasculine worlds would do with more female-lead stuff. I remember being really disappointed with GTA V that the three characters were all guys,” says Pratchett.

Pratchett goes on to elaborate that while the Grand Theft Auto series has often explored the concept of masculinity, the author finds this approach wanting. “I thought well, masculinity is not just the domain of men and femininity is not just the domain of women. It felt like it would have been more interesting to me to see a woman operating in that kind of world because there were some great female characters in The Wire that kind of had to operate in a masculine criminal underworld.”

Pratchett goes on to say, “I’d like those developers that excel at the hypermasculine stuff to take a stab at female-lead stories and look at the things that would come out of that, the textures and nuances and all sorts of interesting stuff that we haven’t seen before because there hasn’t been a lot of 18/M rated, first-person or third-person shooters with a female lead.”

Grand Theft Auto’s campaign tells the story of a retired bank-robber, Michael de Santa, whose forced to delve back into the seedy criminal underworld he left behind after destroying the mansion of drug lord Martin Madrazo. While trying to earn enough cash to subdue the crime boss, Michael drags gang member Franklin Clinton and dangerous convict Trevor Phillips into the chaos as all three men become entangled with various syndicates and corrupt government agencies. The next entry in the franchise, Grand Theft Auto VI, is rumored to feature a female protagonist.

Rhianna Pratchett has had a long and storied career as a video game writer. Her first game, Beyond Divinity, was released in 2004 while her most recent writing credit can be found in 2020’s Surgeon Simulator 2. She is most commonly known for her work on the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy, which reimagined hero Lara Croft in a more realistic and relatable manner. 2013’s Tomb Raider is widely praised for its compelling narrative and thoughtful reworking of Lara’s character.

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