Lara Croft Shows Hollywood How It’s Done

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Entertainment
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s Monday. I’m a little tired and not feeling too deep, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite recent videogame discoveries with you: the trailer for the upcoming re-launch of Tomb Raider.

The First Lara

Lara Croft c.1997

Many of you may know Tomb Raider’s anatomically-exaggerated heroine, Lara Croft, from earlier games in the series, or from the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie. For those of you who don’t, she’s roughly a tougher, grittier, female Indiana Jones. She’s widely recognized as one of videogaming’s first strong female leads, but her skimpy outfits and enhanced “assets” drew a fair bit of criticism from those who questioned why a strong female character had to look like a stereotypical teenage male fantasy in order to appeal to serious gamers. And it’s hard not to agree with them. I’ve been a gamer most of my life, and was once a teenage male, and I can tell you two things: First, I care more about gameplay than the main character’s appearance, and second, I always preferred my fantasies to be more realistically-proportioned.

More to the point, though, as a male I don’t have a problem playing through a good game as a female character—and she doesn’t have to defy gravity to keep my interest. Gameplay comes first; character gender isn’t all that important—and I suspect most gamers would agree with me.

The new Lara

Lara Croft, 2011

Which is why I’m so excited about the new Lara. Yes, she’s designed to be attractive, but not unrealistically so. She’s a gritty, determined survivor—everything she was supposed to be initially. This time around, though, she has a wider emotional range and is far more vulnerable—and not in a stereotypically weak female way. She’s a young woman reacting realistically to an unfamiliar and dangerous situation, relying on strength, intelligence and self-reliance to survive.

But I digress. I said I wasn’t going to get too deep, and didn’t want to delve into gender stereotypes or the perception of women in media. Here’s the point: Videogames are big business. 2010 domestic videogame sales alone rang in at $18.58 billion—nearly twice Hollywood’s $10.5 billion box office gross. And the best games now attract A-list talent, from voice actors and musicians to writers, directors and composers.

Videogames have come a long way since the ‘80s. Story, character, plot, visuals, audio, gameplay—all are more sophisticated and engaging than ever. Budgets for games rival those for Hollywood movies, and game releases are now high-profile events, involving massive press coverage and trailers that look as good as, if not better than, anything Hollywood puts out.

Don’t take my word for it, check out the new Tomb Raider trailer here.

If you’re as amazed as I was (remember, this is for a videogame), you can see how it was done here.

And if you’re really interested, you can surf over to the official Tomb Raider website here.

Pay attention, Hollywood, ‘cause you just got schooled.

  1. jaystonee1 says:

    Reblogged this on Jaystonee on the Program and commented:
    Truth is spoken within every statement.

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