View Full Version : Is Lara a good role model for women?
I'm writing a Dissertation about women and how they are represented in computer games and I'm focusing on Lara Croft. I'm interested in finding out what it is about Lara Croft that makes her so popular with both male and female fans. It would be really good to hear some of your views on this subject.
Thanks for your help
Welcome to the forum, Kate http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif
That's a very interesting subject which will surely get the attention it deserves and also more answers in our General Chat section http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif
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I grew up playing these games since I was a little girl, and Lara has always been somewhat of a rolemodel for me, she is courageous, intellegent and has an emotional and hysical strength often lacking in some female game characters. She has a sense of humour and never, ever lets a male get one up on her.
She's determined but still has a sense of fun. I just find her a great character all round, and admire some of her traits.
I love Lara Croft mainly because, she's female, she kicks butt, AND-and most importantly-she is intellegent. She isn't just some bimbo who can shoot a gun, but she has knowledge and skills.
Not to mention the fact that the whole history aspect always interested me as a child.
Lara was really the 1st strong female figure I was exposed to. I was around 8 when the first game came out, and I would always watch my brother play, and I remembered just loving the FMV's and how Lara was witty and sarcastic, aswell as strong and beautiful. She appeals to everyone because she has a trait for everyone.
All people see something incredible in Lara Croft because she has so many traits that make her such an incredible character.
She is an excellent role model, because she is independant (something ALL females should strive to be) and she depends on her wits to get further in her exploits.
Of course she is, people seem to think if your beautiful with big breast's your dumb and if your an intelligent woman then your just plain looking and simple.
Lara is a mix of all of that, beautiful, intelligent, strong, sexy and stylish. What a woman should be http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif
I like her in the games because she is an indepandant person who can handle their own business. But I hate how the Smith Brothers and the movies were so obsessed with her tits!!! How rude!!!
Who wouldn't want to be like her. She is intelligent, beautiful, witty, and rich. She has it all.
Lara was the first female charachter to be non-optional in a computergame. She was the right gal at the right time - early 90s "girl power" etc
If you want good info on how lara works/appeals to people then i cant recomend enough getting 'lara croft : lethal and loaded' its a dvd/vhs that you can get from places like amazon.co.uk/com and in some well stocked high street shops.
Its fairly cheap and is an excellent source of info for fans as well.(i got mine in Edinburgh for about £5)
Thanks Crux2 I'll check that out.
What I've gained from this question so far is that Lara is seen as a role model due to her representation as a strong independent female. But how do you feel about Lara Croft the sex symbol? Does this image take away from this positive message about strong women?
its clear that it helps sell lara to some people, but most of the genuine charachter fans like the personality.
AHA - excellent example, look at the wonderful Ms Jolie.
Obviously she's the planets most beuti... sorry i mean obviously she has looks but its the charity work and her personal integrity that get people's real respect.
Lara's ahem, features had to be over exaggerated in TR 1 because of low quality graphics. You needed this to have a clear seperation in those days when vision was, well "blurry". Lara was perfect for the time (early 90s, girl power etc) and they couldnt just change Lara because her figure was going to get noticed now.
NOTE - lara was nominated for "ambassadoor for British scientific excellence" NOT "nice piece of eye candy 98"
ALSO - buy the "AOD official companion" that thing has a wealth of info on the 90s phenomenon, charachter design, interviews from creators etc.
Her personality is great but her figure is fabulous. lol! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/clown.gif :cool:
Frankly I think she's pretty unethical: raiding tombs and preserving their contents by giving her prizes to museums is one thing, but destroying antiquities and endangered species is quite another! ;)
Of course, a lot of the time she just keeps the stuff for herself anyway -- and that's even worse -- everything should go to museums for analysis and preservation for future generations to further our understanding of our past.
[ 09. March 2005, 09:56: Message edited by: Gambit37 ]
Lara is an excellent role model, she has spunk, she is highly intelligent, independent, strong and she is also beautiful without looking like a plastic barbie doll; she doesn't need to have a man but she is not a man-hater either, she goes on archaelogical adventures, saves the world from evil and still has time to do her hair and make up (the AOD Lara is obviously wearing eye liner and lipstick). What woman wouldn't want to be like her.
[ 10. March 2005, 04:26: Message edited by: Sophia Leigh ]
Lara is an amazing character and is one of a kind. She is deteminded and exremely tough, smart, sexy, kicks ass, has braided hair (haha), holsters 2 guns, and did i mention sexy?
Lara is a ideal idol and an even better game character that makes each and every one fall in love with her for every trait that she acquires.
Eh... she's a bunch of polygons. How can she be a role rodel? Girls need a real woman with real contributions and strengths to look up to. She's strong, intelligent, but who cares. Even I can make up another cookie cutter character like her.
OMG! Can't believe what bumb1ebee said, I have a weak heart!
Anyway... Lara is a perfect role model. What else can I say?? I can't believe Im so in luv with her and she is just, like bumb1e said, a... bunch of polygons. *cryyy* Truth is so cruel.
Its only true if you let yourself believe it
How many of the positive responses are from women?
Well, I see Lara as a great woman. Specially because she is smart and independent. All woman should be like this. :cool:
Are there any other computer games that you enjoy as much/more then Tomb Raider? (This question is aimed particularly at the girls but boys feel free to answer all responses are very helpful) And any game characters you also admire?
Thanks for your replies so far http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif
i'm not a lass or owt but Lara is the only dedicated computer game charachter that i really like/care about long term.
There are loads of charachters in games today but few are developed as well as Lara. Today gamers have a much wider selection to chose from and you tend to hear about the titles - Halo2, GTA, SOF2, AVP, command and conquer etc. Games that have well known charachters (with long-term,dedicated fanbases) are usually part of an older series.
Lara is probably the best example but things like Snake from the Metal Gear series started out early. To a lesser extent you could include Sonic or Mario but they can't really compare well because the games are just too different.
(what i mean by dedicated is that Lara began on computers rather than was transfered there from already popular books, films, stories etc)
ALSO, when/where/how/what/who will we be able to read the article your putting together/
probably shouldn't have ended that with who...
[ 16. March 2005, 17:27: Message edited by: crux2 ]
OK, I've got to mention at this point. There's a great focus on game characters, as if they are the reason people play games or are encouraged to play games. For myself, I don't care about Lara as a character, or any other game character. I play games because of good gameplay. Simple as that. If Tomb Raider had any other central character (male or female, good or bad), I would still have got into the games. The fact that Lara's character happens to be appealing in some ways carries no weight in regard to AOD. In other words, her appearance hasn't made me play it any more than the two times I have since buying it on release.
So, it's not about the character, and there are certainly none I admire in any of the games I have.
Its down to the individual gamer.
I'm a sucker for a great story regardless of graphics or gameplay, but as Neteru pointed out there are plenty of people who buy a game based on its gameplay regardless.
But! Just ask yourself -
How well do you think a game using an unaltered AOD engine would do giving its curret reputation?
Even with such a poorly finished engine AOD still sold loads of copies and I doubt thats due to good gameplay, its due to the Tomb Raider reputation and Lara's ability to sell games.
A HUGH percentage of gamers will definately be influenced by a games charachter and this is a DEAD CERTAINTY when talking about popular charachter like Lara.
Would TR be popular if lara was a VASTLY overweight, psycotic who spoke with a high picthed welsh accent and enjoyed graphically killing and eating its enemies and swearing every other sentence?
I think its pretty clear that the charachter does matter, even if it doesnt matter as much to you than the next person.
(no offence to the Welsh)
Role models don't have to be real... they just have to be something to look up to.
Years ago, before this electronic age we now live in. A person became famous through word-of-mouth, they would become hero's to people. Awesome role models to aspire to.
Actually meeting the person who is just an attaining role model, often causes the fantasy and innocence of it to be shattered.
Leonardo De Vici for example, for an inventor is one of those people you aspire to. Amazingly creative, with thoughts and ideas before his time, only held back by his imagination (and era he was born to).
The other side of the coin, is that he was infamously unreliable. Quite reclusive, with more interest in the world than other people.
From most accounts he was quite quick to temper.
Sometimes it is best to have a fantasy to look up to, than reality to fall to. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif
I like Lara for alot of reasons, some because the game was a breakthrough. Had me captivated watching Cybergame (on ONE) all through 95, just wondering how the heck they could make a decent control system. Through-out the late 90s it was because she had grown with a personality with some interesting adventures.
At the turn of the century, because a little bit of myself was put into the title by getting to work behind the scenes to help shape the later PS games.
Lara for me is not what you want a role model to be. She is really the apitomy of the English female..
Intelligent, but it is used in order to her own ends. There is no remorse over who she hurts or has to push to get her way.
Cold, Calculated, and Hypocritical. She fains that things should never fall to the wrong hands, yet rather than studying, she always quite violently takes what she wants/needs.
Have you ever noticed how many counteries she has killed people with-in. Not everytime could she call it self defense... she is a killer, with no remorse. FGS she kicks some poor guard into a furnace in one of the games!!
Lara is awesome, but seriously not what you want to have every girl running around like. It is hard enough with half of the girls around as devious as they are.
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