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Old 21-09-22, 05:32   #51
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I honestly miss a sexy, tongue-in-cheek and uber confident Lara Croft. You can be sexy, and confident without being tacky, and over the top.
What she said. I agree.
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Old 21-09-22, 09:51   #52
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I don't think Lara Croft (of all people) needs to be the Platonic Ideal of a female role model upon which the continued existence of society's shoulders should rest.
Okay, but if you're going to say "she can be an inspiring role model in the sense of X, Y and Z", I am going to point out that we have tried this role-model quite extensively for around half a century and it is... completely non-functional for 80-90% of women.

It is also worth asking, if you went around to the creative teams for Arcane, Zero Dawn, Ghost in the Shell, Overwatch, Hunger Games or Rings of Power... who exactly would they nominate to start outputting more functional, down-to-earth feminine role models? Wouldn't they all say "oh, we just want to occupy the Ishtar/Kali/Artemis archetype, there's an ecological niche for that, right?" Aren't they all going to plead to be the wacky, rebellious counter-cultural exception, relative to where the culture was in, say, the 1890s? Wouldn't identical excuses have been forthcoming for Indiana Jones or Kratos up to the point where creative consultants decided they had to get hitched?

Personally, I'm of the opinion that if you really insist on Classic Lara behaving how she do, either you slather everything in a thick layer of parody or she's going to lose the manor. Conversely, if you have a Croft Manor, you might as well put some Crofts in there.
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Old 21-09-22, 13:19   #53
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If that's true, it's ironic, because the movies definitely signalled the beginnings of a shift away from Lara as a kleptomanic sociopath and toward the action-superheroine with daddy-issues that core-era fans seem to hate so much. I guess top-cow was partly responsible for that as well.
I disagree only because the movie clearly established her as classic Lara Tomb Raider who happened to have a clock in her wall start ticking that started the Illuminati mystery.

The whole opening shows that she tomb raiding was her passion, and even the dialog supported that. "So are you still pretending to be a photojournalist?"

Lara was already the tomb raider. Sure, the movie's story revolved around a discovery about her father, but very different from TReboot's entire motive of becoming an archeologist (is she an true archeologist? It mentions school) exonerating her father.
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Old 22-09-22, 00:23   #54
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Okay, but if you're going to say "she can be an inspiring role model in the sense of X, Y and Z", I am going to point out that we have tried this role-model quite extensively for around half a century and it is... completely non-functional for 80-90% of women.

It is also worth asking, if you went around to the creative teams for Arcane, Zero Dawn, Ghost in the Shell, Overwatch, Hunger Games or Rings of Power... who exactly would they nominate to start outputting more functional, down-to-earth feminine role models? Wouldn't they all say "oh, we just want to occupy the Ishtar/Kali/Artemis archetype, there's an ecological niche for that, right?" Aren't they all going to plead to be the wacky, rebellious counter-cultural exception, relative to where the culture was in, say, the 1890s? Wouldn't identical excuses have been forthcoming for Indiana Jones or Kratos up to the point where creative consultants decided they had to get hitched?

Personally, I'm of the opinion that if you really insist on Classic Lara behaving how she do, either you slather everything in a thick layer of parody or she's going to lose the manor. Conversely, if you have a Croft Manor, you might as well put some Crofts in there.
I guess I'm not seeing the problem with having a (dangerous) fun-loving, free-wheeling Lara who goes on adventures without Big Deal Real World Consequences. It doesn't have to be parody or satire, the old Core games (and the Angelina Jolie movies, and the LAU trilogy) weren't parodies.

Lara is essentially a superhero with superhero-universe-rules consequences. She isn't getting sued by the government because she shot up a priceless dig site, or arrested or having her manor seized, because that's not the kind of character or genre she occupies. It's why Spider-Man doesn't get arrested for leaving web goop all over Manhattan, or why Tony Stark in the MCU didn't get sued for literally creating all of his own villains. Nobody wants to see that, so it doesn't happen. Even if a superhero story wants to pay lip service to "consequences" (the plot of Captain America: Civil War, a movie about the consequences of superhero actions, wherein a bunch of superheroes tear up an airport and suffer no consequences for it), it's all temporary or window dressing. At the end of the day it's all about action, fun, thrills, and larger-than-life characters doing cool and amazing stuff.

Likewise for Lara Croft. I'd like to think people (including young girls) can recognize that she's an unrealistic cartoon character but she can still be a role model in the same way Superman or Captain America are. Young girls can look at Lara and say "wow, I want to be tough and athletic and get my hands dirty and go on big adventures" while simultaneously recognizing that dual-wielding pistols (with infinite ammo) with reckless abandon isn't a realistic life-goal. It's not an either-or situation.

Last edited by Xenomrph; 22-09-22 at 00:24.
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Old 22-09-22, 06:16   #55
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Likewise for Lara Croft. I'd like to think people (including young girls) can recognize that she's an unrealistic cartoon character but she can still be a role model in the same way Superman or Captain America are. Young girls can look at Lara and say "wow, I want to be tough and athletic and get my hands dirty and go on big adventures" while simultaneously recognizing that dual-wielding pistols (with infinite ammo) with reckless abandon isn't a realistic life-goal. It's not an either-or situation.

Exactly this.

Surely itís far more suffocating and restrictive to have every female lead character be a paragon of virtue, perfect political correctness and good citizenly deeds. It Feels like going back to the Victorian era.

90s/early 00s Lara was a big role model for little PallasAthene. She actually helped me develop my more assertive side when I was a very shy young girl. Iíll always be grateful for that. I still turned out empathetic and kind (and Iíve managed to never shoot any helicopter pilots).
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Old 22-09-22, 07:20   #56
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I think stunts play an important part in occupying the genre Xenomrph is talking about. I agree, Tomb Raider does best when it ignores realistic consequences and functions as an action game with action game rules. I think it's interesting when Tomb Raider plays with different rules for a one off like AOD or GOL, but the the only legal or logistic repercussions that should be acknowledged are quirky ones that can be resolved with humor and serve as minor inconveniences. The world building about relics or prophecies or myths can dictate the rules of Lara's world. The major things should happen in the mythical and can put even the most hectic real world inconveniences to shame in a humorous way, from the magnitude of her mythical issues.
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Old 22-09-22, 11:13   #57
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Originally Posted by Xenomrph View Post
I guess I'm not seeing the problem with having a (dangerous) fun-loving, free-wheeling Lara who goes on adventures without Big Deal Real World Consequences. It doesn't have to be parody or satire, the old Core games (and the Angelina Jolie movies, and the LAU trilogy) weren't parodies.

Lara is essentially a superhero with superhero-universe-rules consequences. She isn't getting sued by the government because she shot up a priceless dig site, or arrested or having her manor seized, because that's not the kind of character or genre she occupies.
Actually... no? Last Revelation and Angel of Darkness were entirely about the consequences of this kind of behaviour, it's just not being enforced with any consistency at any other point of the series. (Shadow and Underworld, too, to a lesser extent.)

Bringing up superhero media isn't really addressing the point, since I never claimed superhero media were flawless, but the audience (and probably, by extension, in-universe authorities) are generally willing to overlook a few rough edges in superheroes since it's very clear they have pro-social intentions, work hard to atone for their mistakes, and tend to be a net plus in terms of lives saved. Core-era Lara hadn't really been ticking those boxes.

(Also, FWIW superheroes are actually pretty good cases of the media trend toward babysitting I've been talking about- the latest incarnation of Robin is Batman's biological son, Pepper pressures Tony to spend more time with his daughter, and Young Justice is just crammed with married couples and custody arrangements.)

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Young girls can look at Lara and say "wow, I want to be tough and athletic and get my hands dirty and go on big adventures" while simultaneously recognizing that dual-wielding pistols (with infinite ammo) with reckless abandon isn't a realistic life-goal.
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Surely it’s far more suffocating and restrictive to have every female lead character be a paragon of virtue, perfect political correctness and good citizenly deeds. It Feels like going back to the Victorian era.
You're not hearing me. My point is that the whole "strong independent boss bitch who flies solo" role-model angle is also completely unrealistic and socially destructive. It's unrealistic and socially destructive in less immediately obvious ways than breaking into a Denny's with a bazooka would be, but it still carves great big chunks outta your birthrates and makes it difficult or impossible to sustain civilisation. It just takes most of a century for the full effects to manifest.


Does every female lead character need to be a Demeter or Hestia? No, in the same sense that not literally every woman in your society needs to get married and have 2.35 children. But until we have an official state-sponsored Commission On Role-Model Allocation, I am going to suggest that the Tomb Raider franchise is probably as good a place to start turning the tide as any. In which case I would suggest going in one of two directions:
  1. Have the classic badass-ice-queen-sociopath Lara, and then have the story make it abundantly clear that her own behaviour and choices systematically destroys her family, community, nation and world.
  2. Take the reboot-era socially-conscious-and-responsible Lara and carry it to it's logical conclusion- a version who gets together with an upstanding dude and produces heirs to carry on her family name and mission.
A major part of the reason why the reboots have been so frustrating is because they've been vacillating between the two approaches and not doing either terribly well, which makes Lara feel tortured and schizophrenic at the same time she's not actually developed in any consistent direction.

I understand the fondness for the past- everyone is conservative about the things that they love- and I know the world is scary and it feels like we could use some harmless escapism. I am not saying there is nothing about the franchise to like. At the gameplay and production level I have a lot of fondness for the classics. But in terms of theme and message, you're trying to return to a world that there is no returning to.

.

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Old 22-09-22, 23:33   #58
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Actually... no? Last Revelation and Angel of Darkness were entirely about the consequences of this kind of behaviour, it's just not being enforced with any consistency at any other point of the series. (Shadow and Underworld, too, to a lesser extent.)
That's right, just like the superhero example, the series isn't about consequences or realism - it might pay lip service to it as a sort of thought experiment, but it immediately walks it back.

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Bringing up superhero media isn't really addressing the point, since I never claimed superhero media were flawless, but the audience (and probably, by extension, in-universe authorities) are generally willing to overlook a few rough edges in superheroes since it's very clear they have pro-social intentions, work hard to atone for their mistakes, and tend to be a net plus in terms of lives saved. Core-era Lara hadn't really been ticking those boxes.
Isn't Lara often trying to literally save the planet at times?

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You're not hearing me. My point is that the whole "strong independent boss bitch who flies solo" role-model angle is also completely unrealistic and socially destructive. It's unrealistic and socially destructive in less immediately obvious ways than breaking into a Denny's with a bazooka would be, but it still carves great big chunks outta your birthrates and makes it difficult or impossible to sustain civilisation. It just takes most of a century for the full effects to manifest.
I'm pretty sure no-consequences big-action Lara Croft in the style of the classic days (or LUA trilogy, or GoL/ToO) isn't going to bring about the downfall of civilization. Heck, given the way we're overpopulating and destroying the planet, if fictional character Lara Croft manages to somehow lower birth rates and course-correct what we've been doing to the world then that's probably a net positive.

I dare say a lot of people don't get all of their role model traits from a single role model, or they pick and choose what traits they want to emulate. Someone can say "I want to be tough and smart and go on adventures like Lara Croft" while simultaneously saying "I would also like to have a family some day" without requiring Lara Croft herself to narratively do those things herself. Again, people can aspire to be like *parts* of Lara Croft without her being the Platonic Ideal of what all role models should aspire to be, it isn't all-or-nothing.

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Originally Posted by Pelagius View Post
Does every female lead character need to be a Demeter or Hestia? No, in the same sense that not literally every woman in your society needs to get married and have 2.35 children. But until we have an official state-sponsored Commission On Role-Model Allocation, I am going to suggest that the Tomb Raider franchise is probably as good a place to start turning the tide as any. In which case I would suggest going in one of two directions:
  1. Have the classic badass-ice-queen-sociopath Lara, and then have the story make it abundantly clear that her own behaviour and choices systematically destroys her family, community, nation and world.
  2. Take the reboot-era socially-conscious-and-responsible Lara and carry it to it's logical conclusion- a version who gets together with an upstanding dude and produces heirs to carry on her family name and mission.
Strongly disagree with both of those, they aren't what classic Lara (or LAU Lara, or GoL/ToO Lara) are about, and her formula doesn't need to change. Why on earth would I want to play through an adventure where Lara turns into a tragic hero where her life gets ruined? What's the fun in that?

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I understand the fondness for the past- everyone is conservative about the things that they love- and I know the world is scary and it feels like we could use some harmless escapism. I am not saying there is nothing about the franchise to like. At the gameplay and production level I have a lot of fondness for the classics. But in terms of theme and message, you're trying to return to a world that there is no returning to.

.
I absolutely can return to a world of escapism and fun and no consequences, I do it all the time. I'm doing it right now as I replay Tomb Raider 1. It's fiction, the whole point is that it's escapism. The old games still exist and can be played and enjoyed as escapist fun, and future games can similarly feature classic Lara escapist fun elements without devolving into parody. The Uncharted games feature an escapist fun no-consequences protagonist going on wild adventures and just had a game release earlier this year, it's not like such things are "wrong" or "bad" or "can't/shouldn't be done".

But this begs the question, what does any of this have to do with whether Lara Croft is sexy or not?

Last edited by Xenomrph; 22-09-22 at 23:35.
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Old 23-09-22, 04:59   #59
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It's unrealistic and socially destructive in less immediately obvious ways than breaking into a Denny's with a bazooka would be, but it still carves great big chunks outta your birthrates and makes it difficult or impossible to sustain civilization .

.
Do you really sit around playing video games while thinking about whether or not the played-in universe could... sustain civilization?
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Old 23-09-22, 15:30   #60
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That's right, just like the superhero example, the series isn't about consequences or realism - it might pay lip service to it as a sort of thought experiment, but it immediately walks it back.
It might, but I don't consider this a particular virtue of the core-era timeline. If players are going to (justifiably) complain about the ludonarrative dissonance of R-Lara, e.g, executing unarmed prisoners despite being ostensibly compassionate or shrugging off impalement despite being ostensibly frail and mortal, then... I think it's fair to complain about the ludonarrative dissonance of AoD Lara gunning down security guards despite being on the lam after being framed for murder.

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Isn't Lara often trying to literally save the planet at times?
No, she's generally trying to chase after a particular artifact and winds up saving the world as a kind of side-effect. (She also demonstrates a clear willingness to commit mass murder well before the plot gives any indication that the world might be at stake, especially in TR 3. But anyhoo.)

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But this begs the question, what does any of this have to do with whether Lara Croft is sexy or not?
"What does women advertising reproductive fertility have to do with birthrates?" 10/10, very big-brain take. (Arguments pertaining to overpopulation are several decades out of date, by the way.)

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I'm pretty sure no-consequences big-action Lara Croft in the style of the classic days (or LUA trilogy, or GoL/ToO) isn't going to bring about the downfall of civilization. Heck, given the way we're overpopulating and destroying the planet... ...I dare say a lot of people don't get all of their role model traits from a single role model, or they pick and choose what traits they want to emulate. Someone can say "I want to be tough and smart and go on adventures like Lara Croft" while simultaneously saying...
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Do you really sit around playing video games while thinking about whether or not the played-in universe could... sustain civilization?
If you want to make the argument that tomb raider exists purely as fantasy escapism, go ahead, but then don't go telling me that Lara Croft is any capacity a role model.

This is going in circles. Like I already said, everyone who panders to the "action grrrrl" archetype is going to plead to be the wacky counter-cultural exception. And yeah, sure, you can always go back and play the classics. No-one can stop you. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and all that.
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