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Some of the Reasons for New Lara's Praise Are a Bit Disturbing

The new Lara Croft is now upon us. She's less sexy and experiences things a little differently this time around. She's praised as a massive improvement, in large part due to her appearances. She's "sensible" now.

Smaller breasts, no short-shorts, no cleavage...but what makes the opposite of those not sensible? If a real woman can make the conscious decision to wear short-shorts and show some cleavage of her large bossoms, why can't game designers make the same without being hassled? And is the suggestion that having large breasts are some sort of negative or impossibility? There are lots of women with real large is NOT a conscious decision, unless you get implants. There is a very serious contradiction here; feminists and white knights will rant all about a woman's right to dress however she wants, but then a virtual woman shows some cleavage and it 'detracts' from the game and "shows dat our industree needs tah grow up!!"

She was made hollywood attractive, and there's nothing wrong with that. Kratos doesn't have love handles, Drake doesn't have a lazy eye, and Master Chief isn't overweight; male characters get the same treatment without the batting of an eye. In face of that argument, people go on about how that isn't meant to be sexual. Whose fault is it really that it's not considered sexual when a male character is made attractive? Drake seduces 2 women on a Sunday, Kratos gets his jollies in every last one of his adventures, etc. Their looks are meant to have a relationship with their sexual potency. Just because it's a heterosexual male dominated industry in which THE VIEWER (not the designer) views the female characters as sexy and not the males, doesn't mean that there is any more or less sexuality to how they're designed. Even in the case where it serves as a means to be a macho mega-fantasy, that still leaves us with a sexualized character, stopped from being seen as attractive only by the viewer's own view.

Before we even had much of the game figured out, people were already praising the move to make her a smaller cup size and to cover up more of her nasty, nasty body. It makes me seriously question if the reception would have been anywhere near the same if the game was completely the same but with the old Lara Croft model. Are we really seeing a "progressive" version of Lara Croft or just calmed down versions of prudes, white knights, and insecure women?

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zerocrossing1894d ago

Because of the apparent sexism in the industry feminist are pushing for female characters to be portrayed in a more shall we say "positive" light, therefore developers need to be seen to be doing something to put an end to accusations that female characters are being overly sexualised and simply portrayed as eye candy for male gamers to gawk at.

I think until we have these issues of sexism and the misrepresentation of women sorted out in the real world, it's probably only going to get worse or better for games, depending on your thoughts on the matter of course.

I must say though, I don't like the idea of any form of creativity being hampered by petty arguments of misrepresentation, especial when the same could be said of the other side.

Bimkoblerutso1894d ago

I'm really just more concerned about the lack of variety in our games nowadays, and this new Lara, whether one believes sexism is an issue in the industry or not, is at least a decent change of pace from the buxom, ridiculously proportioned, inappropriately garbed female characters we get in 90% of our games these days.

And yes, the same can be said about male characters. Only when it's about male characters it doesn't have the added controversy of being a "sex" issue, so no one really becomes defensive in the process. Male characters are portrayed with a very specific, idealized body structure in the vast majority of games these days as well, and I for one am more than open to some characters that break the mold if for nothing else than some variety.

Ravenor1894d ago

Ever seen a Calvin klein ad?

dungeonboss1894d ago

Eh, while I can't speak for other reviewers out there, I think Lara is far more attractive in this newest game - she's been developed to look lean, toned, and physically fit. I think the developers hit a nice balance of making an attractive female without somehow offending a large majority of feminists and "white knights". It's a tough feat to appease both sides of the argument, and I think Crystal Dynamics succeeded.

Kalowest1894d ago

Sorry but i like tig ol' bitties, in video game and in real life.

SilentNegotiator1894d ago

Why worry what feminists and white knights think, though?

The real issue I take is that immediately upon seeing her, people called out how "progressive" it was for the industry. Granted, my blog would have been more effective if I posted months ago.

Baka-akaB1893d ago (Edited 1893d ago )

Yeah ironically the new lara is sexy , while the old one did absolutely nothing for me . She looked even worse than some of the ridiculous boob job and surgical "strikes" of the 90s from the very first games , both in cgi cutscenes and in game , and on illustrations .

I dont see the new lara as a way of making it less appealing and trying to be less sexy , especially with the way she abused moanings in trailers .

More bad ass and real maybe , in a John mclane way , but that's it . No progress or regression on the subject

SageHonor1894d ago (Edited 1894d ago )

I believe this Lara looks better. Mainly because of what Dungeonboss said. Also, Lara in this games gets beat up and thrown around like a rag doll. Have you SEEN some of her death scenes? They don't hold back and that's a good thing. She gets roughed up and pushes her way through. Also, you should know that there are people out there that dislikes the new Lara because she DOESN'T have big breast and short shorts...

As far as big breast, short shorts, skimpy outfits, etc goes. It depends. If I'm supposed to take a female character seriously but she has big breast that looks disproportionate to her body then I just find it silly. Sometimes we see characters like this created to simply pander which is what people truly have a problem with. Also, trying too hard to make the character look sexy. However, there isn't anything " wrong " with big breast.

Why did you lump prudes with white knights and feminist? Those aren't synonymous with each other. I'm prudish but I've never taken offense to any game character design choices. Developers can do whatever they want with characters.

Christopher1894d ago (Edited 1894d ago )

Here's what we know.

-- They found an actress to represent the new Lara Croft both physically and audibly.

-- They modeled the new Lara Croft after her proportions.

-- Old Lara Croft models were found to fit a CGI model designed prior to any person was used as a base model. None of the models found have the same proportions as the CGI model Lara and have been dressed up as best as possible to match the CGI Lara.

-- Old Lara Croft models were also not used as voice actors in the games. It was two different people. Most were even restricted from even speaking at press events while in costume.

-- When hiking, let alone exploring, it is never recommended that one wear short shorts or tight clothing that leaves legs or torso body parts exposed.

So, it seems to me what they did is make a more realistic Lara that is still beautiful and strong rather than basing it on a fairly unrealistic CGI mock-up from the 90s. They based it on a real woman, used her real voice, and had her act out the scenes in person.

Seems like a good change to me.

coolbeans1894d ago (Edited 1894d ago )

When looking at this info, I can't help but roll my eyes at the "She's 'sensible' now" part of the blog.

SilentNegotiator1894d ago

The issues people took weren't with the clothing and model weren't about practicality, though. They were about how they were horrible for women and represented how "immature" the game community was.

Not what I meant by "sensible"

Christopher1894d ago

***They were about how they were horrible for women and represented how "immature" the game community was.***

Well, the gaming community is immature. At least a good portion of it is.

I would have to agree that utilizing a real-world figure as the basis for the character also does make it a stronger stance for not only strong lead women but also for women in the gaming industry wherein most leads are male.

Lara Croft is one of the best female leads we have in gaming for showing that men aren't needed to save them, but she was cooked up in the mind of male dominated atmosphere, even moreso in the 1990s than it is now, that obvious was tailored to appeal to a male dominated gaming culture.

By rebooting it and utilizing a more realistic design approach to capture a person as the new Lara, they are improving the idea behind it and showing that a beautiful woman who is strong and put into difficult, though 'fantastic', situations is capable of being developed and portrayed in a manner that is more mature--meaning, advanced with time and experience--than what they have done before.

coolbeans1894d ago (Edited 1894d ago )

You're going to have to expound upon what you meant then because the sentences before that portion focus on her new appearance and experiences, which in fact are more sensible given what's been provided by cgood.

SilentNegotiator1894d ago (Edited 1894d ago )

Realism and not pandering to your main audience (which hetero males still are) are not "maturing" factors.

"Possessing or displaying prudence"
It's one of like 2, maybe 3 meanings that make sense in the situation.

coolbeans1894d ago

As I figured from the beginning, that makes what I said in my first comment a legitimate reaction to the context in the blog.

Christopher1894d ago (Edited 1894d ago )

***Realism and not pandering to your main audience (which hetero males still are) are not "maturing" factors. ***

Realism is a maturing factor, actually. And, it's not pandering to your main audience anymore than it is pandering to women by having a woman write the story of Lara Croft in the reboot.

You seem to think the goal was only to present Lara as a different type of 'sex object' or something of the sort. The fact is, their goal was not to make her less beautiful, but make her more relateable (made up word, yay!) from a storytelling perspective and do it in a manner with which it is easier for people to identify. They wanted a Lara with more emotion and updated for where they wanted to take her in this day and age rather than doing the same thing. Somehow that comes off as sexist and yet we don't have an issue when other games have the same thing happen to them because they are male characters.

You and I will have to disagree on this topic.

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DatocanNyvengyn1891d ago

"They found an actress to represent the new Lara Croft both physically and audibly. They modeled the new Lara Croft after her proportions. ... They based it on a real woman, used her real voice, and had her act out the scenes in person."

Not the actually case, mate... Megan Farquhar is Lara's new face model... Camilla Luddington is the voice and performance capture actor--but she's not the model for Lara's "proportions." In a recent interview, Brian Horton, senior art director of Tomb Raider explained, "The body model is actually a stuntwoman..." So, the new Croft is really a composite of 3 different women: a face model, a voice/capture performer, and a body model... Still far more realistic than the 90s CGI job, but clarifying "what we know"...

JD_Shadow1894d ago

People will complain for the sake of complaining. This is the reality of the internet, unfortunately. I wish this wasn't the case and the people who complain to get the attention and to make them feel as though they are somehow self-important and/or "cool" by jumping on a bandwagon would be called out for what they are, but they rarely do.

I think that, if the gameplay is good and whatever drives you to play the game (whether it be story, challenge, whatever) does things well, then those hot button things will not be as much of an issue than you might think. In the case of TR, the controversy switched because of Lara looking like a "real woman" from her being overly sexual to what the trailer for the new game showed.

If you notice, they didn't have the overly sexual Lara to bitch about anymore, so they went with either "Lara isn't sexual enough" (which I would answer "make up your damn minds"), or "she's OOC because she's scared of some dude". For the latter, it's a reboot/prequel, for one, and two, that's a bit of an arrogant stance to take when you're talking about character development. I like characters to be three dimensional and not be the never vulnerable type. The one dimensional characters get boring quickly, and seeing Lara have her hands full and not knowing what to do shows that the developers know that gamers don't want boring, cookie-cutter characters.

But yeah, this is becoming the norm on the internet. TR is the latest case, but you're now seeing what I've been eluding to all over the place for a while now: people have found the medium to act as though they have some importance (don't worry: we all believe that we can make some difference even if our opinions are in the minority), and they express their views so clumsy that you wonder why they tried. Then you have trolls and bandwagon hoppers that should never get the attention they continuously get.

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