Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Emerson S

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Emerson S
Interviewer: Kelly M
Interviewee: Emerson S
Date(s): March 7, 2014
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Tomb Raider
External Links: In the Spotlight: Sarah – The Archaeology of Tomb Raider, Archived version
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Contents

Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Emerson S was conducted in 2014.

Some Excerpts

How has Tomb Raider changed your life?

I can’t say for sure but I think it’s safe to say that Lara has been a role model of sorts for me. It does amaze me how the first game in 1996 was able to revolutionize the 3rd person action/adventure genre. I cannot begin to describe how I felt when I fired up Tomb Raider (1996) and heard the main theme for the first time. I got chills down my spine.

In 2013, I purchased the Tomb Raider limited edition strategy guide along with the game. Included with the guide was a replica of Lara’s necklace. I enjoyed the game so much that I decided to start wearing the necklace as a sign of respect. I have been wearing it ever since.

Were you interested in archaeology before discovering Tomb Raider? Have the Tomb Raider games and films inspired you to learn more about ancient history?

I have been a history buff for as long as I can remember. I loved watching the Indiana Jones movies when I was a kid, which probably helped. I was in AP or honour history classes all the way through high school. While my schooling has usually covered more modern eras of history, I do think that ancient history can be pretty interesting. The games’ exploration of the King Arthur legends and Norse mythology intrigued me, which eventually lead me to your website.

What are your thoughts on Lara’s image? Is she simply the product of a sexist gaming industry or can she be seen as a positive role model?

I believe that Lara can be seen as a positive role model. While some people might think Lara is nothing more than “big boobs and short shorts”, a true gamer will know that she has always been a very interesting character, ranging from inquisitive explorer to awesome badass. Sometimes being both at the exact same time! Because she is so well educated, classy, and independent, she completely went against the busty bimbo stereotype. This is a good thing, as it shows we are taking a step in the right direction, and Lara is the star of the show!

With that said, I can understand how they might have used her looks to attract young men such as myself. It does not surprise me if people start to question her representation, or misuse of it, in games and other forms of media. I must admit, they did push the boundaries on some occasions (e.g. Lara’s black dress in the Japan levels in Legend, TR2 promotional artwork). But more often than not, I feel Lara manages to remain tasteful and classy, so it’s not a bad thing that she is good looking as well. At the end of the day, she is very smart, adventurous, and a good role model that I think we can all learn a thing or two from. :3