Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Laurie S

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Laurie S
Interviewer: Kelly M
Interviewee: Laurie S
Date(s): February 6, 2014
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Tomb Raider
External Links: In the Spotlight: Laurie S – The Archaeology of Tomb Raider, Archived version
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Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Laurie S was conducted in 2014.

Some Excerpts

When and how did you learn about the Tomb Raider series?

I got into the Tomb Raider series when I was at a friend’s house one weekend and was watching her brother play Tomb Raider on their PC. He was in the Lost Valley and was hiding from the T-Rex and I had never seen anything so awesome! At the time I had the dream of becoming a palaeontologist so dinosaurs fascinated me and this amazing acrobatic woman who was running around fighting them caught my imagination straight away. My friend also pointed out to me that she had brown hair and brown eyes like me so it was almost like looking at me as an adult (I was 11 years old at the time) so from then on I saw her as my role model. For Christmas that year (1996) I got a PlayStation and Tomb Raider and I have been hooked ever since!

Do you run a Tomb Raider fansite or blog? If so, what would you say was your biggest achievement to date?

Yes indeed I do! I am lead admin for a Tomb Raider fan site called Survivor Reborn. We have a website and a good following on Twitter and Facebook. We also have a forum which is a small community but very friendly. I would probably say having such a lovely group of people join a forum I created seems to be my biggest achievement so far. I also have a YouTube channel under my admin name Lori Croft where I’m slowly building up Let’s Play videos (my main goal is to have Let’s Play videos of every Tomb Raider game), although I’ve taken a big step back recently as life got in the way. I’m hoping to get back into it again in the next few weeks when things calm down a bit!

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?

Well to be honest, I think when I was younger, I was completely oblivious to any of the arguments going on about Lara’s sexuality and I always saw her as too much of a cartoon character to be portrayed realistically as a sex object. But how she looked never bothered me anyway, it’s how she acted in game and her fearless, “don’t give a shit” attitude that made me look up to her as well as her fierce intelligence and wit. As an adult, I look back and can see how she may have been exploited, but to be fair, when you compare her to other female characters in gaming at the time, I think she got off lightly! She also really stood out because she wasn’t just a run of the mill busty bimbo that was the usual image of women in games, she went against the stereotype and because of that, became the centre of attention, which obviously led to some disturbing sorts of attention, but it was still a step in the right direction and Lara was at the forefront of it all!

The Lara however from the LAU trilogy came out at a time when I was more aware of everything around me in terms of politics and sexuality etc, and some of the outfits (namely the black dress in Japan levels of Legend) I think really overstepped the mark. Luckily they managed to get things right with the rebooted Lara and I think they have gone back to making a Lara that young girls should be proud to relate to as well as look up to.