Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Sinead T

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Sinead T
Interviewer: Kelly W
Interviewee: Sinead T
Date(s): February 16, 2014
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Tomb Raider
External Links: In the Spotlight: Sinead T – The Archaeology of Tomb Raider, Archived version
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Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Sinead T was conducted in 2014.

Some Excerpts

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

I was relatively quite young when I first discovered Lara. I was about four years old, and my dad bought a PlayStation One. One of the games that came with the PlayStation was Tomb Raider 3. I watched my dad play it for a while and became hooked as I loved that there was a main female character just kicking butt! My dad soon allowed me to play, but I was only restricted to playing Lara’s House as I was so young. I fell in love with Lara and her creepy farting butler right away! Dad eventually let me play the main levels and I loved it! I struggled with the difficulty, but being a child I was so thrilled with the idea of being able to play a strong woman character, so the hard difficulty of TR3 in the end, did not bother me!

How has Tomb Raider changed your life?

Tomb Raider has changed my life in many ways! Tomb Raider 3 was my first gaming experience, so if I hadn’t have gotten into Tomb Raider, I wouldn’t be gaming today! As a child, I always aspired to be like Lara, strong, independent and intelligent. So she was quite a role model growing up and still is now.

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?

As a child, I never really understood why Lara was posed in bikinis on TV and magazine advertisements. For me, playing that game, she didn’t seem like the type of character to be posing in a bikini. So it did confuse me a little. When I was a child, I saw her as a positive icon, despite the ‘sexy’ advertisements. I just loved that she wasn’t a Princess Peach or Princess Zelda, who were constantly getting rescued by the lead male. If anyone did the rescuing, it was Lara.

Looking back at Lara’s image, particularly in the 90’s, I now find the advertisements deceiving and strangely funny because Lara never used her body to get what she wanted. She used her strength, wit and intelligence and I think that’s why she kind of stood out to me, and still stands out to me in the female protagonist market in gaming. It’s great to see how Lara’s image in the series has developed throughout the years now and I think it’s great that young girls will be able to look up to TR 2013 Lara without the body image issue being a factor, even though it wasn’t a factor to me as a young girl.