Lara Croft has long been a symbol of either female power or objectification, depending on who you ask.
Her new portrayal as a 21-year old struggling to survive on a hostile island hasn’t been without its share of valid criticism, but it’s always refreshing when the mainstream press are able to look at videogames as a whole in a progressive way, and Tomb Raider is giving them reason enough to do just that.
The World Today covered Tomb Raider in a segment which was exploring representations of women in videogames, and the conversation pleasantly engaged with how significantly the game indicates a shift away from the adolescent male ideal consumer the medium has been stigmatised with.
“She’s more relatable,” said Stephanie ‘Hex’ Bendixsen from ABC’s Good Game. “She’s more naive and fragile and it makes for a really interesting starting point for her story.”
The radio show also went to the trouble of interviewing Sheri Graner Ray, one of the most celebrated figures in gender balance in the games industry.
“If we continue with the hyper-sexualised Lara Croft figure, this is a barrier for women to buy the title,” said Graner Ray. “The great success of the social game market – that 70 per cent female market – did bring attention for the game industry that the female market is there and is certainly ready to spend money on games.”