Lara Croft, the icon for both genders
I remember the first time I played Tomb Raider. I was pretty young, probably 9 or 10 and I thought Lara Croft was the ultimate role model for girls with low self-esteem (or something like that). When I was around 15, I spent a lot of my free time watching the G4 network. This was where I saw the Icon episode pertaining solely to Lara Croft and her legacy. I was shocked to learn that early game designers created Lara Croft as a piece of ass-kicking eye candy. At this point in the video game realm, Croft was still sporting pyramid-shaped *assets.* She's come a long way since then, and I don't think the original designers ever thought she'd become such a smash hit for both men and women. I'll always love Lara, because she's one of the most hardcore characters out there and she's a chick. Yeah, chicks rock.