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How far is too far Ms.Croft?

"But the hype surrounding Lara Croft was gross. The hype undercut her image as strong smart archeologist. The hype made her into a sex kitten. Where are her guns now?" (Game Girl Advance). I felt like this picture had a lot to say about Croft and the way that some gamers feel she represents women.

nextgen.jpgcover181.jpg
Exhibits A & B

"This was the cover art of a NextGen issue on how games are growing up. I rather think it demonstrates how immature gaming culture still was then, and is now,"(Game Girl Advance). Hark, listen to that controversy stirring around the world. Now look at the second picture and tell me what you think. Two very different portrayls of the same character.

Comments (10)

Evan:

Exhibit A seems to be a fan-based interpretation of Croft. If that's the case, it appears that some fans are too busy looking at her boobs to take any interest in the game. This makes me sick and my opinion of humanity just went down a couple points.

On the other hand, in our culture it is hard to reach an audience with unattractive characters. This is a sad fact, but is unfortunately true, especially in America. The problem comes when they go too far and the characters become sex icons.

In a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't sort of fashion, companies can't seem to reach an audience without turning them on (in a sexual sense, of course). Like the author of this article said, "the hype undercut her image as a strong smart archeologist."

As with any group dynamic, hype magnifies something greatly. Fascinating look into an issue that seems to, as you alluded, go "too far."

Interesting how "growing up" here seems to mean *entering* adolescence, rather than progressing through it to adulthood.

I always thought the term "adult content" was a misnomer.

Leslie Rodriguez:

When I first looked at the "adult content" picture I could tell right away that it was targeted towards teenage boys and young adult males. Out of all the things that I have seen regarding Croft, this was the most degrading. I agree with Jerz that in this case we see "growing up" as entering into adulthood. Many teenage boys would find this amusing, and even controversial if they had not seen something like it before. There is a feeling that they are looking at something they aren't supposed to be seeing.

The actual meaning for the picture was supposed to be Lara Croft is all grown up? I don't know. So I guess what that means is now that she is all grown up its ok to objectify her and ogle her. The man in the picture with her seems to be enjoying himself and the look on Lara's face is not one of discontent.

The Lara Croft picture on the left seemed really familiar. I finally placed it. The Wikipedia entry for Janet Jackson reproduces the cover of a 1993 issue of Rolling Stone.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f4/Janetonthecoverofrollingstone.jpg/180px-Janetonthecoverofrollingstone.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Jackson

Does that image of Lara Croft seem in any way different, now that we realize that the artist took a video game character and put her in the same pose as a pop singer?

Leslie Rodriguez:

Maybe the artist was trying to say something about how Croft had reached the level of celebrity of a pop culture superstar like Janet Jackson and in some way this cover was an homage to her. This could also be a commentary about our how gamers view her as a sex symbol (even though she is in a game) and she is seen as comparable to Janet Jackson.

Leslie Rodriguez:

I checked out Jerz's Wikipedia link and sure enough the Croft picture is a replication of Janet Jackson's cover. I think it is notable to mention that the cover which Jackson appeared on was named one of the most celebrated photos ever taken of a rock artist, and Rolling Stone named it their "Most Popular Cover Ever" in 2000.

Women as sex objects, as I have said, that was her selling point the whole time.

And the guy in the background. I think he is either the "first-person shooter" character Duke Nukem or Serious Sam. Not sure.

Kayla Lukacs:

Exhibit A just screams SEX! This image is a copy of a Janet Jackson photo shoot but in the Jackson shoot the only part of the male visible were his hands and here the male is making his presence known. He has a huge grin oh his face, with a look that is says "dont you wish you were me?!" While Exhibit B shows a more ruthless "shoot 'em up" side to Croft. I think that both of these images do not show growth in the gaming world, rather a side of the gaming world that is focusing more toward men to horn them up enough to get them to purchase merchandise from the Tomb Raider enterprise.

Leslie Rodriguez:

So are we all agreed that the age old saying "Sex Sells" really holds true? The research that I have done for my term paper, presentation and for the course overall has really changed the way I look at Tomb Raider and Lara Croft. I feel much more concious about what I am looking at and how I am percieving her. Is she nice to look at? Yes. Is she an object of sexual desire? Yes for some people, and thats where we cross the line. She is a computer generated figure made of polygons. Is it stereotypical to think that she is so oversexualized because the males playing her game are lacking sexual experience and have probably not seen a woman like this in their real lives? Key word: FANTASY. An element that many games include whether they have a Lara Croft-like character in them or not. The illusion of something that simply isn't real.

white nerd:

i am a young computer nerd and work in media and game design studio but i think that lara croft in the new games is too real when she does not need to be as we have Angelina Jolie to act as the real life lara croft and i still like to be able to use my mind to belive that i am going out with lara croft but now she is so real in the computer game that she has lost what made her great singed white nerd

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 13, 2006 8:52 AM.

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