Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thought for the Day: Lara Croft

So I was listening to the latest episode of Retronauts, a retrospective on the Tomb Raider franchise, and, as is the trend whenever Lara Croft and her ample physique comes up, the discussion wended its way around to 'Why oh why can't we have a "realistic" version of Lara Croft'. Realistic meaning a Lara Croft that looks like some version of the collective "Us", instead of a completely unattainable fantasy.

My inner Marcus Fenix bellowed the same response that I have when this topic comes up about characters in movies or T.V. Shows, or about fashion models and magazines ads. Awww, c'mon!

No one really wants to see a realistic, body attainable version of Lara Croft. Sure, everyone says they want to see a realistic Lara Croft to be Politically Correct while giving the appearance of sensitivity, but no one really wants to see a realistic Lara Croft. You know why? Because, taking the average Americans our model , a realistic version of Lara Croft would be 5'2", 200 pounds of flesh poured into a tube top and spandex pants, barely able to wheeze through the first level of a game before dying in the second of an enlarged heart.

Can we just be honest with ourselves. We do not want to see a realistic version of ourselves in movies, T.V., in fashion magazines, or as avatars in our video games. We want to see an idealized depiction of ourselves in movies, T.V., in fashion magazines, and as avatars in our video games.

Entertainment, particularly video games, is escapism from the sad realities of our daily life. We want to escapist to places where Zombies walk the Earth and you are one of four survivors fighting to stay alive, or where two men shaped like tree trunks from a Rob Lefield fever dream fight off hoards of Mole-Men, or where Lara Croft's boobs could conceivably be real. And no one wants their escapism interrupted by a heroine that looks like Cameron Manheim, or a hero that looks like Larry the Cable Guy.

C'mon, it is really okay to admit. Really. It's also OK to admit you really didn't find the chick in Uncharted attractive, and were convinced she was a Post-Op tranny for most of the game.

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