Think about when you were younger, who was your hero? Who did you look up to? Who did you want to be? A lot of kids would start naming superheroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. I loved and still love all of those guys, but I have always admired and inspired to be like Lara Croft.
For arguments sake, I relate to the reboot Lara Croft a lot more than the 90's version. Don't get me wrong, the original Lara was totally bad-ass and helped change the way woman are portrayed in the video game industry. She holds a special spot in my heart but I will never forget the way Tomb Raider 2013 made me feel. The way it pulled on my heart strings and how much I felt like I WAS Lara, while playing that game.
I remember I was on the plane to Orlando and I had just bought Tomb Raider 2013 to play on my flight. I was stoked, I have been a huge fan of the series since before I can remember. I was interested and excited to see how they portrayed the new Lara. As soon as I started up a new saved game and the opening scene of her hanging from the ceiling began, I knew this was going to be a game that changed my life. Long story short, it did. In the most amazing ways possible.
Now, just in case for some bizarre reason you haven't played this masterpiece, I'm going to keep this article mostly spoiler free.
In the older games, you get a Lara that already is the Tomb Raider. She's already bad-ass and already kicking ass. What I loved about the new game is how fresh and vulnerable she is. When she gets to Yamatai she had never killed before, she had never had to survive the way she learns to survive on the island. While playing this game, you really feel like you are growing with her, like you're on this journey with Lara. You see her grow as an adventurer and become more skillful. You really get to watch her grow from this normal archaeologist girl from London, to really becoming the Tomb Raider. I felt every emotion she was feeling, this game has a way of really sucking you in and making you believe that you are, in fact, Lara Croft.
Lara is the reason I began cosplaying and the reason I have met so many amazing people. My first cosplay and my most known cosplay is of Lara. I feel like a whole new person when I put on my gear. I feel confident and I truly feel like I have just stepped into her shoes. I have become a lot more comfortable in myself because of her.
Photo by the Xbox team at Pax East.
Lara doesn't just influence and inspire girls. I have met many guys who are affected in the same way. Some of them even gender-bend cosplay as her too. My great friend Isaac does an incredible job at this.
Tom Braider. Photo by Tylar Preece.
Tomb Raider has this whole amazing community full of the some of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. It's more than just a game, it's a lifestyle, it's a family, and it's totally bad-ass.
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