Many have considered the video game industry to be a man’s world, but Lara Croft has been kicking butt for 15 years now. Lara Croft was designed to be the Indiana Jones for a new generation, however the game designers thought that young male video gamers wouldn’t like looking at a man’s butt for upwards of 8 hours, so character was changed to an attractive female. Lara Croft was a huge hit with gamers and resulted in more than 10 games in the “Tomb Raider” series and two spin off films with another in pre-production.

Lara Croft’s appearance has always been a source of controversy. Though the character is strong and independent, many have looked at her highly sexualized appearance as degrading. During game testing for one of the earlier games, the game model’s bust size was “accidentally” increased by 150%. It was a mistake they intended to fix, but many programmers fought to keep the change in the final version. Lara is considered the first video game character to be universally recognized as a sex symbol, with many claiming her strength to be sexier than her appearance. Her appearance has gone through a few changes over the years, mainly focusing on different clothing. But that is all about to change this year.

Due out later this year is “Tomb Raider”, a reboot of the franchise. This time around Lara’s appearance is still an attractive one, but there are several key changes. First, her clothing. Lara is given a more fitting wardrobe for an adventurer. Also, this is the first “Tomb Raider” to portray Lara in disheveled manner with bruises and cuts. And finally, there is a reduction in her bust size. The programmers were hoping to have a more acceptable combination of beauty and brawn. In the past, players started the game with Lara fully armed and ready for action in a “T” rated (for Teen) environment. This time around, players start with an unarmed and starving Lara, having to find food and weapons to survive the newly designed “M” rated (Mature) game.

I for one welcome the change to this iconic character and cannot wait to play!