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Are video games sexist? One thing's certain: the gamer scene is longing for more female characters — and Lara Croft's character and body has changed incredibly since the first 'Tomb Raider' in 1996.

When the first computer game with a female fighting archaeologist came out on October 31, 1996, men in the gaming world were thrilled. In 'Tomb Raider,' Lara Croft fulfilled the romantic image of a real Amazon woman: fierce, unflinching, strong, pretty — and extremely curvy.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (2010) is a downloadable game that is set in a Central American jungle, and features an ancient warrior who works with Lara Croft. In 2013, the series was rebooted a second time with the game Tomb Raider, which retold the story of Lara's origins and began a. Download tomb raider digital download for pc gamestop. Shadow of the tomb raider review: the end of lara croft's. Tomb raider: underworld download.

Her name is Lara Croft. Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness 2003, Tomb Raider: Legend 2006, Tomb Raider: Anniversary 2007, Tomb Raider: Underworld 2008.

Of course, this stereotypical portrayal was pretty embarrassing, sexist and ridiculous. Nevertheless, a fascination with the virtual character began and Lara Croft became an icon of computer games and beyond.

All

Over the course of two decades, Croft has raged through 15 video games and two blockbuster movies; the third in the series, starring this time Alicia Vikander in the heroine's role, hits theaters on March 15.

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  • Lara Croft: from big breasts to brains and brawn

    Accidental 'assets'

    Lara Croft first hit our computer screens in 1996. The legend goes that her in-your-face ample chest was not an intended feature: a simple coding error gave her those exaggerated proportions. But with the programmer's male colleagues suitably impressed, the bust was there to stay, along with a suitably skimpy outfit — ideal for an intrepid explorer.

  • Lara Croft: from big breasts to brains and brawn

    Action-Barbie

    First came Pac-Man and Super Mario, then, in the 90s, came Lara Croft. The new heroine was a source of fascination for the male-dominated gaming world. Not only was she strong and courageous, she also had a Barbie-doll-like unrealistic body: big breasts, a tiny waist and a prominent behind.

  • Lara Croft: from big breasts to brains and brawn

    Then along came Angelina

    Is was only a matter of time before the successful computer game migrated to the big screen — with a real woman taking the lead. Angelina Jolie was THE dream woman and she embodied the Tomb Raider in two feature films.

  • Lara Croft: from big breasts to brains and brawn

    A dab hand with guns 'n' bikes

    In 2001 the first 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' film was released in cinemas. Lara finds a clock at her dead father's house. It holds a secret, which guides her towards an object of great power. The film delivered exactly what it promised to: hotpants, guns, action and breathtaking sets. Despite failing to impress the critics, the film hauled in around $280 million (€227 million) worldwide.

  • Lara Croft: from big breasts to brains and brawn

    An award nomination

    The second film, 'Tomb Raider — The Cradle of Life,' enjoyed modest success. Jolie gave her all, but rather than an Oscar nod she landed a nomination for a 'worst actress' Golden Raspberry. Depth just wasn't something this character could offer at the time, and the package remained the same: attractive woman, action and entertainment.

  • Lara Croft: from big breasts to brains and brawn

    Real-life Laras

    By 2006, a decade after the first installment of the 'Tomb Raider — Legend' game came out, Lara had already taken on more realistic features. Gradually the digital character began to look more like the human Laras – the models, like Karima Adebibe (pictured), who promoted the series in the real world.

  • Lara Croft: from big breasts to brains and brawn

    A monumental makeover

    In 2013 the makers of the 'Tomb Raider' games agreed on a reboot. A completely new central character emerged: tough, petite and clever. The game dealt with the background of Lara Croft, the archaeologist's daughter, and showed how an inexperienced researcher could turn into a brave fighter and master of survival.

  • Lara Croft: from big breasts to brains and brawn

    Blockbuster budget

    By this point, the costs involved in making a blockbuster game could easily eclipse a feature-film budget — and this was no exception. Technology had matured so much that this version of Lara Croft was almost life-like.

  • Lara Croft: from big breasts to brains and brawn

    'New' Lara on the big screen

    Alicia Vikander is the perfect representative for the petite new Lara Croft. The latest 'Tomb Raider' film tells the story of the 2013 game reboot. Lara goes on the search for her father, who is presumed dead. Along the way she confronts numerous threats and eventually has to fight for her life.

  • Lara Croft: from big breasts to brains and brawn

    Lara Croft the record-breaker

    Whether or not the video game reboot will translate to the big screen is something cinema-goers can decide for themselves from 15 March. Lara Croft already has six entries in the Guinness Book of World Records, including most successful video game heroine. Can Vikander help her to add a box-office record to the list?


Women's heads, men's bodies: not an option

Lara Croft has long been a rarity in the gaming scene because women characters were not considered playable.

There are famous examples: In 1993, the first 'FIFA' soccer video game appeared. For many years, women were not thought of as suitable players, despite repeated petitions from the fans.

A women's team was an option for the first time with 'FIFA 16'

For the first time in 2015, EA Sports came out with 'FIFA 16,' which had women's teams — something which has remained since, with ever-better features and choices.

FIFA head developer David Rutter explained why it took so long: 'Men walk and jog in one way, and women do so a little differently. We wanted that to look realistic.'

The same applied to what happens on the field. Women's soccer is played more slowly, and Rutters said that they couldn't just create characters by putting women's heads on men's bodies.

In order to program a realistic virtual women's team, sensors were placed on actual female soccer players to capture their movements.

Women, too, can jump into a haystack

The creators of the adventure blockbuster 'Assassin's Creed' were chastised aplenty by fans displeased that they could not play the role of a female Assassin.

A woman could just as easily as main character Arno climb house walls, jump from roofs into haystacks and eliminate disagreeable contemporaries. Developers were having none of that, as creating a female character would be too much work, Ubisoft technical director James Therien told Videogamer.com. 'One has to make many animations and costumes again, which would double the workload in this area.' That's the reality of a game developer.

Read more: Victim or sex object: Tough women take back video games

The protagonist Evie from 'Assassin's Creed Syndicate'

In this area as well, the developers have again changed their mind. In 2015, 'Assassin's Creed Syndicate' was the first which brought a woman into play: Evie fights eerie Templars in gloomy 19th-century London.

The first-person shooter game 'Call of Duty' got its first female character in the same year and 'Dishonored 2' also brought in an empress to fight for her throne. High time. Because according to Germany's 'Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software' the audience was by that time already half female — a figure that has not changed significantly today.

Read more: 'No Man's Sky' is out: Here are our 7 favorite indie games

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Don't worry, she will get up in a second: Lara Croft in 'Rise of the Tomb Raider'

Women characters on desktop games

In the meantime, there are a number of games on the market which show women as multi-layered characters. In the 'Uncharted' series, Nadine Ross is the leader of a troop of soldiers who has, thanks to her wartime experiences, become an extremely good fighter. In 'Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice,' the young Celtic warrior protagonist suffers from a loss of senses and brings players along on a psychological field trip with Celtic mythology and loads of gruesomeness.

And what became of Lara Croft? Over time, she has lost some of her curves and gained depth.

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