Lara’s original significance was superficial. Based on two male-orientated factors: left boob, right boob.

She was in good company. Company like Pamela Anderson, who encapsulated the spirit of an age; in which sex and sexy bodies were culturally inspirational.

“I wanna have sex on the beach, c’mon everybody”: talk about gritty realism.

But then things changed. We learnt that sex had consequences.

Game developers respectfully reduced Lara’s breasts. But sadly their sales followed (birthday) suit. It signalled, as one game reviewer put it, nothing less than “the wane of the communal hard-on”.

Today our heroines are the likes of Katniss Everdeen: one hard muvafuka. Even our Disney princesses have grown a pair. As one ‘princess-hating daughter’ explained to her Psychologist dad about her desire to watch ‘Frozen’: “It’s OK, Daddy. These are strong princesses. I’m going to like it a lot.”

How can Lara flourish in a world like this?

Like this: a bow-wielding, conscience-owning, ass-kicking, blood-covered, pain-feeling, human-being. The Lara of the 2012 ‘Tomb Raider re-vamp’, who wowed, shocked, and awed the gamer community.

Talk about gritty realism.

As Lara returns this year for a second instalment of ‘Lara Redux’, she is the epitome of icon-hood. A vessel for culture to fill as they see fit, depending on the spirit of the age.

Tom Keane @TGKeane

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