Refiguring Lara Croft in Feminist Game Narratives

I’m currently writing a dissertation and I came across this very interesting thesis. 

…This paper examines the 2013 iteration of Tomb Raider in the light of previous scholarship, arguing that despite, as Kirkland argues “The meaning of the controllable figure ‘Lara Croft’ within the Tomb Raider series is inseparable from the paratexts that surround it” (Kirkland, 2014), that critics have often used Lara’s sexualised appearance to unfairly dismiss the players who see her as an icon or those that have simply enjoyed playing with and through her for nearly 20 years. Critically, her body and her gender have been seen as indistinguishable, and this is used in turn to disenfranchise the experience of the player who controls her. I will also consider how new ways of consuming games – most notably through webcasting playthroughs – are working to change the ways in which gender is formulated in digital games. Here, games are reframed by the fan producers who overlay narratives on top of the existing text, reinterpreting it in ways that provide interesting new readings of how Lara is understood by her own players.

Read it here