17 May, 2007

On the Game

I used to work for PlayStation. I began in the testing department, playing games to see if they were possible to complete, then trying to break the game by throwing characters off tall buildings, driving cars the wrong way or putting controllers in and out of the machine to see what happens.

About a year after PlayStation launched, we saw our first hint of a game that would become a real cross-over for non-gamers. People who'd never played a videogame in their life suddenly got hooked on the idea of following a pneumatically-impossible woman around a series of caves while trying to avoid her getting mauled by dogs, bears and dinosaurs.

Star of Tomb Raider, Lara Croft became more than an aesthetically preferable Mario. She appeared on the cover of fashion magazines, starred in two mediocre films and became a bit like Hoover - an all-in-one brand by-word for next-generation computer game success stories.

While the games themselves have unfortunately been a little disappointing since the jump to PlayStation 2, the character is still very strong. There's a lot of good will within the gaming community as each new game is released, disappoints, and leaves fans thinking 'Ah well, maybe the next one will reach the heights of the first three or four'.

In the meantime though, they have to endure stupid news items that rely on one major factor of Lara Croft's character. She has big boobies.

Looking at Yahoo today, I noticed a headline that read: 'Busted!' about a police raid on a house where there was a full-sized model of Lara in the window. There are so many headlines one could come up with - some of which apply to the police officers. 'Pair of tits', maybe? 'What a boob'? But 'Busted' is as good as any - and it goes to show that Lara Croft is still as recognisable as ever, despite her previous two releases being a bit sub-standard and leaving everyone gagging for the early days. Luckily, the next release, Tomb Raider: Anniversary looks to be a return to form. We shall see.

In related news, I hear Tori Amos's new album is quite good...

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