VGT – Tomb Raider, Women in Video Games, and Creation Mythology

The modern Lara Croft

The modern Lara Croft

I’m currently playing the latest Tomb Raider.  It is considered to be a “reboot” of the franchise.  I suppose that it is a reboot in the sense that the game-play has changed since the original games, but it is still the engaging character, Lara Croft.  I still remember seeing the original Tomb-Raider for the first time.

Lara Croft from Tomb Raider 2

Lara Croft from Tomb Raider 2

It was back in 1996 and I had a job that involved travel and working in convention centers.  I remember walking past a booth and someone was demonstrating the game on a Playstation 1.  The game stopped me in my tracks – and not because it was a female character but because the game seemed so large and there seemed to be so much to explore.  When I finally had my own copy of the game, I didn’t mind that the controls were clunky and that the graphics were pixelated.

Almost unplayable by today's standards

Almost unplayable by today’s standards

Let me add here that as I was trying to get some shots from Tomb Raider 2, I could barely move Lara around.  I would jump to a platform and completely miss.

Beautifully rendered graphics

Beautifully rendered graphics

For the reboot that just came out, she is a younger version of Lara Croft.  She is inexperienced and just beginning to emerge as an archaeologist and a person.  The game has a cinematic quality about it.  What amazes me is how seamless the game plays.  If there have been any load times, I’ve barely noticed them.  Now however, I have a special appreciation of the fact that I’m playing a game that tells the story of a woman.  This is one of the rare occurrences in which a woman is not a sexual object in a video game.  Lara gets dirty – even bloody.

Lara discovers fire arrows can be fun!

Lara discovers fire arrows can be fun!

She fights hard and she never gives up.  Her purpose is truly a noble one – she is trying to rescue a friend who has been kidnapped by the game’s villain.  There seems to be a sense of character development as the game progresses.

I recently finished reading through the Bible.  Each time I read through the Scriptures I try to do it in a different way.  The last time I read the ESV version (English Standard Version) and I read each book in the order that they were originally written (to the best of our knowledge).  Now I’m on a new reading plan.  I’ve started reading from Genesis again and this time I’m reading the version from my formative years and perhaps my favorite one – the NIV (New International Version).  I’m reading a special archaeological version that is filled with footnotes and historical information.  So, perhaps like Lara Croft, I’m exploring the historical tombs and depths of the sacred page.

A piece of the Epic of Gilgamesh containing a flood narrative.

A piece of the Epic of Gilgamesh containing a flood narrative. No reference to the creation of woman here.

While reading from Genesis 1 and 2, I discovered an interesting fact.  The Bible is the only Near Eastern ancient text with a full account of the creation of woman.  This includes the Egyptians, the Hittites, the Sumerians – including the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh.

Is God a fan of tomb raiding?  Easter is a season during which many Christians focus on a different tomb – an empty one.  There have been many theories as to why that tomb was empty one Sunday morning over two thousand years ago.  Christians believe that a miraculous resurrection occurred.  I find it interesting that the first person Jesus appeared to was a woman, Mary Magdalene.  According to John 20, Peter and John were confused by the empty tomb and returned to their homes.  But Mary stayed at the tomb and wept.  Imagine her surprise when the gardener approached her and asked her why she was crying – only to discover that it was Jesus himself.  Talk about a good surprise.  She is the first person to tell the disciples – and the world – the good news, “I have seen the Lord!”  Have a great Easter weekend!

Rembrandts depiction of Mary and the risen Christ.  He painted Jesus holding a spade since she thought he was the gardener.

From Wikipedia – Rembrandts depiction of Mary and the risen Christ. He painted Jesus holding a spade since she thought he was the gardener.

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