This week’s featured Tomb Raider fan is CVW, a student of classical archaeology who sees Lara as an inspiration and role model.

Circe WSo, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! My name is CVW. I love video games and I study classical archaeology.

When and how did you learn about the Tomb Raider series?

I was a kid in the late ‘90s. My older sister convinced my twin sister and me to ask our parents for a PlayStation for our birthday. “It’s 3D! It’s like you’re in the game!”, she said. I was convinced, and for our birthday we received a PlayStation and a couple games — including the first Tomb Raider. It was then a fan was born.

Do you run a Tomb Raider fansite or blog? If so, what would you say was your biggest achievement to date?

I do not have a Tomb Raider fansite or blog. However, I recently started streaming the newest Tomb Raider game on my Twitch.TV channel. My goal is to show my followers how to obtain a platinum trophy and my biggest achievement as a fan is completing all PlayStation 1, 2, and 3 Tomb Raider games at 100%.

How has Tomb Raider changed your life?

Although Lara is a fictional character, the dreams she inspired are very real. When I was a kid, I thought about what I wanted to be when I grow up. I got the idea to be an archaeologist after reading Lara’s biography in a game’s strategy guide and today I am pursuing a career in archaeology. Lara is beautiful, fit, strong, smart, talented, and confident. She was the perfect role model for me growing up. I don’t think I would be as involved in video games or comic books if it were not for Lara.

Were you interested in archaeology before discovering Tomb Raider? Have the Tomb Raider games and films inspired you to learn more about ancient history?

Tomb Raider gave me the idea to study archaeology. However, I loved archaeology before I knew of Lara. My father passed down his love for ancient history and material culture and took my sisters and me to many museums when we were kids.

What are your thoughts on Lara’s image? Is she simply the product of a sexist gaming industry or can she be seen as a positive role model?

Lara is definitely the most iconic female character in video game history. I see her moving away from just being recognised as a sex symbol to more of a positive role model. In the earlier games, Lara is more like a super heroine. In the reboot, she is like everyone else — human. She is capable of getting hurt and possesses weaknesses. Through the hardships she encounters, she proves there is a survivor in all of us.

What’s your favourite Tomb Raider game?

I think Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is my favourite because of the story, graphics, and gameplay. With the evolution of the graphics, the game retains the classic elements of earlier games, such as the puzzles, combat, and exploration. Tomb Raider Legend is pretty fun, and I identify with Tomb Raider IV: Last Revelation because of my love for Egypt.

And your least favourite game?

Tomb Raider: Anniversary had a lot of bugs. One time, the game froze after a serious glitch. I had to start the level from the beginning. I felt like I didn’t have a lot of control over Lara during the course of the game. It was frustrating, but I was able to play through it.

Classic, Legend-Anniversary-Underworld or Reboot Lara?

This is a very difficult question. I love them all, especially the first and present eras. I will have to say the reboot because it not only revived the character, it also created new fans. Previous game releases seemed to draw gamers familiar with and loyal to the series. Now, every gamer I know has or wants to play the new game.

Do you have any favourite Tomb Raider moments or quotes?

Tomb Raider 2013 was the first game I ever pre-ordered and brought home after a midnight release. I was so excited I recorded my gameplay. It was memorable playing the introduction and Coastal Forest area. There were many intense moments, such as escaping from the underground section, running from the island’s inhabitants, fetching Roth’s pack, climbing the radio tower, and dodging the crashing plane. It was non-stop excitement.

One of my favourite quotes from the original game is “My toes sweat at such possibilities lying so close to my mortal soul. Each night I beat myself rid of these fantasies, but it is indeed a test”. It brings nostalgic memories playing the game and I can relate to trying to be realistic with my dreams.

What about least favourite moments? Is there anything you dislike about the games/films/comics?

My least favourite moment was in Tomb Raider: Underworld. I didn’t find it rewarding that after everything Lara goes through, she discovers a zombie-like version of her mother. Also, at first, I disliked that every origin of Lara’s story differed depending on the medium — in the comic books, games and films. However, I grew to enjoy them all.

If you could change one thing about the Tomb Raider franchise, what would you change?

I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve loved every game. The franchise has had its ups and downs but it was because of those ups and downs that the games are successful. Everyone knows who Lara is, even non-gamers.

Which places would you like to see Lara explore in future games?

I would love to see her return to Egypt or Greece.

A huge thanks to CVW for taking part in our series of fan interviews. You can follow her adventures in gaming over on her Twitch.TV channel or on Twitter (@cvw220). 

You can find an archive of all our fan interviews over here.