The promotional tour for Rise of the Tomb Raider took Crystal Dynamics community manager Meagan Marie and one of gaming’s most enduring characters far and wide. With events in places like Germany, Singapore, the UK, France, Brazil, Mexico and many more — Marie agreed it “was quite a busy couple of months!”
In addition to launching the sequel to 2013’s popular Tomb Raider franchise reboot, the tour also launched a brain-child of Marie’s: international Lara Croft cosplay ambassadors. Marie spoke to Geek and Sundry about how the idea took shape, and shared photos of the cosplayers selected to represent the first lady of action-adventure gaming.
In the past, like on the tour to promote the release of Tomb Raider: Underworld in 2008, Marie told us that the company used “official models” as visual representations of Lara Croft at events. “They were supposed to be Lara,” Marie said, “so they didn’t speak and only did a handful of interviews. That was the fan engagement at conventions.”
When the time came to plan events for the Rise of the Tomb Raider promotional tour, however, Marie decided to pitch the idea of using cosplayers. “I liked the idea of having someone who’s friendly, knowledgeable, super passionate, and talented when it comes to crafting,” she said, “it’s a positive representation.”
The idea of recruiting cosplayers from around the world to represent their local Lara’s appealed to Marie, who explained: “In Singapore, we had a Lara from Singapore. In Brazil, we had a Brazilian Lara and so on.” These cosplayers acted as ambassadors who represented Lara in cities where Crystal Dynamics and XBox sponsored large public events or appeared at gaming conventions.
How did Marie and her team select which lucky cosplayers got the job of representing Lara for their home country? Chief among the traits they sought was a cosplayer who helped others. “I look for individuals who contribute to the community in a positive way,” Marie said, “be it as simple as ongoing words of encouragement, or more complex contributions such as providing in-depth tutorials for fellow Croft cosplayers to learn from. Being a team player is really important to filling the role.”
After that, Marie looked “for craftsmanship and quality in the costume. If there are multiple candidates in this capacity, I look to who has been a part of the community the longest.” She stressed that a physical resemblance to Croft wasn’t a consideration. Instead, she said “most of the Tomb Raider cosplay community considers Lara Croft a ‘state of mind.’”
Check out the gallery below for pictures of the fantastic Lara Croft cosplay ambassadors representing 11 countries around the world.
Do you cosplay Lara and want to show off your work? Tweet your photos to @GeekandSundry to show off your stuff!
Featured image: Germany Lara Croft ambassador: Lena Lara.
Image credit: Shashin Kaihi Photography.