The Game Grrrl

Age 29 Why her? She’s the daring and bodacious hybrid of Indiana Jones and Pamela Anderson Lee. Is it any wonder this heroine of the two Tomb Raider games has inspired such devotion from CD-ROM geeks? Croft’s multimillion-selling adventures combine firepower and puzzle solving, and her seductive brains-‘n’-brawn combination has moved lovestruck fans to send Raider publisher Eidos Interactive thousands of E-mails begging to marry the British heroine or pleading for forgiveness for getting her killed. Work habits To create a Croft adventure, Eidos’ design team brainstorms to come up with exotic locations (i.e. Lara at the Sphinx, the Great Wall of China, etc.), then builds a story around the locales. The team then breaks up so each designer can go off and build one of the game’s five levels, instinctively keeping the character consistent as they work independently. “There are no spoken rules necessary because we’ve all lived with Lara for so long,” says Adrian Smith, operations manager at Core Design Limited in England, where the games are created. Weirdest career moment The team once received a note to Lara that began, “Do you remember when I met you on holiday?” complete with a doctored photograph of the fan backpacking in the Himalayas with her. “Slightly worrying,” says Smith. Next? Tomb Raider III is due in November, a live-action Croft film is in development at Paramount for fall 1999, and this summer will see the release of Lara’s Book, a collection of fiction and essays with an analysis of the Croft phenomenon by Douglas Coupland.

Gibe Talkers

Scott Dikkers, editor-in-chief and co-owner; Robert Siegel, editor (above left) Ages 33 and 26 Why them? The savage mock news (“Mother Teresa Sent to Hell in Wacky Afterlife Mix-Up”) in their Wisconsin-based paper and website ( has built a cult following among TV’s hippest comedy writers, including Larry David. Work habits “Our writers are freaks and geniuses,” says Dikkers. “I can’t make sense of their work style, but they come up with brilliant stuff.” InfluencesSeinfeld, Larry Sanders, and Mr. Show are the holy trinity,” says Siegel. Why is it called The Onion? “It’s a word used in journalism to describe a juicy news story,” says Dikkers. Next? Our Dumb Century, a fabricated retrospective from Hyperion, due this fall.

Best Supporting Websiter

Age 26 Why him? Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, and more than 80 stars let house their official sites and Busot, the company’s senior designer, creates them. Work habits Busot buries himself in an actor’s movies to create a multimedia portrait of the artist; photos and star consults fill in the rest. “What’s going to work for Denis Leary doesn’t work for Brad Pitt,” Busot points out. Next? Sites for Helen Hunt and Gwyneth Paltrow.