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Watch Out for Your (Virtual) Weight!

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Watch Out for Your (Virtual) Weight!

Playing video games can increase the risk of getting fat. And not even avatars are immune...

It’s common sense that spending too much time playing video games – instead of, for example, engaging in more active exercise – can lead to weight gain, especially in kids. But maybe not everyone knows that getting fat is also a risk in the videogames themselves: not even avatars are immune to packing on the pounds if they aren’t careful.

In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the fabulous, complex crime epic from Rockstar Games, if you continuously feed the main character hot dogs and hamburgers (which is unfortunately often necessary in order to replenish your health and energy levels) then his weight will gradually increase, creating various disadvantages for him. So as not to be weighed down by all that excess baggage, it’s advisable to make him walk more, go to the gym, and eat healthier options instead of just junk food.

In his fantasy game saga Fable, the video game genius Peter Molyneux, also made it possible to get fat - even if here this does not influence the fighting strength of the main character, it does take much of his charisma away. In Fable, even though many of the dishes and ingredients appear inviting (in a virtual sense), it’s best to avoid them, and only allow your character to eat fruit and vegetables. A forced diet, in other words, but then again it’s much easier to do this in video game than in the real world – at least here, an electronic carrot tastes pretty much the same as an electronic steak.

Photo courtesy Rockstar Games

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