Videogame characters can harm self-esteem

Have you ever played Metal Gear Solid 4 and found yourself envying Snake’s ancient but oh-so firm and inviting asscheeks? Perhaps you can’t play a round of Gears of War 2 without feeling intimidated by the fat, meaty necks? Don’t worry, according to a Kansas study, you are not alone.

According to research, games that feature well-toned males and skinny females can cause low self-esteem in their players. Prof. Richard Harris of Kansas State University claims that a mere fifteen minutes of playing games with extremely idealized physiques can cause a dent in the player’s ego.

Using WWF Wrestlemania 2000 and an unnamed beach volleyball game (which I’m certain is published by Tecmo), Harris interviewed players of both genders before and after a fifteen minute play session. Allegedly, the subjects felt more negative about their own bodies after such a short time. Harris says this is “disturbing,” since videogames are such a powerful cultural force in society. 

So not only are videogames responsible for murder, misogyny and morbid obesity, they are now the root cause of anorexia and self-harm. Yet another totally-not-bullsh*t  victory for SCIENCE!

Jim Sterling