Study: Video Games Can Cause Body Self-Esteem Issues
You know how the feminists are the first to complain about how women are often depicted in video games? You know, the top-heavy chicks with the DD bustline and size 4 waistline? Well, on the flip side of that coin, when was the last time you played as a bald male hero with a beer gut?
Apparently, this stigma of the classic video game hero can have an adverse affect on the self-esteem of gamers, who - we have to admit - typically have a lower-than-normal self-esteem to start with. According to a recent study conducted by Kansas State University Psychology professor Richard Harris, those who play games and are constantly in the "virtual presence" of both men and women who look impossibly good can suffer a psychological setback. (source- EndSights) In fact, someone can start thinking less of themselves after viewing the more attractive male or female on the screen for only 15 minutes. "It was kind of sobering that it did have such a short-term effect," said Harris. To conduct his research, Harris first surveyed his students, then split them up and had the males play a wrestling video game while the girls played a beach volleyball video game (gee, I wonder which one?). After 15 minutes, he then had the students complete another survey, and on the whole, it turns out that everyone viewed their bodies in a more negative light after the testing.
Now, Harris did say other factors may contribute to a lower body image, and he wasn't about to conclude that playing video games causes everyone to think badly about themselves. But it's an intriguing test, nonetheless, even though there doesn't appear to be a solution...who wants to put themselves in the fantasy shoes of an unattractive or unappealing individual? Right?
12/26/2008 John Shepard