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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

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Comments (33 posts)

TGG
Friday, December 26, 2008 @ 10:09:38 PM
Reply

Good thing is(or maybe it's a bad thing), it can't be attributed only to video games, but movies, and any other media as well. Depictions of muscle men and well-endowed women flood american culture.

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BikerSaint
Friday, December 26, 2008 @ 10:45:50 PM
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At 56, it never bothers me none.
Not I've ever seen a hardcore motorcycle club game either(& I surely can't call Activision's PC game, H-D "Race to the Rally" any kind of MC club game, LOL)

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LightShow
Friday, December 26, 2008 @ 10:54:09 PM
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meh. I'm 6.5' and 300 lbs. I'm drop dead gorgeous.

take THAT, worthless, grant-money-sucking, tax-dollar-wasting research "scientists"

^_^

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kreate
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 1:23:51 AM

lol lightshow

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Buckeyestar
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 8:33:30 AM

Right there with ya, I'm 6'4 270. :D

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huskerfan_101
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 1:04:49 PM

What there are other tall people in the world, I'm 6.5 280 and I'm like the biggest in my town. And now to find out that they're other people the same height and weight.

This is a horrible blow to my self esteem.

jk

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 26, 2008 @ 11:00:04 PM
Reply

Seems logical, but like TGG said, VidGames would probably be one of the shorter exposures we have to other media all day that does the same damn thing.

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Qubex
Friday, December 26, 2008 @ 11:26:44 PM
Reply

It doesn't bother me in the least what these scientists have to say!

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

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Jed
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 12:16:34 AM
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Just like every other form of entertainment?

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Scarecrow
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 12:25:58 AM
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Not everyone will ever look like Kratos.

But one can always admire him for looking/being so badass lol.

There are weak-minded people in this world, that's just a fact of life.

I accept being the way I am, of course having a body which doesn't look FAT should be a priority for most people under 35 imo.

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ZubraZap
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 2:47:10 AM
Reply

Duke Nukem makes me feel great about myself even more! Its aside the fact that I'm lucky enough to be able to play my favorite games day to day :)

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www
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 5:58:03 AM
Reply

Studies,studies,studies,research,research........
can't u scientists just allow us to live our lives.
U smoke......lung-heart disease,
U drink......sumthin-sumthin disease,
U eat sugar....diabetes
U sit.........u get fat or old
U bend down.......spinal issues
U yawn.....u sleep
U look....u lust
wat? wat? wat? wat? we're fed up,u think Moses and them lived long lives by listening to all these,they just lived there lives.

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ThePoetRazel
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 7:01:53 AM

Actually, i don't think scientists think Moses lived at all.
And who are this "we" you are talking about? I personally love scientific research. without it we wouldn't have computers or the internet or this wonderful site. Or electricity, running hot water, cars, international travel, medicines, extended life spans......i think i've made my point.

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Aftab
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 9:08:58 AM

"Actually, I don't think scientists think Moses lived at all..."

That's cuz it's outside the realm of "science". That has to do with history, my pseudo-intellectual friend.

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Zorigo
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 9:30:05 AM

ha ha ha. funny guy.

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Aftab
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 1:04:22 PM

Thanks, ol' Nic.

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Aftab
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 1:09:30 PM

And you know what else is? Having a discussion with you lot. You only pretend to be rational.

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ThePoetRazel
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 6:58:48 AM
Reply

"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."
Glad to see these researchers don't take anecdotal evidence as fact, or lean towards reductionist theories.

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Xanavi23
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 8:20:14 AM
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It just makes me wanna work-out more cause though im ripped for my weigh(slim dude) i could be bigger and more ripped. Do some push-ups, sit-ups consistently you'll be fine ;). Besides, its what YOU want out of your body.

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Zaben
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 8:39:32 AM
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Seems logical enough. Though TGG is right, you can say the same thing about all forms of media.

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Zorigo
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 9:28:49 AM
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it's true. that's why the simpsons game wasn't a success. lol. but what about SFIV, that has that fat guy rufus, i feel better already. then again, he's fat and strong. aww man. that makes it worse.

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JPBooch
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 9:49:03 AM
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This had to be the dumbest study ever done. We are to conclude that gamers suffer from low self esteem because of one sampling of playing a game that show cases the best bodies known to man. 95% of the world playing those games would feel inferior. Retarded, simply retarded.

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Phoelix
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 11:42:06 AM
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What would seeing Old Snake hack up his lungs do to your self-esteem?

This study is just one step in the direction of study of self-esteem. It's not (hopefully) intended to attack video games. They'll probably do studies about movies and other media, like you guys mentioned. We should probably have lower self-esteem by going to a gym and seeing ripped dudes lift twice our body weight.

It's misguided application of the results of the study that cause problems--like, have you guys seen the new "got milk" posters? They each say that studies suggest that kids who drink milk tend to be thinner. Note the "suggest" and "tend" that pretty much means they have no evidence. Watch for this.

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Sir Shak
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 12:49:32 PM
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i have been suffering from acute depression and been cutting myself ever since i picked up LBP!

sackboy just raised the bar for physical fitness and agility , might aswell give up on girls before being humiliated further .

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MetalHead09
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 6:11:55 PM

lmao

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orangpelupa
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 7:57:13 PM
Reply

Now i remember i almost never really see my own face/body . . .
I almost never use mirror to neat my hair. . .

i see myself when i go to barbershop to cut hair .

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 10:23:27 PM
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There should be a hot girl in the pic, not Duke, er bionic commando man, er... wait is there a difference?

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Wage SLAVES
Sunday, December 28, 2008 @ 6:01:10 AM
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I agree about the initial lower self-esteem of gamers but not to be confused with us caring about other people's expectations!

The only time I kinda felt small was when I saw Troy and I realized I'll never be like "Achilles" not even a Myrmidon :'(

The steroid junkies like Arnold should look up to us 'cuz we don't have small pee pee's! : P

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shaydey77
Sunday, December 28, 2008 @ 8:24:54 AM
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SO games lower self esteem huh? Then why do people play them? I personally feel that games boost my self esteem..nothing better then online teamwork! Or when you save someone ass just before they die...you all know what it feels like.

As for looks people should realize that these are COMPUTER games with COMPUTER IMAGES!

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Deleted User
Sunday, December 28, 2008 @ 3:01:40 PM
Reply

lol

I dont feel sorry for em. If they weigh as much as a house just work out.

I always get my exercise. Theres no reason you cant play games and be active also.

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Shatterday
Monday, December 29, 2008 @ 10:26:40 AM

dear world,

josh is fat.

sincerely, shatter

ps. JK

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Deleted User
Monday, December 29, 2008 @ 11:59:39 AM
Reply

lol

Military dont take fat cats.

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Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 11:54:33 AM
Reply

...... They're made out of pixels.....

Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 12/31/2008 11:54:55 AM

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