240: Wizards and Weight Watchers

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Wizards and Weight Watchers

Fable 2 is a game about choices: If you rescue villagers from bandits, you'll earn a halo and a saintly glow; if you sacrifice them to a dark god instead, you'll grow horns and draw flies. But some decisions are a little more superficial. Susan Arendt recounts her time spent dieting in Albion.

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WhiteRat07

Some guy
Aug 13, 2009
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I enjoy being chubby in games. For me its nice to have the hero resmeble me a bit. I was stoked in White Knight Chronicles that i was able to make a fat lil dude with a goofy smile.But my fiancee shares your opinion. I guess its a personal choice really but i like when a goofy lil butterball kicks everyones ass.Instead of another toned body pretty boy.
 

tkioz

Fussy Fiddler
May 7, 2009
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I have a slightly different perspective on this, while getting fat from eatting the wrong food annoyed me slightly at times (have you seen the massive amounts of high calorie food people in highly active professions, such as the military or sports, have to eat just to keep going?), what really tanked me off was the "good" and "evil" food.

Fair enough eating a raw baby chicken is a pretty evil act, but eating meat is not freaking evil, eating fish is not evil, and eating tofu is not "angelic". Humans are omnivores making a moral judgement about a person based on the fact they eat meat is just plain stupid, a vegan or vegetarian diet is not natural, and those that partake for personal or moral reasons (more power to you, do what you want, just don't force it on others or make judgements) can make themselves sick if they aren't careful about structuring their new diet or taking supplements.


Having a game, something I'm doing for fun, get preachy about something so asinine just ticked me off.
 

Mutie

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Feb 2, 2009
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tkioz said:
I have a slightly different perspective on this, while getting fat from eatting the wrong food annoyed me slightly at times (have you seen the massive amounts of high calorie food people in highly active professions, such as the military or sports, have to eat just to keep going?), what really tanked me off was the "good" and "evil" food.

Fair enough eating a raw baby chicken is a pretty evil act, but eating meat is not freaking evil, eating fish is not evil, and eating tofu is not "angelic". Humans are omnivores making a moral judgement about a person based on the fact they eat meat is just plain stupid, a vegan or vegetarian diet is not natural, and those that partake for personal or moral reasons (more power to you, do what you want, just don't force it on others or make judgements) can make themselves sick if they aren't careful about structuring their new diet or taking supplements.


Having a game, something I'm doing for fun, get preachy about something so asinine just ticked me off.
I see where you're coming from, but in Fable 2 it was purity and corruption mainly dictated by food, which just changes your attractiveness. You guzzle beer and munch pies, not only will you be fat but you'll have bad skin. Only eating crunchy chicks gave you the evil points.

As for me, my main character (in both fable 1 and 2) is always a big, fat, jolly and benevolent trader with a massive hammer, balencing good intention with corrupt and fatty food. I also created an Evil Lesibian Pirate Assassin, who was super pure (untill her rent rates caught up with her) and a neutral, pot-bellied wizard.
 

oppp7

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Aug 29, 2009
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This mechanic seems similar to the Sims.

Whenever I've had a character in the Sims they would always eat something the moment their hunger was anywhere near threatening their mood without ever doing anything other than sleeping and reading books for skill points. The problem is that this made my Sim grow a beer gut and overall look nothing like how I originally wanted it to.

The only way to counteract this is to make them exercise daily. While this is realistic, it's not the whole side of the spectrum. In order to lose weight it would be most effective to also eat healthier and possibly less often along with exercise. This makes it a strange foil to Fable 2; while you can run around and save the world all you want, it's not going to help your waistline if you eat too many pies. In contrast, it doesn't matter if you eat salads or a whole turkey in the Sims, since you won't get slim unless you exercise regularly.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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I don't remember worrying about my weight.

I would always buy a lot of healthy foods, and just spam them until I'm healed. Potions worked well to, since I owned lots of houses, I never had to worry about money.

The real problem I thought was that when I upgraded strength, my character looked like a roided out freak.

Seriously, the male characters look like they abuse the crap out of steroids, the female characters look like men.

I ended up not upgrading strength, which made the game pretty challenging.
 

Mutie

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Feb 2, 2009
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Aye, I didn't do up strength att all on my wizard or my evil lesbian pirate assassin. The reason you don't lose weight from exercise in Fable 2 is because you did in Fable 1. It was difficult to keep a fat jolly character in Fable 1 and, stragely enough, this is something people want. Plus, everything is exagerated in the Fable universe; 1 big pie will give you 20 fat points instantly. Your character can eat a totally of five pies in his life and still be obese. Simlar to how your child grows up over night, or if you return to your wife after three days of marriage she'll say "To think we've been married so many years, it seems like just the other day."
 

Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
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I like fat characters...because I am fat. Not "You eat at McDonalds 3 times a day" fat. But fat. I like them, especially when being fat isn't a detriment (unlike in San Andreas, where you had less stamina) Guess who my favorite Street Fighter character is?

 

carpathic

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Oct 5, 2009
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Onyx Oblivion said:
I like fat characters...because I am fat. Not "You eat at McDonalds 3 times a day" fat. But fat. I like them, especially when being fat isn't a detriment (unlike in San Andreas, where you had less stamina) Guess who my favorite Street Fighter character is?
Good sentiment.

I like Blanka...not what you were going after there though I guess :)
 

bjj hero

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Feb 4, 2009
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I hated that fable was blatently made by preachy, self rightous vegans. Scoring "pure" points for veg and "corrupt" points for meat. Someone missed biology class, we evolved to eat meat and veg. Unlike cows for example.

If it was cakes and icecream that caused the problems I could understand (although you would work it off swinging a sword all day) but meat?

Where is the lack of purity (or the fat) in lean chicken or steak? I eat meat regularly and need all of the energy provided as I do at least 4 training sessions per week, split between grappling and striking. I bet I am a damn sight healthier, fitter and have a better physique than any of those dirty vegans down at Lionhead. I need all the protein and calories I take on.

Celery the only way to slim down? Please, go for a run instead.

If you were saving the world with nothing but a sword, a gun and a dog you diet would resemble mine far more than that of some anemic tree hugger down at Lionhead.

Anyway, between the moral soap boxing and the broken in game economy I got bored of Fable II and never finished it.
 

TheNamlessGuy

Elite Member
Jan 7, 2009
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Well written, for sure, just one thing:

Why did you keep saying Fable 2, when they have that in Fable too?
One of those... yeah, I don't know what they're called, I call them "***** doors" have a "quest" for you to get fat.

It's probably because you were playing Fable 2 when you thought of this, or however you manage your articles.

Draw out of a hat, perhaps?
 

AVATAR_RAGE

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May 28, 2009
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i don't realy see anything wrong with having a hefty hero in games, infact there are quite a few if you think about it. but in this case it all came down to choice you don't blow up Megaton in Fallout and think "why has my karma gone down?"

but i also see the ideal of a muscle bound warrior hacking down legions of orcs as oppose to tubs hacking down legions of orcs
 

jtesauro

Freelance Detective
Nov 8, 2009
139
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Susan.

You have reopened an old wound today. Everything you said is right, but just add it to the laundry list of problems I had with the world Peter Molyneux created. Fable 2 is literally one of my poster games for, "Ok, great idea, I know what you're trying to do here but WHAT THE #@%!" sort of thing.

Still, you're entertaining as always, and I thank you.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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tkioz said:
I have a slightly different perspective on this, while getting fat from eatting the wrong food annoyed me slightly at times (have you seen the massive amounts of high calorie food people in highly active professions, such as the military or sports, have to eat just to keep going?), what really tanked me off was the "good" and "evil" food.

Fair enough eating a raw baby chicken is a pretty evil act, but eating meat is not freaking evil, eating fish is not evil, and eating tofu is not "angelic". Humans are omnivores making a moral judgement about a person based on the fact they eat meat is just plain stupid, a vegan or vegetarian diet is not natural, and those that partake for personal or moral reasons (more power to you, do what you want, just don't force it on others or make judgements) can make themselves sick if they aren't careful about structuring their new diet or taking supplements.


Having a game, something I'm doing for fun, get preachy about something so asinine just ticked me off.
What he said. I entirely agree with it. Games and novels (and people...) going preachy - especially over such things as that are pissing me off. Food is food. Predation is in nature and performed by a very big portion of the species, and biologically we are omnivores. You can eat whatever you want, but don't tell others what to do - and I'll stick with my omnivore diet, both in real life and in games. Also, mmm, raw chicken babies. They're delicious.

With most of my post out of the way, I'd have to give a very irrelevant opinion... I think that games that allow you to have more, uhm, diverse body types aside from generic Big Muscly Dude, Thin Lady-Boy and The Woman, almost inevitably wearing a plate bikini or a dress and in case of the former wielding a weapon her body wouldn't be able to support (If you're wielding that huge sword around, chances are, you've got muscles. And scars. And fairly conventionally "male" arms).

Being able to make a fat character is always cool.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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AVATAR_RAGE said:
i don't realy see anything wrong with having a hefty hero in games, infact there are quite a few if you think about it. but in this case it all came down to choice you don't blow up Megaton in Fallout and think "why has my karma gone down?"

but i also see the ideal of a muscle bound warrior hacking down legions of orcs as oppose to tubs hacking down legions of orcs
Being fat and having strong and well developed muscles aren't mutually exclusive. It's entirely possible, in real life or otherwise, to have a gut and at the same time possess strong arms and legs.
 

Mutie

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Feb 2, 2009
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Am I the only person in the world that regards Fable 2 as pretty much the perfect video game (Glitches excluded)? Yeah, it's got it's downfalls, but what game doesn't? It's the best thing ever!
 

Cosplay Horatio

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May 19, 2009
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I'm currently playing Fable 2 and previously when I noticed how fat my character is I decided to use a fat reducer potion I got from Knothole Island. From then on I never bought fatty or impure foods and I've been sporting a halo and my hair turned blond ever since. I don't have my badge here because my system is offline when I continued playing through the game from the middle of January till yesterday.
 

triorph

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Aug 5, 2008
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Mutie said:
Am I the only person in the world that regards Fable 2 as pretty much the perfect video game (Glitches excluded)? Yeah, it's got it's downfalls, but what game doesn't? It's the best thing ever!
Yes, you very well may be. Not saying that its a bad game but so many more out class it.
 

Dhatz

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Aug 18, 2009
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I hate that every sci-fi game has everybody and every race in perfect shape and never explains how did they cure obesity(I would at least want to know about humans).
 

Dom Camus

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Sep 8, 2006
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I certainly don't hold people in real life to the same standards I do my avatars.

But that's the whole point: Videogames aren't supposed to be real life.
I put it to you that the problem here is one you brought in with you. You hint at this yourself in the article: there is no reason for your protagonist's size to be a negative thing. But it is, because you perceive it as such.

This may seem like a bit of a shallow point to make in the context of a videogame, but it's particularly relevant here precisely because we cannot as easily make the same point in real life. I have yet to talk to a single person dieting and not have them mention diabetes, heart disease, mobility or simply just not fitting into their old clothes as a motivation. And yet give people a game where none of these factors apply and they still diet.

Maybe it's not what the players of Fable 2 precisely wanted, or even what the designers intended, but as an instance of videogame-delivers-message it hits pretty hard. We live in a very sizeist society.

(And because some people reading the thread will unfortunately think it matters: no, I'm not fat. I eat what I like and don't put on weight. One day nutritional science will catch up to reality.)