So, imagine my surprise in 2007 when Bandai Namco games revealed the new characters to the sequel of their most popular fighting game franchise, Tekken,and one of them was an obese American. I was seriously disturbed when I saw the images for the first time. I knew how some people all over the world viewed these characters, and now one of them is a seriously unhealthy person? Not only that, this person moves and fights like an incredibly strong, agile and well trained martial artist. To this regard, some young people may think that the character is cool and want to emulate him.
I quickly disregarded this as a sort of isolated incident, though, but when Capcom announced the lineup to Street Fighter IV,a sequel to arguably the most famous fighting game franchise of all time, they also included an obese American character. Not only that, this character moved even better than Bob and is actually one of the strongest characters in the game.
I really don’t understand why they needed to represent such a serious health problem in such a positive light. Young people are very impressionable, and they’ll cling to whatever imagery they find interesting. I really don’t want them to idolize obesity. Video games already propagate this by making them stick to the television screen even more and making them physically inactive. We really don’t need these games to create imagery that what they’re turning into is something cool, either.
If these characters were featured in games that were very unpopular and which I didn’t really care for, I probably would never have thought of this whole idea. But the fact is, they’re being featured in some of the most popular video games in the whole world.
I really want these sorts of characters to stop being created. I want Bob and Rufus to be the end of the line. Obesityis a serious problem and it doesn’t need to be represented as cool in any sort of way. Fighting game characters are usually great sources of inspiration for young people because they’re popular and feature very fit and athletic characters that people can emulate and create positive goals from. In my personal opinion, new characters to these popular franchises should continue this trend and not do the opposite.
What are your thoughts on these characters? Should they continue to be created or not? Drop me a comment, as I’d love to hear your thoughts!