Study: Gamers Self-Conscious To “Extreme” Body-Types

If you’ve ever played Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and felt down that you don’t possess Nathan Drake’s rugged good looks–don’t get down–you’re not alone.
According to research by a Kansas State University Psychology professor, gamers that view extremely muscular men or very thin women are more likely to feel self-conscious about their own physique.

Richard Harris, (author of the research) said that his research shows that simply viewing the attractive game character for 15 minutes can negatively impact the player’s image of their own looks and body.

“It was kind of sobering that it did have such a short-term effect,” Harris said.

Harris divided a group of university students up, having the males play a wrestling video game while the females played a beach volleyball game. Before they played, the students completed a survey about their body image. After they played the game for fifteen minutes, they were surveyed again. The new survey showed that the participants, as a whole, viewed their bodies more negatively.

The professor was quick to point out that their might be other factors contributing to the lowered body image.

“I’m not saying that everyone with major body-image issues has them because of video games,” Harris said. “There may be other issues of concern with video games besides the well-known concern about violence.”

The riot shield is one of the new items Drake can use in Uncharted 2.

If you played the first Uncharted, Uncharted 2 will feel instantly familiar. The control scheme is the same, weapons largely identical, but what is definitely different is the large number of tremendous, cinematic moments that, instead of being left to a cut-scene—you’ll actually get to play. Remember the trailer where Drake is hanging off the end of a train? You’ll have to climb up and out of that train to survive. These moments, along with many of the other traversal elements you’ll get to play in the game, feel natural and fluid. Paths that you mapped out in your head aren’t always going to be there, with pipes breaking, unexpected items coming and blocking your path, which make you re-think and re-assess your previous strategy. While the traversal elements are usually pretty solid, there are some slight pathing issues where you’re not quite sure where you need to go. For the most part, however, the hint system will point you in the right path if you’re too stuck.

In addition to the traversal elements, the other big part of Uncharted 2 is combat. The first Uncharted was a surprisingly hard game, even on normal—Uncharted 2 is definitely easier, but is still no walk in the park. Unfortunately, this can be attributed to a lack of cover in certain spots and a reliance on sending waves of foes your way. Long combat situations and tough enemies can make for some frustrating, swear-inducing moments, but aside from the moments of anger, the combat is extremely solid, particularly the melee combat. It’s extremely satisfying to run towards an enemy and kick him in the crotch, or get into a fist fight and throw a dude over your back or deliver a nice knockout haymaker. There’s also some very light stealth elements in Uncharted 2, where you can come up behind unsuspected enemies and snap their necks, choke them out, or otherwise incapacitate them in a quiet fashion.

Pictured: Nate Drake and dude about to get his neck snapped Seagal style.

Year after year, it seems like there’s one game that pushes the graphics bar up that one extra notch. Uncharted 2 appears to be that game in 2009. There are some absolutely breathtaking vistas on display and great range—from tropical landscapes to snow-covered mountains, each of the areas are gorgeous. That’s not the only thing Uncharted 2 does well visually, as the animation work is fantastic. Transitions from cover to cover look great, but the simple act of running down steps is stunningly rendered.

All told, Uncharted 2 is perhaps the best single-player experience 2009 will have to offer. It’s lengthy (clocking in around 10-12 hours), memorable, cinematic and simply gorgeous to look at. While some small navigation issues and some stiffer than needed difficulty are present, Uncharted 2 offers an innumerable amount of jaw-dropping moments that every fan of video games owes it to themselves to experience.

This review is based only on the single-player portion of the game. We will bring a multiplayer review of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves when it hits consumers hands on Oct. 13.