Monday, May 25, 2009

'Fat Princess': Funny or Offensive?

Hey, not all princesses have to be skinny, right? Well, even just from it's name alone, the new game for Playstation is causing quite a stir on the internet and in the gaming community alike.

In the unexpectedly violent and gory game of 'capture the flag', the ultimate goal is to capture the enemy's princess and take her back to your own base, however, there's a twist. You see, the princess has quite an insatiable appetite, which is where the 'fat' part comes in to play. In order to make capturing the princess more difficult for the opposing team, the princess' loyal subjects search for magical patches of cakes and treats to feed the princess, fattening her up: Voila! A fat princess. Due to their magical nature, the goodies cause the princess to balloon and become severely overweight, making her very difficult to capture and carry by the enemy. There's even an indicator at the top of the screen which shows how sluggishly the princess is moving as she gets carried away!

The game has stirred a great deal of controversy on the internet, stating that it "furthers inappropriate gender stereotypes and continues in the culture of ridicule that many overweight individuals must suffer through", calling the game 'fat-hating'. Others are saying that it's a refreshing change to see a princess who is not a stereotypical supermodel-skinny type that usually comes to mind.

I'm not really sure where I stand with this one but if there's one lesson learned in terms of nutrition and weight management it's this: being sedentary and consuming copious amounts of cakes and cookies will result in weight gain and, potentially, obesity. In that sense, I don't think the game is necessarily poking fun at overweight individuals, it's simply illustrating (albeit somewhat exaggerating) basic nutritional principles!