Make Your Characters Overweight, You Cowards

We all grew up gaming but some of us grew up overweight.

As we all know, an immersive experience in a game can be a liberating one, it’s escapism. A lot of the time its much needed. Every so often though, we all need a nudge to remind us that it’s okay to be who you are. That whatever developers have set within a game isn’t always perfect.

Let’s be real, even when you’re given the chance to create a character yourself, weight can hardly be altered. Skyrim, for example. There isn’t much of an option. A big, beautiful Khajiit pelting it out of Riften with a price over their head woud be a glorious sight.

The games you play leave a lasting impression, especially when you’re young and impressionable.

Mei is All we Get

Overwatch’s Mei. Official Overwatch art.If I were to ask you where you could find a bigger character your first thought would probably be Mei in Overwatch. Don’t get me wrong, its great to see her being generally adorable and a fearsome foe to boot. It’s great that now a generation of young gamers get to see her doing her thing. The aversion to flab is still present in gaming though and it gets to you.


Your protagonists have the same body type over and over again. It’s understandable, they are constantly on the move and that burns calories. Have you ever thought about how good of a fitness routine being a world-traversing adventurer who is regularly chased by the forces of evil would be?

I often have, I’ll be honest.

Can You Believe this Overweight Bashing?

Let’s talk about Uncharted including a skin of Nathan Drake called ‘Doughnut Drake’. He is obese, gets made fun of and has a drastically lower voice.

Uncharted’s Doughnut Drake fighting a foe. Doughnut Drake is an overweight version of his original counterpart.

How much does that suck?

Click here to see that bullshit in action.

An overweight character is almost definitely there to be made fun of or they are the villain of the piece. Eggman, Roadhog, Wario…but wait, his nemesis and our hero, Mario! A chubby and lovable character surely. I’ll give you that, of course. However, my focus is mainly directed at female characters.

Poor, Poor Alyssa…

Alyssa from Life is Strange. A heavier teenager with bright pink hair.It’s not as if we have side characters to fall back on. Alyssa from Life is Strange was a refreshing twist within a high school-centric game. Though, whenever you saw her she was having a bad time and continues having a bad time. Especially if you miss one chance to help her and she ends up tumbling into a fiery abyss. This occurs while basically shouting out a damning, “You failed me, Max!”

I’m over it, I swear.

Developers think an overweight woman eliminates the chance for her to be sexualised, therefore, reducing the game’s appeal.

Mei’s a great start in dispelling this awful standard but I’m still awaiting the time she’s not merely one in a roster.

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Olivia Carass

Olivia is a 24 year old writer and web series show runner who tries to create the inclusivity she can’t find in other media. She believes the gaming community should be a safe space for everyone and wants to help make that happen. She spends most of her time hoping Overwatch’s Tracer is proud of her.

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4 responses to “Make Your Characters Overweight, You Cowards”

  1. KashIsKlay Avatar

    There has been Dr.Robotnik since the 90’s, Lara Crofts close pal in the Tomb Raider reboot games is a bit overweight. Bob in tekken is overweight. As far as healthy goes Obesity isn’t a good thing, it’s added pressure to the hurt along with many other illnesses linked to it.

    Chang Koehan in KoF
    Bob from Tekken
    CJ from GTA: San Andreas was overweight
    Heavy from Team fortress

    1. Not necessarily disputing your point (Robotnik’s leeeeeeggggsss), but there’s a difference between being overweight and obese.

      Also, to me it comes down to variety. Seeing more diversity on screen isn’t always just about gender, race, or sexual orientation. It’s things like characters being heavy set, having accents, and so on. As appropriate of course! Donut Drake doesn’t make sense for a variety of reasons in the Uncharted games. But in things like adventure games there’s a lot of opportunity to step outside of pre-defined characterizations and change things up a bit.

      1. KashIsKlay Avatar

        I agree. Just like I think there need to be more people of color as leads in games & hollywood.

  2. Lucifer Sam Avatar
    Lucifer Sam

    Lightning Returns does a good job of including multiple body types for both male and female NPCs ranging from ultra-skinny (i.e. most games “normal”) to overweight without ever drawing attention to it or making crude jokes.

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