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EVE Online player gets fit to look like his avatar

MJ Guthrie

Going from virtual to reality, one EVE Online player is bucking the stereotype of gamers as lazy couch potatoes by using his in-game avatar game as inspiration to get fit and change his life. Marcus Dickinson, a self-proclaimed roleplayer, hit the gym and changed his eating habits in an effort to better resemble his EVE persona Roc Wieler, a retired military colonel with an imposing visage and impressive discipline. And the hard work has paid off; Dickinson has toned up and trimmed down.

What instigated the transformation? Dickinson noted that Roc Wieler is a brand, with his own blog and even merchandise for fans. However, a trip to Iceland for EVE Online FanFest in 2009 was a wake-up call; Dickinson said he felt nothing like Roc; he felt like a stereotypical geek. "Something snapped inside me, and I realized I wasn't being true to my brand. Why can't I be this character? Why can't I look like this?"

Using that as his inspiration, Dickinson changed his lifestyle and now does look more like Roc -- right down to the shades.

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