Immersive Gameplay

Originally published January 11, 2019.
Contains: accelerated weight gain.

This was based on a suggestion from Codyg3, who suggested I try writing a story where a guy gets transported into his favorite video game, and gets fattened up as a result. While thinking about how to make it happen, I was reminded of Fable, and how you can eat food to make your character fatter in that game. From there, I got to thinking about the mechanics of gaining weight in a video game vs. real life, and how they would compare. This story is the result.

I tried to come up with a generic name for this game, so I wouldn’t be stepping on the toes of any established franchises, or get fans of those games saying, “That’s not how it works in game!!!” But after Googling my ideas to make sure nothing else was called that, I ended up having to go with the awkwardly titled “Hero’s Quest” to avoid any overlap, because Hero’s Adventure and Adventure Quest are already things that exist.

Synopsis: Bruce’s favorite video game is Hero’s Quest, in no small part because the game lets him make his fighter really fat. One night, he gets zapped into the game by a bolt of lightning, and knows exactly what he’s going to do. Bruce undergoes the same transformation himself, reaching the same size as his avatar and enjoying the consequence-free gains. But once he’s zapped back into the real world, it’s not so fancy-free.

It was a lazy Saturday afternoon, and Bruce was sitting on his couch with a bag of chips beside him, the game controller in his hands, and Hero’s Adventure on the TV. Bruce was a sucker for these action-RPG games, for the fantastical settings and wide worlds to explore and the multitudes of quests there were to complete. But there was one feature of Hero’s Adventure that had him quite excited to play it, one that hadn’t been prominently advertised during the game’s development, or mentioned by many reviews as more than an aside. But to Bruce, it was the primary selling point of the game.

That feature was the ability to make his character fat. And not just having a bit of belly on top of muscle: really, truly, honest-to-goodness fat. With jiggle physics and everything. And since the main character’s weight was purely aesthetic, Bruce’s adventurer could run around with his belly hanging out and bouncing everywhere without it affecting his combat prowess. Sure, forgoing any sort of armor on his torso meant needing to give up some impressive stat boosts and increases to his armor count, but Bruce was quite happy to spend some more time leveling his protagonist to make up for the loss.

It was totally worth it to see Bruce’s hairy, corpulent barbarian running around the world of Hero’s Adventure. Into battle he’d go, spinning his greataxe around and making short work of all who stood against him, while his belly spun around too, distracting Bruce enough that he had to keep a steady supply of healing potions in his inventory. At least he’d leveled his alchemy skill remarkably quickly that way, another way he helped make up for the lack of protection a breastplate would have provided.

Thankfully, Bruce didn’t have to spend the whole game looking at the character’s back, and got to admire his portly character as often as he wanted. He was a human character, brown haired and bearded, with a beard that would make some of the dwarves in the universe jealous if they were programmed to feel such feelings. He had long hair as well, with plenty of braids and beads therein to demonstrate that he took care of it. Bruce had given him a muscular build to go along with his fighting style, but the centerpiece of his build was a massive belly. It was bigger than all but the most ludicrously designed shield in the game, bigger than the cauldrons he came across in the wizards’ camps, bigger than that of any NPC he’d seen in his travels so far. It bounced when he sprinted, jiggled when he fought, and was one of his favorite parts of the game.

But unlike the other parts of his character’s appearance, Bruce had not started the game with his main character being fat. His hero had started with a purely muscular frame, along with the beard and hair that he knew would be more befitting of the character once he grew to the weight he was meant to be. As Bruce adventured through the game, he spent as much of the money he earned on fattening foods at the delicatessens and other food vendors as he could. Cheese and other kinds of dairy, meats prepared into decadent dishes, as well as various sweets and pastries, Bruce would buy them all, steering clear of fruits and veggies, and eat them even though he had no health to heal. For it was these items that would increase his character’s weight.

It took a few adventures for Bruce’s hero to buy enough food to reach max weight. But fairly early on, his abs had gone through the stages of muscle gut to pot belly to beer belly to the massive gut he bore now. And once he reached that weight, he never had to worry about losing it as long as he steered clear of fruits, veggies, lean meats, and other slimming foods. And by investing in alchemy early, he ensured he never had to depend on food to keep his health up.

At his current point of progress in the game, though, Bruce was amazed at just how easy it would have been to fatten his character if he’d waited. In the snowy city he found his character in now, the delicatessen sold meat pies that not only restored all his health, but also got him 10% of the way from the minimum weight to the maximum, compared to the 1 to 3% of the foods he’d bought at the beginning of the game. The city was also supposedly the starting point of a quest that would reward him with a piece of chest armor that wouldn’t cover up his belly, or even most of his chest, and give him exactly the stat boosts he needed as a barbaran.

And so Bruce found himself scouring the in-game city, talking to everyone he could and examining anything that looked out of the ordinary, in the hopes of starting the quest. Outside, in the real world, a thunderstorm was falling as Bruce stayed nice and cozy inside, leaning back on his couch in his pajamas. He kept the controller plugged into the console as he played so he never had to worry about charging it. Little did he know that when a bolt of lightning struck the house, that current would travel through his wiring, up the power cable into the console, down the charging cable to his controller, and finally zap him. The sharp, painful sensation in his hands was the last thing he remembered before his vision went black.

Bruce woke up feeling like he was in some kind of dream. Only in his dreams did he ever have a third-person view of himself, able to observe his own actions. Hell, he thought to himself, the only other time he could do that was when he was playing a video game.

It was then that he became aware of the presence of snow on the ground, which didn’t seem to be melting from his body heat. Around him, he could see snow falling, indicating the environment had to be cold. And yet, he had no such feeling, and rather was perfectly comfortable in just the pajamas that he was wearing.

It took Bruce some time to get used to looking around with a view that didn’t come from within his eyes, but once he did, he realized he’d awoken on the outskirts of a city. A snowy city. A very familiar city? Getting up and jogging toward the city, which he found took very little out of him even though he hadn’t properly exercised in years, he soon found a familiar location coming into view. It was the city he’d been running around before as his hero, but now he was in the city himself. In the game himself. He’d been transported into Hero’s Adventure.

And he knew exactly what he was going to do now that he’d found himself transported into the game’s world.

Intuitively, Bruce knew how to open his inventory, and did so to see what he was starting with. It wasn’t much. He had no currency, no items to sell beyond the clothes on his back, and was starting at a lowly level 1. If he tried to go out and fight any of the monsters outside of this city, he’d be clobbered to death, and not just because he wasn’t sure how to implement the game’s fighting mechanics beyond pushing buttons. If he was going to make enough money to buy those meat pies, he’d have to stay in the city to do it.

Thankfully, Bruce had enough familiarity with the game to do just that. A chest in the crawl spaces underneath someone’s house gave him a gold ring that he could sell for a decent chunk of the money he needed. After running around town collecting the other freebies the developers had left for inquisitive players and selling them off, chopping firewood at the town’s mill topped off his coffers after a few minutes, and he had enough coin. After a quick trip to the delicatessen, Bruce had filled his inventory with the only items he cared about: the meat pies.

After wandering around town to look for a nice, private-ish spot to enjoy the change, Bruce hid behind a shack on the edge of town. In order to better witness the transformation, Bruce went into his inventory and mapped the meat pies to one of his hotkeys, allowing him to eat them and see the effect in real time. He then removed his pajama top on his equipment screen, causing it to immediately disappear and expose his bare torso.

Though Bruce wasn’t one of the skinniest guys around, he certainly didn’t fit anyone’s definition of “chubby”. The pudge on his stomach only became apparent when he sat down, and he didn’t have much muscle to add bulk either. He would have liked to be bigger, but the logistics of gaining in real life kept him from ever trying it. As such, he really appreciated how Hero’s Adventure gave him a chance to live out that fantasy. And now it would give him a chance to experience it in person.

Bruce knew he needed to pick the perfect angle for viewing his transformation. He’d only get one shot at this, after which he’d have to earn enough money to buy the meat pies again and the fruits and veggies he’d need to get his weight down again and start over. He picked a mostly sidelong glance, with the camera moved a bit to the front to better see his gut protruding over his pajama pants. He also lowered the camera to waist level, with the intent of making his belly look bigger as he grew.

With everything in place, Bruce took a deep breath, smiled, and braced himself for the transformation. Ready to take the plunge, held his breath and pressed the hot key.

The first pie disappeared immediately out of Bruce’s inventory, and he could feel that his belongings had lightened up a bit with the pie gone. And looking at his body, it had definitely added a layer of flab, enough to qualify him for a dad bod. Now his stomach pudge appeared even when he was standing up, sticking out an inch or two over the waistband of his pajama pants. His face had rounded out a bit too, with pudgier cheeks lifting up as his smile pushed them. It was an impressive amount of change for one pie, and it made him wonder: what could two do?

After taking a deep breath, Bruce ate another pie, then another. He was a tad disappointed that he didn’t get to taste the pies, as he was sure they would have tasted amazing if he could. But he wasn’t there to sample pies; he was there to grow, and with two more pies down, he had grown indeed.

Bruce’s dad-bod-esque figure had been subsumed by one with an honest-to-goodness, bona fide belly. It was about as wide as some of the smaller shields in the game, and just as round too, sticking out a few inches over his pajama pants now. It was about the size of a beach ball, maybe a little smaller, though definitely firmer. As he looked at it with a smile on his face, he could see that his face had rounded out too, which his pudgier cheeks now joined by a double chin below his jaw. His arms were starting to pudge out a bit too, growing along with his belly and making sure his body maintained even proportions. But Bruce couldn’t help but wonder: what would those proportions look like with even more pies in him?

After chowing down on two moe pies, Bruce let out a sigh, before a pleased gasp followed. His previous belly, though certainly prominent, was still modest in his size. Bigger than he’d ever been in his life, but still not big enough to stand out in a crowd. With his latest round of growth, he was well on his way to growing past that.

Bruce had grown well beyond dad bod, and was now more like that uncle with a big belly whose lap the little kids would try to sit on anyway. They’d be the only ones he had enough room on his legs for. His belly was now as big as the black, circular grill that uncle could be seen standing at as he made the food for the family gathering, though still just as round and firm as before. Along with his arms growing to match, his face was even more round, looking just as genial as that uncle. He loved the transformation. And he wanted more.

Downing two more pies like it was nothing, Bruce marveled at the resilience of the waistband of his pajama pants, which had yet to snap from the growing of his body. In fact, they still felt remarkably comfortable around his waist, even with his belly now having grown to the size of a small yoga ball. He didn’t have any relatives he could compare his size to now. All he could imagine was a regular customer at a bar or greasy restaurant, the kind whose larger-than-life personality meant his entry was greeted by cheers and people calling his name.

At this point, Bruce started to wonder if he’d have any difficulty maneuvering his newly grown mass. To his surprise, though, as he started walking around, he found it no more difficult to do than it was before he’d started eating the pies. This allowed him to enjoy the visual of his newly giant belly bouncing around with his movement, not weighing him down and yet still giving him the funnest part of being a big man. It was like how he enjoyed his character in as a player, only now he got to experience it first-hand.

But he wasn’t as big as he could get yet. He still had three more pies to eat. And at his current size, he reasoned it might take all three to make a truly noticeable change in his size. And so, with a deep inhalation, he closed his eyes and ate all three.

Of course, closing his eyes didn’t make the screen go black But he still managed to eat the pies quickly enough that it was as if he’d eaten them simultaneously. And when he observed the resulting change, he couldn’t stop himself from letting out a gasp. He’d reached the maximum weight, and in a game like Hero’s Adventure, that was an impressive feat.

Bruce’s back was now forced up straight by a belly so big that under his chest, it curved upward as it went outward before curving back down to meet his hips. It was the size of a large yoga ball, exactly as big as Bruce had made his character. And yet, getting to experience it for himself was immeasurably better. Of course, his arms were now as wide as his legs used to be, and his face was surrounded by a ring of blubber that had once been separate cheeks and a neck. But for him, getting to see himself with this massive mound of a gut was the best part of the experience.

Of course, he wanted to run around and feel all his new flab in motion. When he played the game, he appreciated the fact that weight was purely cosmetic, and the game didn’t punish him for wanting to watch a fat hero run around with his belly out and bouncing. Now that it was his turn to experience it, he wondered if not being able feel the extra weight would become a drawback.

If it was, it was barely for a moment. As soon as Bruce was moving, he delighted at how his massive gut jiggled and bounced with his footsteps, themselves in no way encumbered by his massive size. He could practically skip as he moved, watching that belly jostle and bounce as vigorously and joyously as he did.

Of course, moving around like that meant he didn’t stay behind the house for long. Once he was back on the public paths, he soon ran into a woman bundled up in her clothes who didn’t seem too thrilled with Bruce’s lack of shirt. “Have some decency and put something on,” she scowled. It gave Bruce pause, as he didn’t know the game had been programmed to comment on his lack of clothes. But it also got him curious, so he opened up his inventory and tried putting his old shirt back on.

To Bruce’s surprise, just like the pajama pants, the shirt had grown with him. It lay over his gargantuan belly comfortably and with length to spare. Even more incredible was how it seemed to have stretched in all the right places to fit his new body shape, becoming much longer in the front to account for how much more mass he carried in front of him. It seemed the game’s algorithm was able to stretch anything he wore to match his new size.

Not that he was going to keep wearing the shirt. The NPCs around him could chastise him for not wearing a shirt all they wanted, but they couldn’t stop him. “Hey, put something on!” “You’ll want to equip some armor before you go into battle.” “You’ll catch a cold walking around like that!” They could say whatever they wanted, and Bruce could keep skipping merrily along, watching his gargantuan belly jostle and bounce with every step.

It was around then that Bruce wondered how he could get out of the game when he was done. He got his answer in the form of a lightning bolt coming out of the sky in-game and knocking him out yet again. The last thing he remembered was feeling just how much his belly bounced when he hit the ground.

When Bruce slowly opened his eyes, he looked up and saw the ceiling of his living room. Not the living room of one of his in-game houses, but his own real living room. Once he remembered the lightning strike that had put him in the video game, he immediately tossed the game controller away from himself, not wanting to risk something similar happening again and him getting stuck in the game. After a few second of quietly sitting in place, his breathing audible thanks to the panic of throwing the controller away, he finally felt like he could relax, and let his arms down again.

What he didn’t expect was that they would fall on something soft and warm, albeit firm at the core and surprisingly smooth. And even a bit… fleshy? No, very fleshy.

That was when Bruce looked down and saw that, while he’d left the game world behind, he’d taken the extra flab he’d put on in the game with him. He was just as fat as his avatar, just as fat as he’d made himself in his fantasy.

He didn’t believe it at first. He thought for sure he was seeing things, that his mind was somehow still stuck in the game world. Perhaps there’d been a glitch in the process of moving his consciousness from one reality to another. But his arms still rested on his belly, feeling the warm flab underneath it now that his pajama shirt was bunched up around his chest.

That was Bruce’s first clue that his weight gain was real. Rather than the magically expanded pajama shirt he was able to put on in game, his current shirt was the same size it was when he’d started playing. Which meant it stood no chance of fitting the humongous gut that sat on his lap now.

That didn’t stop Bruce from trying to pull it down anyway. When he did, he got his second clue that this weight gain was real: his belly had an inertia to it that it hadn’t had in game. As his hands tried in vain to pull the shirt over his gut, it refused to move as they pushed against it, trying to bring the shirt down with them. It had some bounce, but if he tried to push it aside, it remained stubbornly in place.

Bruce had the same results when he tried to get up from the couch. Out of habit, he tried to get up with the same amount of effort that could previously lift his skinny body. Now that amount of effort only caused his shoulders to fall back against the couch, as he quietly let out an “Oof”. He lazily patted his belly, as if it would let him get up if he could only please it. Yet even a strained push only allowed him to push forward a bit before he fell back yet again, his grunt of frustration louder than before.

“Okay, Bruce,” he whispered to himself. “Let’s take this slow.”

After leaning on the armrest of the couch, Bruce used it to pull himself up to the front of the couch, leaning against it so he didn’t fall backwards yet again. Once his read end was on the edge of the cushion, he crouched his beefy legs underneath himself, and leaned forward just a little bit to put his newly shifted center of gravity above his feet. Once he was properly aligned, and used his hand to push down on the armrest, he finally managed to stand up.

Once upright, Bruce made sure he found his balance before he tried moving again. With his arms floating at the side, pushed away from his body by his flabbier chest, he planted his feet farther apart than usual, giving him more room for error as he shifted his newly front-heavy body. His mountainous gut forced him to lean back so it wouldn’t pull him down and make him fall forward, a fall he wasn’t sure he’d recover from. It also had the effect of causing his belly to jut out in front of him and present itself as the giant orb that it was. No chance of being minimized or sucked in. A constant globe of girth that he now had to account for every time he moved.

“Well,” Bruce sighed to himself, “this is going to take some getting used to.”

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