Boing Boing linked to a truly cringe-worthy CNN piece on an EVE player who got buff called “Virtual Reality: Avatar inspires gamer to hit the gym.”

(A picture of Marcus Dickinson - right, and his avatar Rock Wielar - left.)

Just in case anyone missed it, here’s the opening:

The world of “EVE Online” is brutal. There are enemies and alliances, death and destruction. Gamers fight for territory, profit and fame in a never-ending quest to top their opponent. It’s a bit like the real world that way.

When Marcus Dickinson first created his “EVE” character, Roc Wieler, the two had little in common. Roc was a retired colonel from the Minmatar tribes – a stoic, physically imposing disciplinarian. Dickinson was a 230-pound Canadian with an affinity for bacon.

Over time, the line between fiction and reality has blurred. “I’m a role player inherently,“ Dickinson says. “I take it seriously.”

An interesting manifestation of the Proteus Effect, if a bit anecdotal. Also, note the quotes around “EVE Online,” as if CNN was discussing a phenomena that someone had made up.