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What Is a Virtual Cosmetic Surgery Game?

By Alicia Sparks
Updated May 16, 2024
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A virtual cosmetic surgery game is one that simulates plastic surgery procedures to varying degrees. Often, these games are meant to be used by private citizens for fun, though there are more professional versions some plastic surgeons employ. Although they share some similarities, a virtual cosmetic surgery game and a virtual makeover game are not the same thing.

Most often, a virtual cosmetic surgery game is meant for fun. There are many different types, including those that allow players to mix and match the facial features and other body parts of various anonymous models and those that allow players to alter their own images. Some versions of these games allow players to use celebrity faces and bodies to mix and match. Other types of virtual cosmetic surgery games allow the players to act as surgeons, virtually performing the plastic surgery themselves rather than simply choosing which eyes, nose, or mouth they want. Depending on the game, the players might use models, celebrities, or images of themselves.

These kinds of games are available in several different formats. Players might play for free on websites that host the games, or they might download the games to their computers. Some games are available on a disk, such as a CD-ROM, which allows players to play the game on any computer. Certain versions of a video cosmetic surgery game might be designed for use with a video game console. Too, there are certain cell phone applications that allow those who download them to play the games using nothing but their cell phones.

Sometimes, a plastic surgeon will use a more professional version of a virtual cosmetic surgery game to give a patient a clearer idea of what she will look like once the procedure is complete and she has healed. Although this version of a virtual cosmetic surgery game isn’t as much a game as it is a professional tool, it does allow the doctor to show his patient the side-by-side before-and-after photos so she can make a more informed choice about her procedure. These kinds of virtual tools might show the patient what she will look like after having a breast reduction or augmentation, liposuction, or even facial fillers like Botox®. Many patients appreciate this quasi glimpse into the future, as it gives them more confidence about the plastic surgery or helps them realize it’s not what they want after all. The surgeon may even print the photos and given them to the patient to take home before she makes a choice.

It might be easy to confuse a virtual makeover game with a virtual cosmetic surgery game, but the two are quite different. Although they both allow the players to enhance their own, or a model’s, appearance, the virtual cosmetic surgery game involves performing virtual plastic surgery. The virtual cosmetic game, on the other hand, usually only deals with cosmetic makeup, new hairstyles and hair colors, and sometimes even new eye colors and teeth whitening. Too, makeover games often allow the players to try out new clothing and accessories for a complete look. Similar to some cosmetic surgery games, makeover games are available both online and in disk format to be played on a computer or via a video game console.

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