Watch Out, Video Games Will Kill You!

By  |  Monday, March 9, 2009 at 3:06 pm

change4lifeThere’s a lot of bile flying around over a British government ad campaign that takes a hearty crack at video games.

Change4Life,” a joint effort by the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and Cancer Research, encourages families to exercise and eat better — noble goals, for sure, except that the adverts behind the initiative use video games as a scapegoat, to the chagrin of the games industry. Most recently, a print ad surfaced with the text “Risk an early death, just do nothing” and an image of a child holding a Playstation controller, looking lethargic. This follows a video from Janaury that shows a clay figure playing a video game, and then zooms in to show fat cells growing inside the body.

So, now there’s an editorial by MCV’s Tim Ingham, taking the British government to task.

“Change4Life’s heart-in-mouth scapegoating of the video games industry is a troubling indictment of a hypocritical Government which flashes us grins when we generate £4 billion a year for its depleted coffers; but which then turns its back and explicitly tells parents that we’re KILLING THEIR CHILDREN,” Ingham writes. He also talks about how the big three console makers “have all moved Heaven and Earth to provide a more socially embedded and (whisper it) healthy interactive experience with this generation of consoles.”

I’m not partial to the “rah-rah, video games are perfect” argument — they are an inherently relaxed pastime, and no amount of controller-waggling can change that — but I wince whenever games are painted as the root of any particular brand of evil.

Still, I’ve got to hand it to the Brits for doing their job. They got eyes on the initiative, which, judging by the Web page, is pretty rational compared to its advertisements. The “60 Active Minutes” section doesn’t specifically attack video games; it only says that “in this modern world [children have] other things to do and plenty of reasons not to go outside and play or run around.”

Sounds about right to me, and it will be a shame if parents don’t get that far, instead taking the ads at face value and fearing video games more than they already do.



4 Comments For This Post

  1. Cypress Bayou Says:

    I will stop to do thing that need to do when stationary, like reading, going to school, bathing, etc. in that way i will safer and i will live for 123 years!

  2. Jason Says:

    These attacks on video-gaming are biased and poorly researched. Just another attack on an easy target rather than the real problem, which is parents who don’t maintain balance for their children’s lifestyle. Letting your kids eat nothing but junk and do nothing but watch tv and play video games is unbalanced, but so is restricting your kids from these activities. The ideal balance is difficult to attain and requires constant supervision and involvment, which is called good parenting.

  3. rafael ascanio Says:

    lol i play like 5 H a day but i go to gym and i play football and other sport games so i will die too >?

  4. find best deals online Says:

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has
    a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or
    outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping
    it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know
    any ways to help stop content from being ripped off?

    I’d truly appreciate it.

    Here is my web page; find best deals online

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Watch Out Video Games Will Kill You Technologizer | Joint Pain Relief Says:

    […] Watch Out Video Games Will Kill You Technologizer Posted by root 24 minutes ago ( Government ad campaign that takes a hearty crack at video games change4life a joint effort by the british heart foundation joined the technologizer community leave a comment for copyright 2009 technologizer inc technologizer is pleased to be powered by wo Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Watch Out Video Games Will Kill You Technologizer […]