The games industry needs to get a grip

Change4Life is some sort of scheme dreamt up by the Government and various charities to encourage children to be healthy. This is a good thing.

The entire games industry seems to have taken offence at one particular Change4Life advert, which points out that children who do nothing might die early. This is illustrated by a photo of a child slouching back playing a game of some sort. See it here.

Trade paper MCV has put itself in charge of objecting in the strongest way possible, and complained to the Advertising Standards Authority. Others to have chipped in include industry bodies ELSPA and Tiga; games publishers Codemasters, Konami, Atari and Sega; magazine publisher Future; and Sony is contemplating legal action because the controller looks a bit PlayStation.

MCV’s complaint is on the grounds that the advert is “unrepresentative of the positive effect video games have on the UK’s youth”. Yes, in the same way that alcohol awareness adverts are unrepresentative of the positive social aspects that drinking can have. Because that’s not the point of the sodding advert, obviously.

Christ! Get a grip, people.


Jake has been here since the beginning, with hundreds of reviews and countless other guff to his name. These days, not so consistent.

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  • This advert clearly suggests that playing videogames can lead to an early death.

    May I suggest that instead of MP’s sitting in the house of commons they should be forced to jog on the spot or at least do lunges as they’re clearly setting a bad example which will lead to the death of all of our children.

  • Also I’m not sure how many kids have died early from playing videogames but I bet more have died during sporting activities…

  • The controller in the photo is incidental; it’s just showing an inactive child. The games industry is being hugely over-sensitive, and making something out of nothing.

  • Games do make people unhealthy, antisocial shits anyway. Everyone knows that’s the cost of our pastime.

    Except for Wii Sports, obviously…

  • Wii Fit, you mean?

    Gordon Brown should go down to the London Trocadero and play Dance Dance Revolution.

  • Perhaps they should have run an advert with a child reading a book instead? In fact I’d say the child is less active…

  • They had to characterise an unhealthily inactive child. Perhaps sadly, clasping a controller is a pretty effective way of doing that.

  • Books are mentally stimulating. They require your imagination. A lot of games don’t (obviously, some do though).

    I like games obviously, but it’s clear from reading the Gamespot/IGN forums that playing too much of the wrong type of game can turn you into an utter bloody moron.

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