UK govt links games to "early death"

British Heart Foundation also among groups in anti-videogames attack

The UK government's Department of Health has launched an incredible attack on the videogames industry with an advertisement linking the playing of videogames to an "early death".

The poster, also backed by charities including The British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research and Diabetes UK, shows an image of a child sitting on the floor holding a PlayStation controller in one hand, accompanied by the slogan: "Risk an early death, just do nothing."

The Change4Life campaign, which also features a second, similar advertisement with another child about to eat a cake, is aimed at promoting physical exercise in children, but the clear and public connotations will be unwelcome, to say the least, to an industry working hard to overcome unfounded stereotypes.

The government's own Byron Review last year noted that there was no solid evidence to link obesity to videogames, while the high profile launch and subsequent stellar sales of Nintendo's Wii Fit points towards an increasing trend of more active videogames on offer.

A Sony spokesperson was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

More stories

Games industry rallies behind Ukraine in face of Russian invasion

Update: Wargaming ceases business operations in Russia and Belarus, Riot donates $5.4 million in total

By GamesIndustry Staff

Tencent cutting off Chinese gamers' access to foreign games

May 31 update to internet acceleration app will only support games operating in China

By James Batchelor

Latest comments (10)

Dan Webb Editor-in-Chief, Xbox 360 Achievements13 years ago
Wow. Just wow. I love how they focus on games as a catalyst for their hate campaign yet they miss out the obvious television aspect. Way to remain unbiased.

Incredibly frustrating.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Gordon John Theobald Senior Graphic Artist, Codemasters13 years ago
Yah agreed. This is insanity. Maybe they just want to get the BBFC in to save us all?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.13 years ago
The fallacies involved with this kind of deduction are so numerous that a new study needs to be commissioned just to count them all.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (10)
Alexander Cederholm Editor-in-Chief, GAMEcore.se13 years ago
I agree with all of the above but what I really would like to know if they are allowed to have a Sony controller in their ads? AND are they actually allowed to even have this campaign since it seems to have a biased agenda and that the study are plain lies and speculations. This is the same kind of talk we saw the CTA do when they claimed that there was a correlation betweem video games and aggresive behaviour.
The video games industry is not without fault but how about focus on REAL things rather than made up stuff and guess work? And as you said... TV/movies would be a much worse offender in this case.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Bastian Nehrke Localisation Producer, Nintendo of Europe13 years ago
...just another case of impulsive, aimless action. This looks like somebody felt the urge to do something. And then... something... happens. The financial crisis dit not hit certain people hard enough if there is still money for an advertising campaign like this.
One should put an ad right next to it:

"Risk your credibility. Don't think. Just do."
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Sam Brown Lead Audio Programmer, TT Games13 years ago
I love the fact that I also spent my childhood sitting on my arse doing nothing at except... reading. Reading is also a socially unacceptable activity, don't just pick on games! ;)

I'm still not overweight, either. Never was. Reading must burn more calories than playing games.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Julian G Harding Video Media Editor, SOS Publications13 years ago
No cake or video games? Imagine the long and joyless life. But at least it's long! But it's joyless... But long. Oh the conundrum.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Dwain Hill13 years ago
They should be focusing on the positive aspects of exercise and spending money on improving sports facilities rather than taking a cheap shot at the games industry.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.13 years ago
Excuse me while I do my daily Wii Fit routine and then sit at work all day reading and writing stuff.

Funny, video games are keeping me in shape while my job is 'killing me'.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Franck Sauer Creative / Tech Art Director, Fresh3d13 years ago
You guys didn't get it right. Looking at the kid blank stare, you can see he is actually waiting for his game to download, doing nothing. The ad is obviously targeted at ISP and their slow bandwidth connections :P
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.