London, 6th March 2009
The UK government has just launched a lazy and stereotypical attack on the games industry. The Department of Health’s Change4Life ads show a young boy holding a PlayStation 3 controller under the headline “Risk an early death, just do nothing.”
Never mind that the government's own research states "there is a lack of conclusive evidence" about the impact of technology in general on obesity. ( http://www.gamesbrief.com/2009/03/risk-an-early-death-do-nothing-change4life-puts-the-boot-into-the-games-industry)
Never mind that the games industry is lauded by the government as one of Britain's strongest creative sectors
Never mind that it employs 22,000 people directly (just in development and publishing) and ranks 4th in the world by revenues.
They just went ahead and ran a Change4Life campaign that links early death and young gamers.
It’s time that gamers fought back.
The campaign, co-ordinated by Nicholas Lovell of Gamesbrief, aims to encourage the Department of Health to rethink its strategy and stop blaming videogames for all society’s ills.
Nicholas Lovell, founder of Gamesbrief, said “We had all hoped that following the Byron Review and many discussions with government, this kind of lazy, kneejerk thinking had disappeared. Well it hasn’t, and it’s up to us to remind the government that 60% of Britons play games, and gamers are voters too.”
The campaign urges gamers to:
1. Complain to the Advertising Standards Authority about this misleading ad: http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/how_to_complain/complaints_form/
2. Join the Facebook group Change4Life - gamers fight back ( http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54213654309) to show your abhorrence of lazy stereotyping.
3. Twitter it: #change4life reckons the games industry is the cause of obesity despite no evidence #fail http://bit.ly/yrpS
Join in, and stop the stereotypes from damaging the prospects of one of the UK’s most successful creative industries.
Notes to Editors
The Change4Life campaign is run by the Department of Health and this advertising campaign was supported by The British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and Cancer Research. http://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/default.aspx. A copy of the advert can be found at http://www.bhf.org.uk/healthy_children_home/about_change4life.aspx
Gamesbrief is a website dedicated to the business of games. It aims to track the rapidly-evolving games industry, to tell you what is happening and to predict what will happen. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all analytical. This is not a site for a list of latest press releases: each post should add insight to a story, it should make you think.