Videogames Will Kill You, Says Change 4 Life
Article by George Norman
On 11 Mar 2009
Change 4 Life is running an add campaign in the United Kingdom which, with approval from the British Heart Foundation, is pushing the idea that if you play video games, you will suffer from an early death. A image (which you can see further down the page) depicting a young boy with a gaming console in his hand, has already made it to the web and several youth oriented publications; but the image is not as worrisome as the text: “Risk an early death, just do nothing”.

It’s no big deal that video games are being targeted, it’s been done for as long as I can remember. Every time a parent, teacher, or even politician does not get it, they blame video games – alongside music and movies. What makes this add campaign a mockery is that the UK Government already looked into the matter, and according to the Byron review, there is no direct link between video games and youth obesity; as we all know, being heavily overweight leads to heart problems and other medical issues.


I will admit that abusing video games will take its toll; say for example if you stay up all night and do not get much needed sleep, or if you hardly ever get out of the house and spend all day in front of a monitor. But the same can be said about TV, or driving a car, or even McDonalds. Any abuse will lead to something bad, but the Change 4 Life add does not say that abusing video games will get you killed. It say that simply playing them will lead to serious health issues. Even though you only play them for a few hours a day, eat right and exercise? I wonder.

As previously mentioned, the child in the add hold a game console in his hand; the problem is that it looks strikingly similar to a PlayStation Dual Shock pad. Since the campaign did not go well with British game developers and video game enthusiasts all over the world, Sony is taking into consideration the possibility of pursuing legal action in this situation – in other words, they are going to sue The Gate, the media agency who set up the campaign.

The list of companies that take issue with the Change 4 Life campaign is not limited to Sony alone, it also incorporates Sega, Atari, Future Publishing, Tiga, and the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA).

Sega Europe president and COO Mike Hayes commented: “Television, radio, cinema, listening to music, computing, videogaming and of course, reading all require a high element of passive participation, but of all these media types it is videogaming that provides the most potential interaction and activity. It seems that an advertisement has been put together by a poorly informed advertising agency.”

Tags: Change 4 Life, Videogames
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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