Change 4 Strife


The Department of Health in the UK started running adverts for their “Change4Life” initiative recently (good initiative, crappy adverts). We were going to report on it but we were all too busy or too lazy or too bogged-down in technological horrors to be bothered. There was a forum post about it though.

Anyway, since the ad campaign started running the world’s big publishers and developers have been lining up to criticise the negative connotations it puts onto video gaming. For those of you who are too busy or too lazy or too bogged-down in technological horrors to be bothered clicking the link (EDIT: or looking up, I’ve added a picture) I will describe the advert.

A small child sits on a sofa with a blank expression on his face and a certain black video game controller in his hand. Above his head are the words: “Risk an Early Death, Just Do Nothing”.

I think the purpose of the advert is to show this brave little kid fighting off his chances of a premature death by doing something: playing video games, keeping his mind active and his imagination running instead of sitting in front of the idiot box engaged in a passive activity. No, probably not.

What I don’t understand, apart from how they can demonise gaming whilst still allowing McDonalds to sell our kids handfuls of salt, sugar and preservatives with a free toy, is why would the government be so keen on harming the business of the only industry that is still posting growing profits and therefore paying increased taxes in Britain? Surely that income at least buys the industry some more research and consideration than has gone into this laughable (and possibly damaging) campaign?