Do video games make you fat?
It depends on how many you eat!
A new commercial (left) for the UK government’s Change 4 Life initiative seems to have irked a few game industry types by linking video games with obesity and other health problems.
The commercial, created in stop motion with plasticine characters, features a boy playing a Space Invaders-like game. While he works the controllers, the camera zooms in on his body to observe all of the fat he’s storing. Cut back to the TV, where he zaps an in-game representation of himself for Game Over. The boy and his father look at the screen in horror before hurrying outside to exercise and eat healthily.
An unidentified insider at “one of the world’s biggest producers of fitness games” told MVCUK:
Any initiative that encourages people to move towards a healthier lifestyle can only be a good thing. But this is just another example of naive stereotyping and scapegoating. Video games can be a part of an active and healthy lifestyle for everyone of all ages.
Actually, because video games are playing such an important and fun role in people’s lives, the very audience this advert is supposed to address and speak to might dismiss it purely because of the naivety and ignorance shown.
Richard Keith, publisher for Future’s games portfolio added:
You would have to pretty hard-headed not to support the aims of the Change 4 Life campaign… However, it should be noted that when it comes to house-bound activities, gaming is much more ‘active’ than most – whether that’s exercising the brain with puzzles, rocking out with Rock Band or playing a few sets of tennis with Wii Sports, there’s more to gaming than sitting playing Space Invaders.
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics correspondent Andrew Eisen…