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UK Government Ads Link Games With "Early Death" 232

An anonymous reader writes "The UK government, backed by a bunch of charities that raise funds for research into cancer, heart disease and diabetes, has launched an advertising campaign that links the 'inactive' or passive gaming lifestyle with death and illness. It's part of a bigger 'Change4Life' campaign that has also linked playing games with making children obese. The new ads show a young child playing a PlayStation game, with the caption 'Risk an early DEATH, just do nothing.' To say this has annoyed the UK games industry would be a grave understatement. Trade association ELSPA has already called an urgent meeting with authorities to have the ads pulled, and trade magazine MCV has complained to the country's Advertising Standards Authority as well. As MCV Associate Editor Tim Ingham says in an impassioned opinion piece, 'Change4Life's advertising campaign makes a mockery of everything the industry has achieved in the last decade.'"
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UK Government Ads Link Games With "Early Death"

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  • by crazybit ( 918023 ) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @02:51AM (#27110415)
    Nowadays kids have fun playing games like Wii-Sports. With the new generation of controllers, games that require physical activity to be controlled will start to appear.

    Get them some of those games and let them invite their friends to play. They will sweat their asses trying to beat each other. Also never forget to promote real sports too (even if you have to drag them to the playground).
  • Re:Fine, but... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Sunday March 08, 2009 @03:08AM (#27110483) Homepage Journal
    There are already camps in Amsterdam [gamespot.com] and China [chinadaily.net] addressing that concern. In fact, the China program is held in a Beijing military building!

    Internet addiction disorder [wikipedia.org] is trying to fight its way into the DSM IV.

    In other words, if a few fatasses died in their parents' basements because they ate delivered pizza 24 hours a day and never moved their body except for their mouse wrists then they will ruin it for everybody and the sociologists in charge of the DSM IV make IAD a bona-fide disorder. More money for drug companies that way.

    Ethanol-fueled. p.s. anybody who mods me down is a bitch.
  • genetics. (Score:2, Informative)

    by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @03:26AM (#27110539)
    genetics is the biggest factor in being a fatass and dieing early. i'm in that group of people that has "survival genes", i can exercise every day of the week till i'm lathered in sweat and i'll only maintain my weight, and when i take a week off i pile on a kg, even though i'm not a big eater.

    My father is the same, so i figure this is just how it goes and i'll have to watch my weight all my life.

    as far as telling kids to get off their ass and doing something, never has a better message been sent. i hope they stick to their guns.

  • by SocratesJedi ( 986460 ) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @03:27AM (#27110541) Homepage
    Better to just cite the CDC guidelines for adults:

    (150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activities OR 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity) + muscle strengthening 2 days / week

    See http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html [cdc.gov]
  • by EsbenMoseHansen ( 731150 ) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @03:33AM (#27110565) Homepage

    The only problem is that the level of activity needed to improve health is actually very high. Walking for an hour or three won't help at all. Riding a bike at 25km/h won't help. Swinging a wiimote definitely won't help. To improve your health long term you need to get out and exercise hard for at least an hour a day. That means going for a run, or cycling above 30km/h.

    This is not true. Even walking briskly for 20 minutes each day improves your health dramatically. As long as you get your pulse up for a few minutes daily, it helps. A test is to check whether you can comfortably hum or whistle while you exercise. If you can, walk faster/swing that mote more/bike faster.

    Of course, if you want big flashy muscles, 20 minutes walking isn't going to cut it, but that is another matter.

  • by supernova_hq ( 1014429 ) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @04:10AM (#27110657)

    You have just touched my argument against what they have done. They are aiming directly at video games and while they can contribute to inactive lifestyles, so can a lot of things that most people PROMOTE. What about board games (which you mentioned), reading, building model cars, playing cards, or god forbid, STUDYING!

    The truth is that EVERYTHING we do can contribute to our death if we do too much of it. Play too many video games and you can become obese, build to many model cars and you can inhale paint fumes, exercise to hard and you can have a debilitating injuring, study too much and you can become a recluse (causing obesity), wash your hands too often and you can lower your immune system.

    People need to stop freaking out about every little thing they do and just realise that moderation is everything. Everything can kill you, but few things will do so in moderation.

  • Re:Fine, but... (Score:4, Informative)

    by MrMr ( 219533 ) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @05:03AM (#27110795)
    Yes, you're probably right:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7621412.stm [bbc.co.uk]
    Not that factual evidence has ever mattered for government policy.
  • Re:Fine, but... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cally ( 10873 ) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @07:49AM (#27111407) Homepage
    Sitting on your arse all day playing computer games, and never taking any exercise, is obviously unhealthy. Just as sitting on your arse reading books all day (and never taking exercise), or trolling Slashdot, or listening to music, or working on a new interpretation of the mathematics of M-theory. The best advice any doctor has ever given me was when I was unemployed and, yes, sitting on my arse all day, feeling a bit sorry for myself. (Not clinical depression, but some GPs might have just written an SSRI scrip.) "Go outside and go for a short walk every day, 30 minutes will do, just walk round the village, even if it's raining." (I live in the country.) Four days later I felt /amazingly/ better. If you've got kids, try to get them in the habit of having a walk everyday, without making it into a chore - let them discover that it's enjoyable their own way.
  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @09:05AM (#27111753)

    Are you kidding? Fitness initiatives have been targeting TV for pretty much as long as TV has existed. Games aren't being "singled out."

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"