But let’s not pussy foot around: Change4Life’s advertising campaign makes a mockery of everything the industry has achieved in the last decade. And it’s bang out of order.
Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have all moved Heaven and Earth to provide a more socially embedded and (whisper it) healthy interactive experience with this generation of consoles.
Not only have they got the UK’s idle, McDonald’s-munching youth actually keen to break a sweat – but, more importantly, they’ve helped them have a genuine giggle with their parents for the first time since “peek-a-boo!” in the pushchair.
Change4Life’s heart-in-mouth scapegoating of the video games industry is a troubling indictment of a hypocritical Government which flashes us grins when we generate £4 billion a year for its depleted coffers; but which then turns its back and explicitly tells parents that we’re KILLING THEIR CHILDREN.
When MCV asked the industry if it wished to criticise Change4Life’s last effort in January (that winsome ‘harmless’ TV ad in which a camera zoomed in on a gamer’s heart to show fat cells multiplying in his system), it largely fell on deaf ears.
Nobody except one brave, bellicose insider dared to risk causing friction with Whitehall and its oh-so-generous ‘new approach’ to the UK games industry. (One which still doesn’t include a promise of tax breaks to challenge Canada’s mushrooming dominance in the creative sector, by the way).
But when Change4Life then attacks our supposed role in the DEATH OF KIDS by pedalling an image of a low-lit nightmare you’d usually associate with the NSPCC, surely it’s the time for us to stand up as an industry and say: “That’s not fair”?
Let’s be very clear, because this gets sensitive: Sticking up for video games’ achievements in the face of shrieking propaganda does not show us up as a negligent supporter of obesity in kids.
It shows we’ve remembered where our bollocks are – at a time when the Government’s foot is wedged firmly between them.