Advertising watchdog okays 'gaming equals early grave' ad
Discouraging sedentary lifestyle, not gaming
The Advertising Standards Authority has stood behind an advert that some consumers complained connected videogames with an early death.
Advert A-OK, rules ASA
The UK's advertising watchdog ruled that “the ad did not claim that playing computer or console games alone would lead to illness or premature death”.
It's believed the ASA received a small number of complaints about the ad, described by the head of games developer trade organisation Tiga, Richard Wilson, as “absurd and insulting in equal measure”.
The ASA claimed that “most readers would understand that the ad was discouraging a sedentary lifestyle”, with games consoles used purely as an illustration of how health problems may occur if you sit on your bum all day playing Grand Theft Auto IV without doing any exercise.
It’s worth noting that one child was, according to the ASA, scared “she would die if she played video games”. But the Authority implied that, for the majority, the advert is unlikely to cause undue fear or distress. ®
but good for the brain
Sitting around all day playing video games may be bad for the waistline, but it improves brain functioning. A few years ago some studies showed that FPS games improve reaction time and rapid decision-making. A recent study found that RTS games can improve multitasking ability and working memory.
Lots more information about video game research:
On the other hand.....
I bought GTA San Andreas in 2005 and liked the martial arts stuff so much that I joined a Thai boxing gym to try out the moves for real. 4 years on I'm still there, I've lost 7 stone (I was seriously overweight), I train 4 - 5 times a week and I'm preparing to do a real Thai boxing match in May. OK, so I'm a grown up and this was my choice, but this shows that it's possible in at least one case for computer games to encourage healthy behaviour. I have to say that I find the constant government health campaigns to be extremely patronizing and I'm half tempted to take up smoking because of the ridiculous ways that it's being demonized. When I sorted out my health and fitness it had nothing to do with twee little adverts from on high.
The ASA has always found telling lies in support of a politically correct agenda is acceptable.
It is surprising...
...that the advertising people didn't have the sense to at least give the kid some sort of Generic Brand (TM) controller. I'm sure if they were taking a shot of a kid eating crisps they'd not leave a giant "Smiths" label visible.
I daresay that the advert bods don't understand that technology has recognisable forms that the initiated can easily spot. They probably think, "a controller's a controller innit?"
I can imagine them making the same mistake in a campaign about hearing loss with portable music and using an iPod instead of a Generic Brand (TM) device. Then Apple would be all over them like a rash.
I take a problem with the PS3 controller used
Everyone knows, the 360 is the console bought by kids (for which this advertising is aimed at).