Report: U.K. Health Campaign Will Tout Benefits of Active Games

Last month’s controversy over a British government health agency ad which appeared to link video games to childhood obesity has subsided.

But beyond that, MCV UK reports that today the government’s Change4Life organization will launch a campaign touting the benefits of active gaming.

Presumably, that would include the likes of Nintendo’s Wii as well as multi-platform titles like Dance Dance Revolution (see screenshot from new ad at left). MCV quotes Minister for Public Health Dawn Primarolo:

Active video games, where kids need to jump up and down or dance about as part of the game, are a great way to get kids moving more.

Little bits of activity like this, throughout the day can easily add up to the 60 active minutes kids need. But our survey shows that at the moment our kids just aren’t getting up and about enough.

UPDATE: The new Change4Life ad, which at one point depicts a character playing a DDR -like game, can be seen here.

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  1. 0
    State says:

    Having seen the whole advert on TV the original message has not changed and I see no sign of a u-turn.

    The advert depicts a number of unhealthy activities including playing a standard non-active computer game and even reading (something people here said would never be depicted) and then it shows a number of healthy activities including DDR along with bike riding and walking to school and some other physical activities.

    There’s a link for you to watch the advert. Watch it and then you will understand that there has never been a "smear" campaign solely against games and there is now promotion of all gaming due to a donation from Nintendo.

  2. 0
    mr_mlk says:

    Would you mind backing that statment up?

    Or is it just the "socialized" that means it sucks? Commies.

    A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

  3. 0
    squigs says:

    I’s all relative.

    The NHS has it’s problems, certainly, but considering the price, it’s pretty good.  In the US, you’d have to be pretty healthy to get the per capita cost of the NHS as your insurance premium, and if you have no money at all, you’ll be treated in the UK.

  4. 0
    SticKboy says:

    I’ve no complaints. The NHS was terrific when I had appendicitis, and I don’t know what I’d have done without A&E when I was growing up (I was always getting into scrapes)…

    Are you speaking from experience?

  5. 0
    ZenAndNow says:

    Nintendo sent them a cheque. Surprisingly enough, money does indeed improve your health! I mean, video games went from deadly to helpful after enough zeros behind a dollar sign!

  6. 0
    Battosai says:

     It is interesting to see how quickly the opinion of games by this company is being changed, or at least considered from a different angle. Ever since I was introduced to the Dance Dance Revolution and Pump It Up franchises I have been a rabid fan. I loved the fact that gaming could be fun and even beneficial. When the Wii came out I felt the same way. So when I originally saw the add regarding gaming being "fatal" I had a serious WTF moment. Granted there are some children and even adults that spend insane amounts of time on video games but the same can be said regarding television. I am glad to see that the same company is now giving at least some credit to games like DDR and PUI but I almost get the vibe that they are doing it just to try to save face. 

    I agree that obesity is an issue in the US but to point fingers at video games solely is kind of unfair. I mean, I know a lot of people who don’t play games but eat Mcdonalds every chance they get. Yeah, video games could be part of the problem but lets tackle the whole issue rather than alienate one portion of it. It seems like video games have been getting a bad rap these past few years especially but perhaps that is due to its fast rise to the top and casual games being released that appeal to all types of gamers. The same can be said about the TV when it was originally released. Hopefully we will eventually move on from this and some new hobby will be the target but I feel bad for the group it does target.

  7. 0
    State says:

    How are we to know that this advert is in direct response to the unjustified criticism that Change4Life originally received, this advert could potentially have been in the planning stages for many months.

    I hardly see this as being a U-turn on the campaign of sitting about playing "standard" games being unhealthy, there’s a clear difference in physical exertion between playing DDR and Halo for instance, and apparently this advert will clearly show that.

  8. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    Like…yeah??? -_-

    We have known about the Wii for 3 years now and also DDR for something like almost 10 FREAKING YEARS!!!


    Mainstream is so slow to catch up with the facts and sadly, it is only when they generate attention is when they truly get the facts.

    Plus with a little bit of donation from Nintendo, Videogames have now got a slightly better image. But it is truly dissapointing that many still hold those old negative steriotypes of Videogames making people fat.


  9. 0
    State says:

    Americans are so pointlessly patriotic, this time trying to criticise a health service available to all, instead of one available only to those that can afford. Anyway don’t like have free health care in the UK? Then go private and pay for it.

  10. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    No, what changed their mind is that Nintendo, immediately after the ads launched, entered talks with the ‘Business4Life’ side of the organization with a view to donating to the group in the same way McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Pepsi et al were so that they could ‘be included in discussions about what the adverts should contain.’

    As I said below, it would appear that Nintendos donation cheque has now cleared and they are allowed to have input on what the adverts depict.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  11. 0
    mdo7 says:


    Yeah I would love to hear that from them.  They smear the image of video game saying it’s harmful.  There are video game that can help you with excercise and the minds also.  I hope somebody can show them like Wii fit, and Brain Challenge.  I guess that would show them.  I remember seeing this on Kotaku.



    Maybe that’ll make them change their mind.  Unless they think it’s all a conspiracy to them.



  12. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    “We’re sorry for saying games are slothfully deadly. We’ll promote physically active games.”
    A public appology would have sufficed.

  13. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Looks like that cheque from Nintendo cleared then.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

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