After a promotional campaign earlier this year that turned a disdainful eye on playing video games, a health board in the United Kingdom seems ton have modified it’s stance.
The National Health Service runs a campaign called Change4Life, and after extensive consultation with ELSPA, the board has agreed to allow Wii Fit Plus to run its Change4Life logo in its advertising.
ELSPA’s Director General Mike Rawlinson said the organization said that it was thrilled that that active video games were being recognized by the government:
"Since the negative portrayal of videogames in a Change4Life advertisement earlier this year, ELSPA worked with the Department of Health to gain proper recognition of the many benefits which active gaming can bring to an energetic lifestyle. Children and adults across the UK already know that dancing, jumping or even boxing within an active videogame have real exercise benefits. We are encouraged by this positive step to gain wider recognition of the health benefits that videogames can offer to individuals, families and communities alike.”
The health board had run and advertising campaign in March showing a child playing a video game with the words "Risk and Early Death, Just Do Nothing" as the headline. It caused a significant uproar in the games industry, but despite numerous protests, the health service allowed the campaign to continue.
ELSPA also said that Wii Fit Plus may be able to run the Change4Life logo on its game box next year.
According to the ELSPA press release, a spokesman for the Department of Health seemed to stress that they were not endorsing a video game, per se, but "an exercise regime":
“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.”