I think that it’s fair to say that adverts are getting, at least, more diverse. Not only do people now advertise their religion, there are also sickening anti-smoking adverts, disturbing keep-to-the-speed-limit ones and, in more extreme cases, telling your husband that you want a divorce. But as of yet there hasn’t been much controversy with the gaming world.
But the Change4Life active lifestyle campaign, in their infinite wisdom, decided to put out an advert implying that gaming led to an early death: shown by a young child on a sofa with a mindless expression and a console game controller in his hand. As good as their aims may have been the campaign has angered two fairly important groups of people.
Firstly we have Sony who have definitely been more outspoken with their complaint: to the point where they are threatening to sue. The reason? Well if you look at the advert you will see that the controller in the boys hand looks oddly like that of the Playstation Dual Shock Pad, and that is the problem that Sony has.
And for a change I think I can sympathise in part with the large corporation as this could well have some repercussions. The last thing that any company wants, not least one that has a significant amount of its business through gaming, is to be associated with early deaths (with the possible exception of a euthanasia clinic) so the fact that the controller is fairly specific to one company and not in any way generic is a bit of a problem.
In fact the campaign has really walked into the middle of a metaphorical minefield with this advert as this is an argument that has been hotly debated ever since Pong hit out screens. Is it that the challenging environments and decision making processes that the computer games put you through balance out the negative impacts of sitting looking at a screen for hours? Or is it that they even overbalance the scales?
Having spent the last three days completing all of Half Life 2 I can say from personal experiences that playing too many games does have problems — mostly to do with your fingers, arms, eyes and social life. But I feel that the emotional bonds you make and the challenging aspects of the games make them more than just a waste of time.
But don’t expect to be seeing this advert any time soon: after being threatened with legal action from Sony they will at least change it to a more generic controller and if not take out the ad completely. But although I disagree with the statement you can’t blame the campaign for trying to do good, and we can just hope that their other advert (depicting a Bakewell tart) will be more successful!
Via – PocketLint