Impartial Game Journalism Fail #2
GAMES FIRMS MUST SAVE CHILDREN THEY’VE MADE INTO HEALTH TIMEBOMBS.
At least that’s what the CAPLOCK OBSESSED Sunday Express is crying for this fine Sunday morning.
In a bid to combat what they deem to be the “spiral[ling] out of control” problem of childhood obesity, the Express are calling on UK government to invest the millions of pounds of tax money generated by video game sales into sport facilities for British children. Citing (ahem) expert opinions that blame gaming for everything from the “antisocial behaviour [...] blighting Broken Britain” to the “sky high NHS bill” to the “alarming” Vitamin D deficiency disease Rickets that affects a minuscule 100 British children a year, this obviously fine, impartial, non-sensationalist example of British journalism wants to see “drastic” intervention.
Joining the self-proclaimed crusade, Liberal Democrat’s Health spokeperson Norman Lamb, stated that: “Computer games generate a lot of tax which should be invested into preventing problems like child obesity and rickets. Funding new sports facilities through VAT raised from computer games should be looked at. Children have to be encouraged to keep active.”
Fueling the fire, a researcher at the University of Essex added that most afflicted were males aged 14-16. “They come straight home from school and play a games console until they go to bed. That includes playing while they eat,” said Dr Sandercock. “There has also been a boom in fitness software like Nintendo Wii Fit but the simple fact is that it’s never going to replace playing sport for real or going to the gym.”
But of the “worrying” 730 hours a year the average child spends “slouched in front of a TV screen” (which actually only works out as 2 hours day, btw), I wonder how this figure disaggregates down into time spent on sedentary games and energetic, motion-controlled sports games? And what about TV? Shouldn’t the Express be be baying for the blood of TV industry as sensationally as its berating gaming?
Whilst there’s little denying that children today are less active than previous generations, our nation’s ills cannot be pressed firmly nor ultimately at the door of the gaming industry. It took many ingredients to cook up the mess we’re in now. Maybe our tabloid journalists and politicians should take a long, hard look at themselves before casting stones?