Tuesday, 8 January 2013

COMPUTER CRAZE GIVING KIDS CANCER


If there's one thing that really bugs me about the whole agenda of "video games are bad" from certain groups, it's the headlines used. Under today's spotlight is The Mirror (a UK tabloid) for it's most recent headline, which I noticed reported by the thoroughly brilliant MCV:

TV & COMPUTER CRAZE IS GIVING KIDS CANCER

I personally take exception with computers and games being specifically taken for the purpose of an attention grabbing (and somewhat misleading) headline. You can read the Mirror's article here, but it basically rambles along for a while saying playing games means looking at screens lots and that means you're sitting and that's bad and you'll get cancer! I don't argue that sitting around not doing a lot is hardly going to do wonders for your health, but it's not as though the computer or the games are to blame.

It's only towards the end when we hear from Prof. Stuart Biddle, sedentary behaviour expert from Loughborough University, that it comes to any rational conclusion: that basically being sat down for a long time is bad. Whether that's in a class room, an office or if you're forever alone and sat in a dark room looking at the floor, it's not healthy. Nevermind the fact that board games, card games or other forms of entertainment mean you're sat on your butt.

The article doesn't even consider the impact of games using motion tracking that actually encourage activity because they could be active for far longer than 30 minutes, but still looking at a screen. Admittedly there might be a lesser appeal because using a controller allows for a lot more immersion in my own opinion, but that's just one way in which technology and, the culprit of the article, "screens" can be used to combat sedentary habits. The computer "craze" as they put it (noted rightly by Ben on MCV as not being a craze anymore) has one of the best shots of improving health, really. For example, Darren, our Marketing Director, tells us his daughter was playing Just Dance 4 for 2 hours solid. That's hardly sedentary.

If it were down to just videogames and I am in danger of cancer, then so is this little bastard:

Please, media, stop using games as a poster child for society's ills.

-James
Sat down and mildly perturbed because of it.