The ELSPA (the British equivalent of our ECA) is excited because the official recognition may lead to Wii Fit Plus being allowed to use the official "Change4Life" brand on their product starting next year. Funded by the U.K. National Health Service, the Change4Life campaign ran a series of negative ads earlier this year linking regular video game play with premature death (according to ,) making this sudden change of heart even more encouraging to gaming activist groups. Mike Rawlinson, Director General of ELSPA, was quoted in the release as saying, "We are thrilled that active videogames are finally being recognised by the government for contributing to a healthy, balanced lifestyle."
Still, government representatives are carefully cautioning that they do not endorse gaming in general but rather a regular exercise regimen which may include active games like Wii Fit Plus or . For those interested, the full release follows:
The Entertainment and Leisure Publishers Association (ELSPA) today welcomed the decision by the Department of Health to endorse the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus videogame -- making it the first game to be allowed to use the NHS's Change4Life logo in future advertising. The Change4Life programme is a campaign by the NHS to persuade people to take regular exercise and to eat healthily.
Mike Rawlinson, Director General of ELSPA, said today: "We are thrilled that active videogames are finally being recognised by the Government for contributing to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. 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."