Remember those South Australian anti-video gaming ads? We all know they’re stupid, and now they’ve rumbled Australia’s games industry lobby. So much so that the lobby group is now straight-up demanding that they be pulled down.
Leading games industry lobby group and champions of common sense, the iGEA, is sending a letter to the South Australian government this morning demanding in no uncertain terms that the ads be removed, due to the fact that they demonise gamers as pro-gambling fiends.
GAMBLING STARTS WITH GAMES
That’s the slogan on the ad, written in big ugly bold letters, above a young girl with pigtails, sitting at a poker table with what is clearly an original iPad. The insinuation is that now in her impressionable youth she’s playing a game with simulated gambling, which means that she’ll become a future gambling addict when she reaches adulthood.
Shocking logic leaps aside, the ad demonises games and gamers alike, especially those who encourage their kids to play games.
The iGEA is less than pleased with South Australia for its tactless, absurd campaign, and have pushed to have them taken down by 20 December.
Kotaku has a leak of the letter, which reads:
There are a number of representations that are likely to be interpreted by the Billboard, including:
• that playing games, including tablet computer games, leads to gambling; and
• that playing simulated gambling games leads to gambling.
Both of these representations are inaccurate and unsubstantiated. The most recent research cited by the www.nogame.sa.gov.au website specifically states that:
“This study does not suggest that simulated gambling precedes or follows monetary gambling.” Furthermore, the author of the most recent research cited by www.nogame.sa.gov.au in 2012 stated the following:
“It should be recognized that any sort of gambling during adolescence does not necessarily lead to gambling during adulthood. Although early exposure may familiarize young people with gambling, it does not always follow that involvement or interest in gambling at a younger age will be associated with subsequent gambling”
The letter descends into a list of demands, including that the billboards be taken down.
South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, told us exclusively yesterday that “it was never the intention of the campaign to target gaming and gamers,” adding that “the campaign is about targeting those games that lead children into gambling and to help parents be better informed about the games their children are accessing”.
Clearly, they know it has rustled a few gamers, so the Premier thought it prudent to add: “The Government will ensure that the future phases of the campaign make that clear”.
Read the full story on Kotaku Australia.