Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Smoking in video games - the next target for the Nannying Fussbuckets


That's right - the anti-smoking zealots have spotted that some smoking goes on in the odd video game:

Video games provide rich, interactive environments suitable for tobacco promotion.1 2 The WHO-Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) recommends comprehensive bans on ‘…all forms of commercial communication…with the aim, effect or likely effect of promoting a tobacco product or tobacco use.’ WHO-FCTC implementation guidelines cover entertainment media,3 4 yet surprisingly little is known about the importance of video games for promoting tobacco use. 

So expect - any time soon - for the BBC, the Guardian and other enthusiasts for the ghastly, New Puritan, prohibitionist agenda to start on this new target.



Martin said...

Smoking in games isn't actually that common a thing. But I digress.

One of my favorite games of recent years was a little title by the name of The Saboteur. You played an Irish bomb crafter in occupied Paris, helping out the resistance by blowing up anything with a nazi flag. Great fun.

What I remember is that by pressing a certain button while standing still, doing nothing, your character would open up his fags, take a few puffs, and stamp on it. At will.

The best part? If you did it enough times (I think 50), you got an achievement (which for the non-gamers reading, is, as the name suggests, a goal set in xbox games, and rewarded with a certain amount of points, the cumulative total of which across all your games being a source of bragging rights to your rival gamers).

That's as close an example I can think of for "promoting tobacco use" in a game. And it's still bollocks.

Zaphod Camden said...

Remember a while back when the Red Cross actually proposed that people who killed characters in video games should be done for war crimes? They lost my donations for life after that.

In words of one syllable and in capitals for the hard of thinking, once again… THESE GAMES ARE NOT REAL.


Michael J. McFadden said...

About ten years ago a game called "Grim Fandango" came out. It was very Bete Noir in flavor, and the characters were all skeletons dressed up in Cinco De Mayo fashion with paper-bag style heads.

A number of the characters smoked.

The Antis had a fit and bombarded the game creators who hit back by saying, "Er, if you didn't notice, all our characters are already DEAD!!!"

The earliest antismoking theme I remember in a game came in either Ultima IV or Ultima V somewhere in the late 80s or early 90s. There was an old sailor secondary character who constantly smoked a pipe and they had him constantly coughing and gurgling and spitting pflegm.