If you are a gamer then you are likely, on average, to die younger than a non-gamer, if a new UK government campaign is to believed.

"The Government's Change4Life campaign upped the ante in drawing spurious links between games and premature death this week," reports games trade paper MCV.

The Change4Life ad campaign – which appears in a number of popular womens' weekly mags such as Star, Reveal and Heat - clearly implies that the image of a young gamer slumped in front of the TV is at increased risk of contracting heart disease and dying younger than non-gamers.

Games industry hits back

"Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have all moved Heaven and Earth to provide a more socially embedded and (whisper it) healthy interactive experience with this generation of consoles," notes MCV editor Tim Ingham, commenting on the new government campaign, which is backed by the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and Cancer Research.

"Change4Life's advertising campaign makes a mockery of everything the industry has achieved in the last decade," adds Ingham. "And it's bang out of order."

"Change4Life's heart-in-mouth scapegoating of the video games industry is a troubling indictment of a hypocritical Government which flashes us grins when we generate £4 billion a year for its depleted coffers; but which then turns its back and explicitly tells parents that we're KILLING THEIR CHILDREN."

via MCV