Xbox and the Public Health Agenda

Published on Friday 19th August 2011 by DJ Kirkby

I couldn’t post this on Wednesday evening because of the astoundingly bad internet connection at our hotel and Thursday we were travelling home.

We were lucky to get to the Xbox Gamescom pre-exhibition day on Wednesday at all because Tuesday night we went for supper at a well known restaraunt where the service was incredibly slow, the food arrived cold and N3S ended up with food poisoning a few hours later. I work in public health and I am certain the cold food was responsible. N3S was incredibly ill which was very distressing proof that children really do contain a bottomless pit somewhere inside their little bodies. I will be following this up in order to make sure the this restaraunt doesn’t give anyone else food poisoning again. (Rant over)

In the morning he was well enough to beg us to let him go to Xbox Gamescom media (and invited guests like us) pre-exhibition day  because he wanted to spend all day playing the new games. After much deliberation and discussion with others we decided to allow him to go as he wasn’t contagious and was desperate to go. It turned out to be an excellent decision…

We all played as many games as we could cram in and played these ones the most:

N3S was filmed playing a lot of these games by the media which was odd but interesting experience. He also went on a long walkabout with R2D2 which we filmed so he can look at it in years to come.

At the end of the day we were invited to speak privately to Michael Johnson, Director of Microsoft Marketing Globally. As I have mentioned before the fact that Xbox Kinect is exercise disguised as gaming fun is one of the things that makes it my favourite gaming system ever. However, I am also very pleased that Xbox are including important public health messages such as safe sex into games like Fable. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to discuss other key public health issues in England with Michael. Despite his jet lag he appeared genuinely interested in what I had to say in my role as someone who works for public health.

I would like to say a big thank you to Kerry Lister from Digital Outlook and Paul Fox from the Xbox Family Ambassador programme for taking such good care of us on our trip and to Xbox for making this experience possible.

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