London mayor makes weapons-grade arse out of himself over London Games Festival

By Patrick Garratt, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 16:59 GMT

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London mayor Boris Johnson apparently has trouble remembering what he’s said: the politician today praised the UK games industry, following previously writing a diatribe against games in general in the Telegraph in 2006.

Boris today, speaking on the EA Trafalgar Square event during the LGF later this month: “I’m delighted that the London Games Festival is back in our city for its third year. It demonstrates the creativity and range of the gaming industry, which, as an important part of London’s creative sector, makes a vital contribution to the economy as a whole. With events across the capital, the festival has something for everyone and illustrates the popularity of this thriving form of entertainment.

“I am pleased to see EA’s BE THE ONE event is returning to Trafalgar Square. It was an undoubted highlight of last year’s festival, which reinforces London’s position at the centre of one the most fastest-growing creative industries in the world.”

Boris in 2006, writing in the Telegraph in an editorial titled, “The writing is on the wall – computer games rot the brain”: “Some children have it bad. Some are miraculously unaffected. But millions of seven- to 15-year-olds are hooked, especially boys, and it is time someone had the guts to stand up, cross the room and just say no to Nintendo. It is time to garrotte the Game Boy and paralyse the PlayStation, and it is about time, as a society, that we admitted the catastrophic effect these blasted gizmos are having on the literacy and the prospects of young males.”

You utter, utter clown, Johnson.

EA press release after the link. Thanks, GI.

EA’S LANDMARK FREE ACCESS GAMING EVENT “BE THE ONE” RETURNS TO TRAFALGAR SQUARE THIS HALF-TERM FOR LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL

INTERACTIVE EXTRAVAGANZA GIVES THE PUBLIC THE CHANCE TO PLAY THE LATEST VIDEO GAMES, WIN PRIZES AND PLAY AGAINST THEIR HEROES FROM THE WORLDS OF ENTERTAINMENT, SPORT AND MUSIC

Guildford, UK – October 15, 2008 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced that it will once again bring its signature BE THE ONE event to London’s iconic Trafalgar Square as part of this year’s London Games Festival. On October 31 and November 1, the British public will be able to play some of the latest EA and EA-partner games, get their hands on video games that have yet to be released and compete for the chance to challenge a host of celebrities live on stage in front of thousands – all for free.

EA will be building of one of the largest ever temporary structures to be erected in Trafalgar Square, as a spectacular centrepiece for the London Games Festival. The BE THE ONE BattleDome is a vast transparent state-of-the-art weather-proof construction featuring an array of the latest next-generation games consoles, hi-tech screens and the very latest in PC gaming. At one end of the Battledome, facing the National Gallery is the main stage which will host a series of celebrity and public gaming challenges throughout the event in addition to live music performances. The stage is flanked by vast high definition screens to showcase the very latest games, and auditorium seating provides the comfort factor that completes an entertainment experience not to be missed.

BE THE ONE officially opens on the evening of Thursday, October 30 with a spectacular public premiere event for the highly-acclaimed and long-awaited Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, which will launch on 31st October for PC and Xbox 360. This televised event will see invited celebrities, Red Alert fans and members of the public enter the BattleDome for an extravaganza that will include live and recorded appearances from some of the actors in the game such as Gemma Atkinson. In addition and for the first time, the game will be used for an international live challenge between Russia and Great Britain. The launch event will be filmed for Command & Conquer’s popular online TV series Battlecast Primetime.

In further live international challenges, EA SPORTS will host contests across its popular franchises Madden NFL 09, FIFA 09 and TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 09, between British and American gamers across the pond via Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

On the main event days, Friday 31st October and Saturday 1st November, thousands are expected to descend on Trafalgar Square during the BE THE ONE event to play the latest games. On show at BE THE ONE will be many of Europe’s best selling franchises and consumer favourites like FIFA, Need For Speed™, The Sims™, Harry Potter, and a wide range of casual and family titles for Nintendo platforms including LITTLEST PET SHOP, Boogie™ SuperStar, Zubo™ and MONOPOLY. Hot new gaming brands will also be included in the show like Sims 3, SimAnimals™, Mirror’s Edge™, Battleforge™, Spore™, the brand new top-selling Warhammer® Online: Age of Reckoning™ as well as forthcoming mega-hit Rock Band 2 from MTV Games/Harmonix. With a variety of special guests, entertaining challenges and performances planned there will be plenty for everyone to see and do at BE THE ONE 2008.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “I’m delighted that the London Games Festival is back in our city for its third year. It demonstrates the creativity and range of the gaming industry, which, as an important part of London’s creative sector, makes a vital contribution to the economy as a whole. With events across the capital, the festival has something for everyone and illustrates the popularity of this thriving form of entertainment.

“I am pleased to see EA’s BE THE ONE event is returning to Trafalgar Square. It was an undoubted highlight of last year’s festival, which reinforces London’s position at the centre of one the most fastest-growing creative industries in the world.”

Keith Ramsdale, Vice President for EA in the UK, Ireland and Nordics added: “We’re proud to bring back BE THE ONE as part of the many celebrations and events at the London Games Festival. Interactive entertainment is now an established part of family entertainment. BE THE ONE showcases our games in a highly entertaining event format and gives novices and experienced gamers alike the chance to get their hands on some of the hottest games this season. Along with our friends from the world of sport, showbiz and music we’ll be looking to delight and entertain as many people as possible. It will be an event that you won’t want to miss this half term.”

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