Nintendo DS targets smokers


30 May 2008

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Casual gaming for the hardcore smoker? The Nintendo DS handheld games console has added a new title to its range that claims to help smokers kick their habit: Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking.

This new title from games company Ubisoft will be released in November of this year and is specially developed for the DS console.

The Allen Carr Easyway business, complete with books and DVDs, is already extremely popular with a network of clinics worldwide and has celebrity endorsements from former smokers, including Liam Neeson, Anjelica Huston and Ashton Kutcher.

The game intends to approach the idea of quitting not by lecturing the smoker but by looking at the psychological reasons and individual motivations behind the habit.

“Players will be actively participating in the game’s content as they input the details of their smoking habits and even select their own Allen Carr’s Easyway coach to take them through the process of quitting,” said Ubisoft.

Screenshots from the game show mini games that aim to educate the smoker on the negative impact of smoking, as well as helping them realise the extent of damage to their health by calculating how much they have smoked in their lifetime, complete with an image of piles and piles of stinking cigarettes – not a pretty picture!

“The player experiences a truly interactive engagement with the game through which he or she learns that it can actually be enjoyable to quit smoking,” said Christian Salomon, vice-president of worldwide licensing at Ubisoft.

This is the latest in a long line of lifestyle games to appear on the Nintendo DS console, with other games running the gamut from weight-loss motivation to brain training, through to learning new languages.

By Marie Boran