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Boris Johnson changes mind about games

They're not so bad after all, it seems.

Well, there's a turn-up. Boris Johnson has come out in full support of the London Games Festival, despite previously blaming videogames for falling literacy rates. Not to mention "ignorance, underachivement " and "poverty", and for turning us into "blinking lizards".

That's what he wrote in a Telegraph article published in December 2006, titled, 'The writing is on the wall - computer games rot the brain.'

Apparently, however, the London mayor is happy for EA to rot the brains of everyone passing through Trafalgar Square later this month. That's where it'll host the Be the One event as part of the London Games Festival.

"I'm delighted that the London Games Festival is back in our city for its third year," Johnson told a press release. "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," he added.

But that's not all! "I am pleased to see EA's Be the One event is returning to Trafalgar Square," Johnson went on. "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."

To be fair, Johnson never mentioned EA specifically in his original article. It was Nintendo he said we should "just say no" to, adding that it was time to "garrotte the Game Boy and paralyse the PlayStation". There was no mention of Xbox 360, either, so perhaps he's a secret Microsoft fanboy?

Be the One will take place in Trafalgar Square from October 31st - November 1st. You'll be able to take part in gaming challenges, try out new titles and watch celebrities doing things. Boris Johnson breaking a Mirror's Edge time trial record, perhaps.

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Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.