Deleterious DTV?

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Go to the arcade section of nabiscoworld.com and click on CHIP BLASTER. There, you can "grapple with an out-of-control conveyor belt to ensure that every cookie is blasted full of chips." Then there's that mini golfgame with the rotating mini-Oreo.

Or head on over to bubbleyum.com and play the Bubble Gum Grab game, where you need to "catch as many pieces as you can!"

The concern of activist group Children Now, seconded by the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, is that the vaunted DTV transition could turn TV sets into similar gateways to "advergaming," where sites push their products while picking up important information with which to stalk their marketing prey.

That is one of the reasons that the three put together a panel discussion this week on the downside, as well as the upside, of the digital TV transition.

Not surprisingly, the issue of obesity, which is getting big media coverage these days and the marketing of snack foods to kids easily dovetails (or should that be Dove bars?) with concerns about an increasingly interactive TV world. "When you click on Scooby Doo's head in a cartoon," asks Children Now's Patti Miller, "will you be taken to a Web site where you can buy a box of sugared cereal with his picture on it?"

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