Winners Don’t Use Drugs
Winners Don’t Use Drugs is an anti-drug slogan that was included in arcade games imported by the American Amusement Machine Association into North America for 11 years from 1989 to 2000. The slogan appears on a screen that is shown during a game’s attract mode.
The messages are credited to FBI Director William S. Sessions, whose name appears alongside the slogan. Sessions reached a deal with AAMA president Robert Fay through which 20 arcade manufacturers agreed to include the slogan in their games. The slogan made its official debut on January 10, 1989, when three major games that included the slogan were shown to the press. A similar campaign called Recycle It, Don’t Trash It! credited to then-EPA Administrator William K. Reilly was launched several years afterward. Although Sessions’s tenure with the FBI ended several years later, the slogan continued to be included in newer arcade games. It has since become a 1990s symbol of arcade gaming in the US.
The slogan has been parodied various times, such as in the Xbox Live Arcade/PlayStation Network title Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, saying “Winners Don’t Eat Meat” or in Futurama with the version “Winners don’t play video games”.
- Sean Hutchinson (19 August 2015). “How the F.B.I. Made ‘Winners Don’t Use Drugs’ the Arcade Motto of the ’90s”. Inverse.
- “Futurama season 6 episode 17 review: Law And Oracle”. Den of Geek.