Senators on Hand as NIMF Report Card Zings Game Biz for "Ominous Backslide"

December 4, 2007 -

Dr. David Walsh (left) of the National Institute on Media & the Family issued his 12th Annual Video Game Report Card this morning. In doing so he criticized the video game industry for "an ominous backslide on multiple fronts."

Flanked by a pair of U.S. Senators (Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota) as well as  Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), Walsh awarded an overall grade of C to the game business. The report card explains:
 

Assessing the performance of the gaming industry this year is a difficult task... Console manufacturers, for the most part, seem to understand the importance of making games safe for kids. Microsoft included a timer feature that allows parents to limit their children’s video game playing time, a praiseworthy innovation...

Some software makers made great games that pushed the edge of the envelope in creativity and storytelling. Others, once again, dredged the well of poor taste, with titles like Rockstar’s Manhunt 2 and Eidos Interactive’s Kane & Lynch: Dead Men.

Some game makers also found creative new ways to market adult games on kids, a disgustingly familiar practice over the years. Too few game makers disclose when illegal versions of their games are stolen from their facilities and leaked on the Internet.


Some explanation of "creative new ways to market adult games on [to?] kids" is needed. That's quite an accusatory statement. What games? What companies? What strategies?

The same applies to the statement about leaked games. Is NIMF referring to the notorious Manhunt 2 leak? If so, that was disclosed immediately - by the people who leaked it. In fact, on those rare occasions when a game is leaked, it's always big news in the online game community. Explain, please, NIMF...

National retailers, who did so well on last year's Report Card, got slammed this time around. Big box stores slipped from an "A" to a "D". Meanwhile, game specialty stores moved in the opposite direction, jumping from last year's "F" to a respectable "B". Rental stores, however, flunked. Such dramatic jumps - in either direction - seem a bit odd.

The general category of "Retailer Policies" earned a C+:
 

We were surprised by this year’s surveys... that showed one out of three retailers does not educate its employees on the ESRB ratings. That’s a significant drop from last year. Even more shocking was that only 30 percent of local retailers provided families with information on the game rating system.


The ESRB also received a C+ but, as expected, NIMF did not let the Manhunt 2 controversy pass unnoticed:
 

The Manhunt 2 rating debacle shows that the ESRB needs to change its procedures to close a gaping loophole that some game publishers are all too eager to slip though. The ESRB rating should be based on all of a game’s content and code, locked or unlocked, blurred or unblurred. A game’s rating will be meaningless unless serious steps are taken to prevent games from being unlocked.


NIMF also took the opportunity to renew its call for a universal media content rating system. The Halo-in-church controversy came in for a mention as well:
 

Libraries, schools, churches and other pubic institutions should follow the game’s rating and only allow games appropriate for the age of the youth. By promoting M-rated games, they are undercutting the ESRB’s rating system and undermining parental credibility and authority.


Also included are the results of a lengthy Harris poll on the role of video games in the lives of children. Read the full Report Card here (26-page pdf)...

Comments

I wish someone would go ahead and publish: Nude Intergalatic Lesbian Conquest: Destroy All Innocent Life on Earth with Chainsaws. For the sole sake of shoving the idea down the throats of these industry critics that VIDEO GAMES, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ARE NOT FOR YOUR SNOT FACED AND OVERPROTECTED CHILDREN.

@ConstantNeophyte:

Replace the parenthesis below with greater than/less than symbols:

(a href="http://gamepolitics.com")Click Here(/a)

That's how.

@ Xlorep DarkHelm

A bit late (had to do some work at work; go figure), but thank you.

[...] Report Cards: Serious Business December 4, 2007 by Delta From: http://gamepolitics.com/2007/12/04/senators-on-hand-as-nimf-report-card-... and: http://gamepolitics.com/2007/12/04/esrb-video-game-report-card-flawed-co... The National Institute on Media and the Family released their annual “Video Game Report Card” which grades the industry and retailers on their overall performance of policing itself against marketing games to children. ThGet More Game Cheats…Tags: pc games pc game cheats video game trailors game news games [...]

The ratings on TV is a joke......if TV14 can not handle lite cussing and the F word sued as a expletive then why is it even used,its a fcking pointless ratings system.

"Too few game makers disclose when illegal versions of their games are stolen from their facilities and leaked on the Internet."

Oh sure, go ahead and blame the modding community! If you ask me, this whole "report card" B.S. is just that!
 
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Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
 

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