Common Sense Media: 17 Percent of Children Ages 5 to 8 Game Every Day

October 31, 2011 -

Children's Advocacy Group Common Sense Media has released a new survey of parents (conducted by Knowledge Networks) that shows 17 percent of five to eight-year-olds game every day, while 81 percent have played games during their lifetime. That number drops to 51 percent when parents of the entire group (from birth to eight-years-old) were asked the same question.

The survey found that around 74 percent of children's screen time is predominantly spent watching television, compared to 10 percent with video games and 13 percent using a home computer.

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No Shortage of Opinions on Brown v. EMA Decision

June 30, 2011 -

Hey GPers!  Up for some opinions on the recent Supreme Court decision that gave Leland Yee’s violent video game law the Kuribo Boot?

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Common Sense Media: SCOTUS Decision Disappointing for 'All Who Care About Kids'

June 27, 2011 -

As you can probably guess even before you read the official statement from Common Sense Media, they are not pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling on Brown v. EMA today. The children’s advocacy group said in its reaction statement to the decision that they were disappointed and felt that parents had been let down by the court.

But the Supreme Court isn't congress or the president of the United States; in other words they should really only concern themselves with their area expertise - the law as it relates to our constitution. Nevertheless the group that is squarely against the videogame industry voiced its strong opinion that the court erred in its decision. Below is the full statement from Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer:

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Yee Replaced with Common Sense Media CEO for Commonwealth Club Event

March 17, 2011 -

There was supposed to be a debate tonight between California State Senator Leland Yee and George Rose, the Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer for Activision Blizzard, but apparently the San Francisco mayoral candidate can't make it. He has been replaced by James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media - according to Destructoid. I suppose if you are going to get someone that might fight hard against games other than Yee, then Steyer is a decent replacement. Still gamers would have enjoyed seeing Yee debate Rose.

Destructoid also reports that Grand Theft Childhood author Cheryl K. Olsen has taken an interest in the discussion. She will be in the audience, but will not be taking part in the discussion. The moderator would be smart to include her.. More details on the event here.

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Game Industry Briefs Offer Three Times More Support - Updated

September 17, 2010 -

Update: id Software has filed an amicus brief (PDF) and the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has joined  nine other states that are asking the Supreme Court to strike down the California law. Thanks to all our Shoutbox users (PHX Corp, BearDogg-X, etc.,) for their help today.

Original story: Those supporting the state of California’s attempt to legislate the sale of violent video games to minors got an early start and submitted their amicus briefs on July 19th. Perhaps a bit disconcerting for gamers, those briefs sat unopposed for nearly two months.

But hey, better late than never as today the video game industry saw a flurry of support from all over the country as various people and organizations rushed to meet today’s submission deadline. We’re still waiting for the ECA’s long expected amicus brief but in the meantime, let’s tally up the scores and see which side can brag the most support.

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Common Sense Media and What Constitutes Lobbying

September 14, 2010 -

In an opinion piece by the LA Times blog, Alex Pham tries to determine if Common Sense Media is an advocacy group or a lobbyist firm.

Let us go down the rabbit hole:

"..But there's another aspect to the organization. Common Sense Media has been one of the most zealous voices when it comes to encouraging state legislation limiting the sale of ultra-violent games to minors. Its chief executive, James Steyer as penned numerous letters to state and federal officials, urging them to curb kids' access to 'ultra-graphic violence' depicted in games."

The rest of the article drills down on Common Sense Media's activities from 2005 onward. What is important to note is that the company has been straddling the fence between advocacy and lobbying for years.

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Parents' Group: 72 percent Support Game Bill

September 13, 2010 -

A parents' group cites a recent Zogby poll to back up its claim that adults are firmly against the sale of ultra-violent video games to minors.

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, said a poll of 2100 adults showed that 65 percent of parents are "concerned about the impact of ultra-violent video games on their kids" and 75 percent of parents have a negative view of what the games industry is doing to safeguard minors from violent games, according to an article in Gamasutra.

The group's conclusion is that 72 percent of parents support California's violent video game legislation, which is coming up for consideration in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer:

"What we've learned from this poll is that parents want to be the ones who decide which games their kids play, not the video game industry.

Hal Halpin, head of the Entertainment Consumer Association, said:

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Common Sense Media’s 10 Games to Avoid for the Holidays

December 8, 2009 -

Just in time to disappoint legions of juvenile videogamers for the holidays, Common Sense Media has released a list of 10 games that should be avoided for younger players.

Actually we jest, because the list, entitled 10 Cool Games That Are Uncool for Kids, does a decent job of offering safe alternatives for each title it recommends that parents avoid. The full list, with substitutes in parenthesis, follows:

  • Assassin’s Creed (Mirror’s Edge)
  • Borderlands (Infamous)
  • Brutal Legend (Ghostbusters)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Battlefield: Bad Company)
  • Dead Space: Extraction (Deadly Creatures)
  • Dragon Age: Origins (Braid)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Batman: Arkham Asylum)
  • Demon’s Souls (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)
  • Left 4 Dead 2 (Overlord II)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (C.O.P.: The Recruit)
55 comments

Common Sense Media Criticizes Full Frontal Nudity in GTA IV Expansion

February 20, 2009 -

The mainstream is beginning to react to the news that GTA IV add-on The Lost and Damned features a moment of full frontal male nudity.

Watchdog group Common Sense Media has now weighed in on the controversy:

It is even more controversial than its predecessors because this game has full frontal male nudity. The game lets you lead a life of crime as part of a motorcycle gang with plenty of gang violence... relentless foul language, drugs and alcohol, and sexual references...

Families can talk about why Rockstar likes to push the envelope and garner controversy over its games? Why did they have to put full-frontal nudity in the game if it's not integral to the story? Do they correlate media outrage with extraordinary game sales? Do players expect Rockstar to stir up controversy with each of its titles, including the Manhunt and Bully series?...

 

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ConsterDon't 'beauty rags' already get plenty of criticism?02/27/2015 - 9:02am
ZippyDSMleeEh still rather subjective… the haters would be better off going after teen and beauty rags and magazines than fiction, fiction follows reality and going after fiction tends to turn into a bullying fest’s… plus its fiction its unrealistic to start with….02/27/2015 - 1:10am
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenNot as much the heels or the suit in and of themselves but certainly the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy to show off her lady bits.02/26/2015 - 9:10pm
E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
 

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