Game Industry Gets a C from NIMF

cletter.gifAs we reported earlier tonight, a copy of the National Institute on Media and the Family's annual Media Wise Video Game Report Card leaked to us a day early shows that the video game industry is being given a mediocre C by the institute this year round for both "pushing the edge of the envelope in creativity and storytelling" and finding "creative new ways to market adult games on kids". The ESRB ratings meanwhile, will be awarded a C+ mostly because of the "Manhunt 2 rating debacle".

Included in the report card were a number of recommendations including the same universal ratings system that Hilary Clinton has been talking up for years now:

• A universal ratings system is needed now, more than ever, to increase ratings knowledge and reduce confusion. A majority of parents favour one rating system for all media. • The ESRB should issue its rating based on the game's entire content, blurred or unblurred, locked or unlocked. Game makers should only disclose when such content exists in the code, but should provide footage of the blocked or blurred code along with the footage they provide of easily accessible code. • Retailers must return to the level of compliance of which they have proven in the past they are capable. • Retailers need to educate their employees, especially the younger ones, concerning the importance of enforcing the ratings. • Parents need to become better educated about the ratings and then make use of them. Parents also need to learn about and use the parental controls offered by the new console systems. • 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.

Kind of a bag of empty recommendations if you ask me. They really need to be a little more specific than "increase compliance." Come on, if you don't think the current system works explain how to fix it.


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