BitSnark

A place of scribblings located in the darkest corner of the internet. Yup.

Parents to accept responsibility for their kids playing age rated games? Say it ain’t so!

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This comes courtesy of 1up.com:

Yahoo News reports that the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) has given the videogame industry a positive report card this year and come down hard on parents, in stark contrast to most years prior. The 13th annual report was released today, and the industry almost received straight A’s, with particularly high grades in the ratings system and retail policies. “This year the industry has improved its ratings enforcement and given parents new tools when choosing the right videogame for their child,” said NIMF president David Walsh. Parents of gamers, on the other hand, showed poor performance this year, getting an “Incomplete” grade. The NIMF points out that many parents don’t pay enough attention to the ratings and don’t use the parental control features of game consoles.

As usual, the organization has outlined ten games parents should avoid letting their kids play. This year the games listed are all rated M, so the ESRB agrees:

Blitz: The League II
Dead Space
Fallout 3
Far Cry 2
Gears of War 2
Legendary
Left 4 Dead
Resistance 2
Saints Row 2
Silent Hill: Homecoming

Instead, the NIMF lists more family-friendly titles as alternatives, including Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band 2, Rock Revolution, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, and Shaun White Snowboarding.

The games industry has a strained history with the NIMF. In 2005 it gave the ESRB an “F”, and just last year it sharply criticized the ESRB for staying stagnant as the industry matured. Parental involvement received a “C” grade last year, so it’s the one that dropped most sharply while the industry itself showed vast improvement. Gamers have been advocating more parental responsibility for years, so it’s good to see the NIMF agreeing.

Having seen this issue from the retailer’s point of view, I cannot reiterate just how faith-in-humanity crushing it is, to see a parent buy an 18+ game for their 11 year old kid and then have the sheer audacity to have a pop at the retailer just for informing them of the explicit content.

The burden has largely remained on the shoulders of the parents, as it is their responsibility to bring their children up right and by proxy, purchase the games that are most suitable for them.

It’s not a case of the industry ‘passing the buck’, as the ‘buck’ in this case belonged to the parents to start with.

It’s good that finally, various bodies are starting to realise this instead of relentlessly villanising retailers with overzealous ‘mystery shoppers’ and protocol.

EVERYBODY has a responsible share in this.

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Written by bitsnark

November 26, 2008 at 5:33 pm

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