Are you worried about the increasingly
violent and graphic content in video
The players of today's video games find
themselves assuming the role of the most despicable people
to walk the earth by carrying out mind-altering
tasks with realistic graphics. these games reward and encourage
violent criminal conduct and, under
current laws, retailers are not obligated
to impose restrictions on the sale of video games
to minors. A ten-year-old can purchase an
Adult Only (AO rated) video game.
For more than fifty years, social scientists have insisted that exposure to
violent media products leads to aggressive behavior in children.
the US military agrees, and uses simulators
that are similar to first-person shooter video games
to desensitize soldiers to violence and mentally prepare
them to kill.
Allowing higher rated video games to only be sold to adults will have no affect on the ability for
this industry to pursue its profit and its "art"
amongst adult consumers. When graphic sex, extreme violence, and
the glamorization and codification of
disrespect for the most basic of norms
that make up human decency are involved in a
product that children can use and learn from, parents need
to be a part of the decision making process. In
the face of scientific proof that there is potential for irrevocable damage when children play
violent video games, as a society we would be grossly
derelict to not enforce the standards
that the video game industry itself has said are
prudent and necessary.
The PTC is pushing for legislation to enforce
the ESRB ratings guides for purchase of games backed by financial penalties for
those who do not follow the law.
The Parents Television Council™ praised the U.S. Supreme Court for taking on violent video games and urged the Court to uphold a California law that was designed simply to provide meaningful consequences for retailers who rent and sell violent games to underage kids.
Iowa State University Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson has
made much of his life's work studying how violent video game play affects youth
behavior. And he says a new study he led, analyzing 130 research reports on more
than 130,000 subjects worldwide, proves conclusively that exposure to violent
video games makes more aggressive, less caring kids -- regardless of their age,
sex or culture.►
The Parents Television Council™ urged the Rhode Island legislature to pass legislation (S. 2156) to prevent retailers from selling or renting M-rated or AO-rated adult video games to minors in the state.
At the Target Corporation annual shareholders meeting in Waukesha, Wis., the Parents Television Council™ called the company out for selling M-rated video games and unrated DVDs to minors. During a secret shopper campaign, PTC found that underage children could purchase M-rated video games from Target 41% of the time. PTC called on the company to take necessary steps to address the problem which is of great concern to parents.
The Parents Television Council™ applauds the State of California’s decision to appeal the Ninth Circuit Federal Court ruling that struck down a California law designed to prevent the sale of adult video games to minors to the U.S. Supreme Court.►
response to the
struck down a
prevent the sale
of adult video
games to minors,
called on its
members to voice
for CA State
Yee’s call for
the decision to
be appealed to
the U.S. Supreme
Here in Canada where I live, a story began unfolding on
Canada's Thanksgiving Day weekend on October 12, 2008.
In the province of Ontario, 15-year-old Brandon Crisp was
handed the ultimate judgment from his frustrated and loving father when his
treasured Xbox was taken away. It seems Brandon had become totally immersed in
playing a particular game -- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare -- during
which he interacted with other on-line players over the Internet.
Secret Shopper Campaign Reveals Need for Video Game Legislation Introduced Today in Congress
The Parents Television Council released the results of its Secret Shopper Campaign, which revealed that video game retailers sold Mature-rated video games to minors 36% of the time, a higher percentage than was reported in May 2008 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)*. The campaign results show the need for video game legislation that will hold retailers accountable like the bill introduced today by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
The Nintendo Wii
has become a sort of modern day David and Goliath adventure. Nintendo, with its
aging GameCube system, was being overshadowed by glitzier offerings from Sony
and Microsoft when they respectively introduced their PlayStation II and Xbox
units. A few years passed, and Nintendo made the choice to forgo more pixels and
faster computer chips in exchange for a sleek new design and a commitment to a
whole new way of controlling a video game. They also had a stable of
family-oriented characters to draw upon in creating new titles.
The outcome has
written a new page in marketing history, as the struggling company has found
itself firmly back in the "game," so to speak. The challenge has also sparked a
litany of news stories showcasing Wii-love-fests with images of typically
non-gaming demographics, like senior citizens, waving around Wii controllers and
lobbing virtual tennis balls.
Progress Is Good, But Too Many
Still Fail to Help Keep Mature Games from Kids
The Parents Television
Council commended the select few video game
retailers who have gone above and beyond the
“retailer accountability” suggestions outlined by
the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to
keep video games that are created for mature and
adult audiences out of the hands of kids. However,
following the release of an undercover shopper
report by the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC), PTC contends the
status quo is still unacceptable.
Parents Television Council
praised the leadership of Congressman
Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Congressman Lee
Terry (R-NE) and their commitment to
increased retailer accountability for
adult video game sales. At a news
conference today, the Congressmen
unveiled a bipartisan bill that would
require retailers to check
identification for all customers wishing
to purchase a video game rated M for
“Mature” or AO for “Adults-Only.”
Retailers Must Keep Adult-Themed Video Game Away from
next installment of the violently graphic Grand Theft Auto video game set to be released next week, the Parents
Television Council called for retailers to keep the
game away from children.
PTC Warns Congress to Put Families First,
Not Industry’s Interests
“The video game industry
continues to fight meaningful accountability
for selling inappropriate material to
children. the industry has been exposed
repeatedly for its reprehensible behavior
and now they are looking for ways to buy
friends in the government,” said PTC
President Tim Winter.
Video Game Industry
"Complacent" About Violence
we're seeing some steps backwards...[there's] growing complacency" among
game retailers and the gaming industry on video game ratings and
violence, concluded David Walsh, President of the National Institute on
Media and the Family.
The Institute presented its 12th annual video game report card Tuesday.
the report card lists the top ten video games that should be avoided by kids and
teens under 17. Nearly half of children between 8 and 12 have played M-rated games intended for
those 17 and over, the Institute said.
Included on the list are new games like Assassin's Creed, which depicts an attacker plunging a knife into his
victim's back several Times;
Manhunt 2, in which a man taunts a prisoner by urinating into
the man's cell; and
the Darkness, in which a fallen victim's body is riddled with gunfire as blood spurts across
With the holiday shopping season in full swing, parents are facing many choices of gifts
to give their children. But with fewer retailers participating in efforts
to educate their customers and employers about the video game ratings,
it falls to groups like the PTC and the National Institute on Media and
the Family to keep parents informed about the dangers posed by graphic media violence.
For the Institute's full list of "games to avoid," along with a list of games recommended for kids and
teens, go to
other fathers and sons, Douglas Gentile and his father have spent many
hours arguing about video games. What makes them different is that
Douglas, an Iowa State University assistant professor of psychology, is
one of the country's top researchers on the effects of media on
children. His father, J. Ronald Gentile, is a leading researcher on
effective teaching and a distinguished teaching professor emeritus of
educational psychology at the University of Buffalo, State University of
Additional ESRB Action Urged Against Game Publisher
Parents television Council called on
Entertainment Software Rating Board
President Patricia Vance to take immediate action in
response to the news that Rockstar Games allegedly did
not remove explicit content from its new video game, Manhunt 2.
the PTC asked that the ESRB give the game its originally
issued “Adults Only” rating at least until the ESRB can
on ESRB to Explain Why the New Videogame Received a Softer
Rating in U.S.
The Parents television Council called on the Entertainment Software Rating
Board (ESRB) to explain to parents why the new explicitly
violent videogame, “Manhunt 2,” was given a softer Mature (M)
rating and not the original Adults Only (AO) rating.
Measure to Prohibit Sale of Graphic Games to Children Helps Parents
The Parents television Council, together with its six California grassroots chapters, applauded
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for appealing District
Judge Ronald Whyte’s ruling that overturned the popular violent
video game legislation.
The more competitive and adventurous your video game driving skills are,
likely you are to be in an accident on the real-life road.
This according to a
two-part study from Germany, which found that those who engage in risky
behavior when playing virtual racing games carry that behavior onto the
road, and are at greater risk for accidents and traffic violations.
The research followed men who played either a
typical racing game, or a neutral game. those who played the competitive racing games relied on breaking
traffic rules to win -- such as
driving on the sidewalk, speeding or crashing into other cars.
These men subsequently reported
experiencing feelings of aggression that were triggered when on the road
behind a real car.
While this is the first study to examine
the effects of racing games, experts say the findings support what is
already known about gaming.
"Video games can affect behavior," says
Jeanne Funk, professor of psychology at the University of Toledo, Ohio.
"It's not a benign activity."
Every parent has done it. Diverted their child's attention while passing
that new toy or hoping they don't look up and see
the ad for something they might want but that you're unwilling to buy for
them. Advertising is powerful, especially when viewed by the most
impressionable members of our society, our youth.
Publicly owned buses and trains promote violence to
the Parents television Council and the Campaign for Commercial Free
Childhood, on behalf of a coalition of parents, child
advocacy groups, pediatricians and mental health
researchers, have called on the Regional transportation
District (RTD) to stop advertising video games rated
"Mature" or "Adults Only." Last fall, ads for the notoriously
violent M-rated Grand theft Auto: Vice
City Stories (Rockstar Games, 2006) were
featured on RTD trains. the organizations asked the RTD
to amend their advertising policy at the RTD monthly
board meeting on February 20, 2007. ►
Parents television Council is calling on the
Indiana State Senate to pass the bill that would prevent
video game retailers from selling Mature (M rated) or
Adult Only (AO rated) video games to minors. the
Indiana Senate technology Committee passed the legislation, and
the next step is for the Senate to vote
on the bill.
► December 2006
the MBTA will no
longer display advertisements
for video games that are meant
for adults after a citizens
group complained about posters
for a game that encourages
players to steal, murder and
have sex with prostitutes, a top
official said Tuesday. ►
notwithstanding, a legislative
committee on Wednesday, November 15 approved a
measure that would prevent Utah
youth from accessing violent video
April 2006 - A Michigan Law
requiring parental consent for children
to purchase violent video games has been
struck down by a Federal Court. they
February 2006 - Kansas becomes
the seventh state to introduce legislation
in 2006. the fact that this many states
are introducing legislation when every
court ruling to date has ruled against
similar legislation seems to indicate a
deep and abiding concern over violent
games among the voting public.
December 2005 - the senate (Clinton,
Lieberman, and Bayh) introduced a bill
making it illegal to rent or sell
a Mature or Adults-Only Rated game
BRIEF BREAKDOWN OF MAJOR LEGISLATION
trade Commission, Federal Communications
Commission, or another governmental body
to study media violence or ratings
Setting up task forces
to study the effects of violent media on
children, or education programs for
Proposed in 5 jurisdictions
Passed in 2
Requiring video games
retailers to display the ratings (or
notice of a ratings system) developed by
the Entertainment Software Ratings
Passed in 4
Prohibiting the sale
or rental of video games with
excessively cruel and realistic violence
to minors (some allow sale with parental
permission; some prohibit it
Passed in 11
jurisdictions (City of Indianapolis,
County of St. Louis, City of North
Miami, State of Washington, Illinois,
Michigan, California, Minnesota,
0 jurisdictions (currently in
courts in California, Minnesota,
Requiring that stores
renting or selling violent video games
display them separately from other video
games, away from easy access. NOTE:
this is required in almost all bills
which prohibit the sale of violent video
Proposed in 4
Advisories to the industry or miscellaneous resolutions
Parents Television Council,
Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The
nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting
children against sex, violence and profanity in
entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval,
and Family Guide to Prime Time Television
are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.