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Violent Video Game Campaign

Are you worried about the increasingly violent and graphic content in video games?


PTC Urges Supreme Court to Empower Parents and Protect Children by Upholding California Violent Video Game 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. more


PTC Calls on Rhode Island Legislature to Pass Bill to Prevent Adult Video Games from Being Sold to Minors

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.  more


PTC to Target: Stop Selling Video Games, DVDs with Adult Content to Minors

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. more


PTC Applauds Appeal of Ruling Overturning CA Adult Video Game Law

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. more



PTC Calls for Appeal of 9th Circuit Court Ruling Overturning CA Violent Video Game Law

In response to the Ninth Circuit Federal Court ruling that struck down a California law designed to prevent the sale of adult video games to minors, the Parents Television Council™ has called on its members to voice their support for CA State Sen. Leland Yee’s call for the decision to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. more


A Sad Reminder of the Influence of Video Games

By Rod Gustafson


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. more


PTC Finds Video Game Retailers Fail to Check Minors’ IDs

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.). more


Click here to read the full results.

Families Back On Video Game Radar

By Rod Gustafson


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. more

PTC Commends Responsible Video Game Retailers

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. more

PTC Applauds Video Game Bill Requiring Increased Accountability for Adult Game Sales


The 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.” more


TAKE ACTION! Ask Your Representatives in Congress to Support the Video Game Ratings Enforcement Act

PTC Puts Grand Theft Auto IV Retailers on Notice

Retailers Must Keep Adult-Themed Video Game Away from Children


With the 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. more


TAKE ACTION! Keep Grand Theft Auto IV Out of the Hands of Children

Video Game Industry Seeks to Buy Influence in Congress

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. more

Video Game Industry "Complacent" About Violence

"Unfortunately, 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 the screen.

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

Scientists explore how violent video games are exemplary aggression teachers

Like 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 New York. more

PTC Asks ESRB President to Reinstate Manhunt 2's Original AO Rating

Additional ESRB Action Urged Against Game Publisher Rockstar Games


The 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 investigate. more

PTC Denounces “Manhunt 2” Rating Reduction

Group Calls 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. more

PTC Applauds Gov. Schwarzenegger for Appealing Violent Video Game Ruling

State 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. more

The freedom to say 'no': RTD may choose its advertisers
Rocky Mountain News

An advertiser cannot force anyone to publish its marketing pitches. And yet that's what video-game makers demand of the Regional transportation

District: they claim that refusing to promote their products violates their free-speech rights.

This is nonsense, of course. Even though RTD is a public agency, the First Amendment has - or should have - nothing to do with this beef. more

Risky behavior in video games could lead to dangerous driving

ABC News


The more competitive and adventurous your video game driving skills are, the more 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." more

Can the Video Game Industry Regulate Itself?

The New York City Council recently investigated the selling of M rated video games to minors and found that 88% of children under 17 were able to purchase M rated games.

"Parents beware, the video games your children are playing are so graphically violent and so sexually explicit, if they were movies they would be rated - X," said Council Member Gioia. "Killing cops, maiming women, and committing hate crimes are only some of the deplorable acts that are graphically depicted in these games."

The month long investigation, which surveyed 67 stores, was a follow up to last year's investigation. that survey showed minors were easily able to purchase ‘M – (Mature) rated games which are considered too violent or sexually explicit for anyone under the age of 17.

"I am troubled that almost a year after the Consumer Affairs Committee held hearings on this issue, very little has changed," said Phil Reed, chair of the Consumers Committee. "It makes me wonder if the video game industry can truly monitor itself."

In fact, if this investigation's results are an indicator, the industry must work much harder to comply with its own standards. the results include the following:

  • Minors under the age of 17 were able to purchase M-rated video games at 59 of 67 stores investigated (88%).

  • Four of the 12 stores that did card minors (33%) sold the M-rated games anyway.

  • Only 13 stores (19%) posted store policies against the sale of M-rated games to minors.

  • Nine of these 13 stores (69%) sold an M-rated game to minors despite store policy.

  • 51 stores (76%) failed to display the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) video game ratings symbols.

  • Ten of the 16 stores that did (63%) sold M-rated games to minors under the age of 17, and only eight (50%) asked for identification.

None of these findings show statistically significant improvements from last year's investigation. It's unconscionable that after testifying before the City Council they would do better, the video game industry and retail stores in NYC continue to disregard the video game ratings system and make these games readily available to children." said Council Member Gioia.

Publicly owned buses and trains promote violence to young riders

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. more


Get Off the Bus! - IGN.com

Complaints lead RTD to review ad policy - Denver Post

PTC Calls on Indiana State Senate to Pass Violent Video Games Bill

The 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. more

PTC Praises Sen. Sam Brownback for Reintroducing Video Game Rating Bill
The Parents Television Council praised Senator Sam Brownback for reintroducing the truth in Video Game Rating Act (S. 568) that would help correct the current video game ratings system. more

Maker of Grand theft Auto Video Game Delays Release of Bully

Take-two interactive/Rockstar games has delayed the release of a controversial new video game called Bully until 2006, though some critics doubt the game will be released at all.

The game focuses on a year in the life of Jimmy Hopkins, a picked-on kid who in turn becomes the bully by flushing a classmate's head down a toilet, getting into fights, and taunting peers.

The game concerns anti-bullying activists and the American Psychological Association, which recently passed a resolution condemning the violence in video games marketed to children.

On CNN's Showbiz tonight, the APA's Jeffrey McIntyre said, "Children no longer are just passive witnesses to violence that may happen in the media. But now they're actually becoming involved in the scenarios, being rewarded."

If children can learn aggressive behavior from watching it on television, think how much more their behavior can be influenced by playing an interactive video game.   MORE

Federal trade Commission Begins Investigation into Grand theft Auto: San Andreas Hidden Sex Scenes

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board recently changed the Grand theft Auto: San Andreas' M (mature 17+) rating to a AO (adults only) rating after the game's maker, take-two Interactive unit Rockstar Games, admitted that they were responsible for creating hidden sex scenes.

Members of the House of Representatives had asked the FTC to investigate whether  take-two had intentionally deceived the ESRB to avoid a restrictive "adult" rating.

Major retailers including Best Buy, Walmart, and target have already pulled the product from their shelves.

PTC Calls on Video Game Publisher to Recall Grand theft Auto: San Andreas

Research and Publications Director Melissa Henson discusses sex and violence in video games on CNN's Showbiz tonight: Click here to Watch!

PTC Statement on Sen. Clinton's Violent Video Games Announcement

Senator Clinton's PR: Senator Clinton Announces Legislation to Keep Inappropriate Video Games Out of the Hands Of Children

Gallup Poll: More than 70 Percent of teenage Boys have Played "Grand theft Auto" Video Games

V-Chips For Video Games
by Rod Gustafson

If you've done your homework, and have enabled your "shields," your tV's V-chip should be helping you manage what your children watch and your DVD players should have their content rating features activated. But what about your video game system? You may have decided your kids won't be playing any M or AO rated games, but how can you enforce that when you're out on Friday night?


This may seem like a "no brainer" issue, but currently the only console game systems offering this ability are the original Xbox and the new Xbox 360. Neither Sony's PlayStation 2 nor Nintendo's Game Cube are able to prevent someone from playing a particular game based on its rating. In the portable gaming area, Sony's handheld PSP unit is reported to include a rating control function. Nintendo's portable, the "DS," does not. more



'Grand theft Auto' back with a vengeance

Video Games Display More Nudity

'Adult' Video Games Can Slip Past Parents

Electronic Nightmares:  Sex and Violence Invade Your Game Console

Mature Games: Do you know if your child owns this game?

TAKE ACTION Voice your support for adult video game LEGISLATION.












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