Violent Video Game Campaign
Are you worried about the increasingly
violent and graphic content in video
VIDEO GAME NEWS
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
Applauds Video Game Bill Requiring
Increased Accountability for Adult Game
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.”
Ask Your Representatives in Congress to
Support the Video Game Ratings
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
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,
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.
An advertiser cannot force anyone to publish its marketing
pitches. And yet that's what video-game makers demand of the
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
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."
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
Only 13 stores (19%) posted store policies against the sale of M-rated games
Nine of these 13 stores (69%) sold an M-rated game to minors despite store
51 stores (76%) failed to display the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB)
video game ratings symbols.
the 16 stores that did (63%) sold M-rated games to minors under the
age of 17, and only eight (50%) asked for identification.
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
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. ►
Get Off the
Bus! - IGN.com
Complaints lead RTD to review ad
policy - Denver Post
PTC Praises Sen. Sam Brownback for Reintroducing Video Game Rating Bill
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.
Maker of Grand theft Auto Video
Game Delays Release of Bully
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.
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.
game concerns anti-bullying activists and the American Psychological
Association, which recently passed a resolution condemning the violence in video
games marketed to children.
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."
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.
trade Commission Begins Investigation into Grand theft Auto: San Andreas Hidden
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.
of the House of Representatives had asked the FTC to investigate whether
take-two had intentionally deceived the ESRB to avoid a restrictive "adult"
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!
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
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.
Auto' back with a vengeance
Video Games Display More
'Adult' Video Games Can Slip
Electronic Nightmares: Sex and
Violence Invade Your Game Console
Mature Games: Do you know if your child owns
Voice your support for
adult video game LEGISLATION.
RESEARCH, STATS &
VIDEO GAME REVIEWS
WHAT CAN I DO?