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Watchdog group praises games industry, criticizes parents
The video game industry can breathe a sigh of relief. It won't have to hide its report card anymore.
The National Institute on Media and the Family, a conservative media watchdog group that has repeatedly criticized the game industry for failing to adequately warn families about inappropriate content, issued its 13th annual video game report card on Tuesday. And for the first time, the industry got nearly straight A's, receiving high marks in its ratings system and retail policies.
"This year the industry has improved its ratings enforcement and given parents new tools when choosing the right video game for their child," said NIMF president David Walsh. "That's a significant step in the right direction."
Significant is right. As recently as 2005, the NIMF gave the Entertainment Software Ratings Board a resounding "F."
The NIMF still points out one problem-spot: parents. This year's report gave parents an 'Incomplete' for not paying enough attention to ratings and failing to use parental controls built into game consoles.
To remedy the situation, the NIMF has red-flagged ten violent games concerned parents should keep away from the under-17 crowd this holiday, citing excessive bloodshed and brutality:
- Dead Space
- Fallout 3
- Far Cry 2
- Gears of War 2
- Left 4 Dead
- Resistance 2
- Saints Row 2
- Silent Hill: Homecoming
Notably, all ten are already rated M for Mature, so for once the industry and the watchdog are in agreement. On the flipside, the NIMF recommends these Teen-rated alternatives:
- Rock Band 2
- Rock Revolution
- Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
- Shaun White Snowboarding