Watchdog Group Advocates Parental Game Screening

A recent “report card” issued by the National Institute on Media and the Family has substantiated what game companies and the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) have long maintained: it is up to parents, not the government, to screen what games are available to children.

According to the NIMF report, “As the world of video games continues to evolve, parents are falling behind. As we found last year, this year’s parental survey uncovered an alarming gap between what kids say about the role of video games in their lives and what parents are willing to admit."

The report said that although parents set rules down for their children in regards to playing video games, that there was a huge discrepancy between what they said and what actually took place in the home. The NIMF referred to this as "parental optimism" and suggested that parents take a more active part in the situation.

“This parental optimism is very unfortunate, because parents are in an extremely powerful position to make a difference in their children’s outcomes. Parents who are actively involved in their children’s media habits have children who spend less time playing video games each week, get better grades in school, are less likely to be overweight, are less aggressive, are more pro-social, and have fewer attention problems in school. Active parental monitoring of children’s media use appears to be a clear protective factor for children."

Video game laws have been proposed or passed in several states in an effort to prevent minors from accessing adult oriented or “M” rated games. While these laws appear to be a positive factor in keeping children away from purchasing such titles, many in the game industry have voiced the opinion that active parental participation in children,s lives is an effective means of keeping unsuitable content away from youngsters.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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