The National Institute on Media and the Family, a media watchdog group that has spent considerable time taking the gaming industry to task for continually churning out violent titles, turned its attention to parents recently. It gave parents an "Incomplete" grade in its annual report card Tuesday. According to the group, parents aren't paying enough attention to ESRB ratings and don't have any interest in using parental controls.
The study poses an interesting question: "Are parents doing enough to protect their children from violent video games?" The answer, though, isn't simple.
On one hand, we can say that parents haven't done enough to educate themselves about video games since Mortal Kombat and Doom became household names on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers have focused their attention on monitoring retailers and imposing strict regulations on developers, in the hope that these actions will help parents who want to keep their children away from violent titles.
But how much control does a parent really have? They can't be expected to watch their children 24 hours each day, nor can they control a child's activity when he or she is at a friend's house where the parents do allow violent video games to be played.
For years, I've seen watchdog groups attack the video game industry for "intentionally marketing to children" and "not doing enough to stop the sale of violent video games to children." And yet, during all those years when the industry was getting hit from all sides, I never heard one group specifically target parents until now.
Now that the NIMF has finally set its sights on parents, does this mean it's time for more parents to take notice and realize that the decisions they make related to violent video games in the home have a major impact on the development of their child?
Absolutely.… Read more