ESRB, NIMF Jointly Remind Parents that GTA IV is Not For Kids

April 25, 2008 -
The relationship between the National Institute on Media & the Family (NIMF) and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has often been a contentious one.

But the two organizations have joined forces in the run-up to the Grand Theft Auto IV launch to remind parents that Rockstar's controversial game is not intended for younger players. A press release jointly issued by ESRB president Patricia Vance (left) and NIMF president David Walsh (right) reads, in part:
With [GTA IV] to be released on April 29th, parents need to be reminded to make sure their kids are playing games appropriate for their age and level of maturity. Grand Theft Auto IV is rated M (Mature for ages 17+)... The game’s rating also includes content descriptors for Intense Violence, Blood, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Partial Nudity and Use of Drugs and Alcohol.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, a parent is involved in the purchase of a video game nearly nine out of every ten times, so it is critical that parents consider the assigned rating carefully when purchasing or renting computer and video games for their children.

The ESRB and [NIMF] encourage parents to be informed and exercise their discretion when considering the purchase of all M-rated games. Parents should look for the ESRB rating on the game’s box, which provides guidance on age-appropriateness as well as describes the content in the game...

Comments

@DarknessDeku

I probably would too (I don't have kids right now, but considering my own experiences, I probably wouldn't shelter them from much if I did). What I'm wondering is wether or not context of content is a factor in the purchases people make for their kids. Anybody wanna share? :)

As someone said: Common Sense, go!

Well, I think they're in it for the publicity. GTA IV is so over-hyped, I'm expecting a fake Hot-Coffee scandal the day it comes out. It'll be on Fox News (I didn't use "Faux" News, because it's not mine to share) first, and then CNN will reluctantly pick up on it.
Then Fox'll call in Jack Thompson, because he's the only one who hasn't played the game yet, and he'll spout some crap about how he predicted this hundreds of years ago. Then Fox'll have Jack Thompson to blame when the story goes sour. But not before someone sets a couple of copies of GTA IV on fire in protest.

That's my Black Moses prediction for the 29th (Black Moses is a great song, by the way, regardless of how utterly sacrilegious it is).

@ GRIZZAM 512

Content doesn't seem to be the issue, so much as the popularity of the game as well as how badly their children want it.

Is it me or is it sort of sad that anyone has to put a press release out for parents to get them to realize this game isn't for kids?

Looking at the box is as as effective as reading a press release and parents don't seem to want to do that.....

"National Institute on Media & the Family (NIMF) and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)... remind parents that Rockstar’s controversial game is not intended for younger players."

Erm, NIMF and ESRB, if and when you become my kid's guardian, THAT'S when you get to decide what my kid plays. Until then, shut the #@*& up! I'm the parent and if I decide that my daughter is mature enough to play GTA IV she will get to play it. No one else, except my wife, gets a say in the matter.

Personally I buy the vast majority of the games I buy for me, not for my kid (who is only 5). Having said that, I have let my five year-old play parts of 'M' rated games that I felt she could handle. People need to understand that a game rated 'M' for violence is not ALL violence. Assassin's Creed, for example, has lots of non-violent and fun jumping, running and climbing - stuff that my daughter loves - and it's perfectly harmless.

In short, parents should not pay much attention to a game's rating. If they really want to be a good parent they need to KNOW their kid and they need to play the games and KNOW what's in them rather than trusting some faceless and undemocratic bureaucracy to tell them what their kids should be playing. The ONLY thing a game rating does is allow parents to be lazy. In my view any parent who buys a game based on its rating is, by definition, a bad parent because he or she is ceding authority over his or her kid to a third party. Personally I don't let strangers look after my kid while I run errands, and I regard letting strangers decide what games my child should play in that same light. In either case the kid is in danger of being abused, and whether the abuse comes from the malice of a physical abuser or from censorship by well-intentioned people, it's still abuse.

Holy cow, they're actually working together.

The way I see it, I've always felt the NIMF has had a nobel function, but attacking the ESRB was not the way to go about it.

This is how I see it:

Jill and Dave are two players on the same team, fighting for the same goal, but Dave is the little benchwarmer who started attacking the quarterback (Jill) for the opportunity to make that winning touchdown for his own personal glory. Rather than thinking about what's best for the team.

This doesn't particularly surprise me. Especially give that, according to the Institute for Legal Reform Florida ranks 42nd in overall fairness of the litigation environmnet

http://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/states/lawsuitclimate2008/

Watch Jack get disbarred and suddenly Florida shoots up 15 spots

Damnit, wrong article...damn you inaccurate scroll. If someone gets a chance please kill that post of mine (and this one too I guess)

@ TheEdge

The FIRST time I played an M rated game I was 6, when I owned an M rated game of my own I was 7. Yay Forsaken!

Heh. NIMF.

All well and good to let parents know to look on the game box for the rating, but how about going that extra steep and try to mention many games like Mario Kart Wii or even Wii Fit, games that are rated E and also some games that could change a person's perspective of how good Videogames can really be.

Not just mention the games on the Wii, but also on the other consoles like BOX 360 and PS3.

just mentioning GTA 4 is not really good information to parents.

but that is just something I would change if I was doing this...

"ESRB, NIMF Jointly Remind Parents that GTA IV is Not For Kids"

orly?

ESRB and NIMF should inform about GamerDad's website, whattheyplay.com. It's a great place to read kid content-centric reviews so you can see what you'll be subjected to in the games.

[...] Here’s a video for your non-gaming parents. Along with the “Don’t let your kids play GTA4!” deal from National Institute on the Media and Family & ESRB. [...]
 
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