Prominent Media Watchdog Group Among Game Biz Grant Recipients

The Entertainment Software Association, which lobbies on behalf of U.S. video game publishers, announced last week that it would award $1 million in grants to nine non-profit organizations. The money will be distributed by the organization’s charitable arm, the ESA Foundation.

Most notable among the recipients is the Minneapolis-based National Institute for Media and the Family. The watchdog group, headed by Dr. David Walsh (left), is best known for its annual video game report card. At times it has been a harsh critic of the video game industry. In 2005, for example, NIMF tagged the ESRB with a failing grade in the wake of the Hot Coffee scandal.

According to an ESA press release, NIMF will receive funding to "develop an on-line e-learning zone for using the latest interactive technologies to help kids and adults understand the issues and potential areas of concern with the Internet."

GamePolitics has requested comment from NIMF.

Of the ESA Foundation grants CEO Michael Gallagher said:

We are pleased to help these organizations address such critical social issues. The creativity and commitment of these recipients gives us a glimpse into the countless ways technology, including video games, can be used to improve the quality of life of our young people.

Additional details on the grant awards are available on the ESA website. Aside from NIMF, other recipients include:

  • Animation Project, Inc.
  • HopeLab Foundation
  • PAX (not the game conference)
  • ThanksUSA
  • WGBH
  • Web Wise Kids
  • Federation of American Scientists
  • One Economy Corporation
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  1. 0
    Loudspeaker says:

    That’s a hard pill to swallow EZK simply because ESA has always been reactive rather than proactive in the past.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  2. 0
    Nekowolf says:

    Honestly, I question giving them a grant. There’s a clear history of questionable attitude in regards to video games, and I’d imagine there would be better groups to give that money to. Why NIMF for this?  I question just the kind of details they’ll include in this "e-learning zone" and just what kind of information they would be putting across.

  3. 0
    KayleL says:

    They failed the ESRB for missing the hot coffee mod? even though it’s a mod, and it’s not real sex, just dry humping. How would the ESRB know about it if you could only see it through code modification?

  4. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    That Video Game report card still urks me. That is like giving someone a 100 question test and failing them for missing one question. Not only that, but the question they failed was an opinion essay.

    Gotta love that report card.

    But I am glad to see some projects that are worth the money to get it. HopeLabs is awesome. I am not familiar with many of the others.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
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    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
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    My Patreon

  5. 0
    DeepThorn says:

    Yes, more e-learning games, as if the companies that already make them don’t fail enough on their own, lets just keep them alive.  Okay, I don’t know those companies that well…  I have been asked to do some e-learning and education based games for companies before, and they were far from that.  It was more of a quiz system and very lame.

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