An anti-violence group in Winnipeg gave poor marks to Wal-Mart and Toys'R'Us after conducting "inspections" of local retailers yesterday. Violent video games are among the items that concern Project Peacemakers.
Spokesperson Wendy Kroeker told the Winnipeg Sun:
The kind of toy we're trying to encourage here are those that build a child's creativity, a sense of collaboration and skills of co-operation.
With [video games], you don't determine the level of violence of your interaction -- the game determines the violence for you... It's not only that they're engaged in violence, it's violence directed against specific ethnicities ... and violence against women.
By way of example, Kroeker mentioned the Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto game series. The group's website explains their retail inspection process:
Our goal... is to raise awareness about the levels of violence in children’s toys and games and to call on retailers, government and the wider community to take steps to limit this violence... These are the kinds of things we were looking for:
Whether in-store displays promoted violent toys
Whether they sold violent and militarized toys, and particularly if they were at eye-level for young children
Whether toy guns were sold and how realistic they were
Whether violent electronic games were sold, how they were displayed.