NIMF Annual Video Game Report Card Due Today

The National Institute on Media and the Family will release its 2008 Annual Video Game Report Card today.

In contrast to previous years which saw NIMF head David Walsh (left) launch the report card in Washington, D.C., flanked by the likes of Sen. Joe Lieberman and other Congressional types, the 2008 edition will have a low-profile release from NIMF HQ in Minneapolis. A NIMF representative told GamePolitics that there will be no press conference, nor will any politicos be on hand.

The Associated Press has apparently gotten an early look at the Report Card and cites ten games which NIMF recommends be kept away from the under-17 crowd. All are rated M, so there would seem to be little disagreement between NIMF and the video game industry, at least as far as these titles are concerned:

  • Blitz: The League II
  • Gears of War 2
  • Saints Row 2
  • Dead Space
  • Fallout 3
  • Far Cry 2
  • Legendary
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Resistance 2
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming

From the Associated Press report:

The institute in past years has urged the video game industry to develop better ratings and retailers to do more to prevent kids from being able to buy mature-themed games. This year, citing the positive steps taken by industry officials and retailers, the group is focusing on ways parents can play a more active role in safeguarding their children from games that glamorize sex, drugs and violence.

NIMF head David Walsh told the AP:

In spite of the fact that all of the games are rated, in spite of the fact that the retailers are doing a better job, we still know that there are a lot of teenagers who still spend a lot of time playing adult-rated games.


We parents need to wake up and realize that the games our kids play do influence them. And it’s our job to make sure they are playing age-appropriate games. It’s the next big step.

GP: 2008 marks the 13th edition of NIMF’s Video Game Report Card. But the watchdog organization damaged its credibility earlier this year when it accepted a $50,000 grant from video game publisher lobbying group the ESA.

GamePolitics will make the full Report Card available when it is released.

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  1. Lcpuche says:

    I hapilly owns some of those games :D, and i can get proof that i am not affected in any way by playing them.

  2. MasterAssassin says:

    Wow they didn’t put GTA IV on there I’m really surprised. Why is Legendary on there anyway, it wasn’t even that popular, well they can thank the NIMF for some free advertising on that one. Thier list looks more like a game of the year nominee list if anything.

  3. Mr. Stodern says:

    Jack would be praising Walsh if the doc hadn’t snubbed him way back when. Anybody who does as he likes them to is great, and everyone else is subject to insults, at the very least.

  4. Andrew Eisen says:

    Three things:

    1. You’ve never offered any proof to back up your claim that NIMF receives money from Best Buy.  Your word is not good enough.

    2. Walsh never accused you of claiming that NIMF supported your efforts.  What he actually said was that he didn’t want you namedropping his name or his organization’s name in a way that would create the impression that he or it supported what you do.

    "Your commentary has included extreme hyperbole and your tactics have included personally attacking individuals for whom I have a great deal of respect… Even though we have no formal relationship your use of my name and your inclusion of my name in correspondence have created the impression that we condone these tactics. We do not… Consequently, I ask that you cease using the Institute’s or my name in any way that would give the impression that we support your efforts. I also ask that you remove the link to our website that appears on your site." -Walsh

    3. Read what you linked us to.  Walsh and the NIMF did not claim the PTA endorsed them and the PTA didn’t say they did.  At issue was the implication in NIMF’s Report Card that the PTA endorsed or agreed with the report card.

    "The 10th Annual MediaWise Video and Computer Game Report Card, released yesterday by the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF), contained erroneous statements about National PTA’s position on the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating system. In fact, National PTA does not endorse NIMF’s report. Further, it does not agree with the reports characterization of ESRB and its rating system." -PTA


    Andrew Eisen

  5. JDKJ says:

    But the routes that took you both to that conclusion are entirely different. Your’s is based on a thoughtful analysis of the circumstantial facts. Jack’s just miffed at Walsh because he got told, in the parlance of the ‘hood, "Keep my name out ya mouth." 

  6. HarmlessBunny says:

    Last I checked your credibility is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than his. You are a disgraced and disbarred lawyer….you have 0 credibility. Did he falsely accuse you? All we have is your word against his…and guess what, with your massive record of lying and misconduct I think I’ll take my chances and believe him.

    Go away you serial liar.

  7. DavCube says:

    Mr. Thompson, i don’t believe you ever had credibility yourself.

    Also, no one cares about whether you had anything to do with NIMF or not. Stop trying to make this about you.

    David Gagnon, Grown Up and Gotten a Life, and You Haven’t.

  8. hellfire7885 says:

    You say that as if you had any credibility yourself, hypocrit.

    And you did say NIMF endorsed your efforts, otherwise they woudln’t be telling you to not use their name anymore.

    Just because they told you to piss off doesn’t give you a "right" to attack them, Mr Never-has-been ex-attorney


    And turn off the caps lock when typign no

  9. michelleobamarama says:

    NIMF and David Walsh have NO credibility in light of the further revelation of a funding stream from Best Buy to NIMF.  As both the Best Buy and ESA funds prove, you can’t take money from the very people that you’re supposed to monitor.

    Jack Thompson

    PS:  Weeks after David Walsh falsely accused me of claiming that NIMF supported my efforts (I never did any such thing), the national Parents Teachers Association (PTA) issued a cease and desist letter to Walsh telling him to stop falsely claiming that the PTA endorsed him and NIMF.

    Now, with that as backdrop, nothing Walsh and NIMF have to say about anything is credible.

    If the Minneapolis-based NIMF predicts the Vikings will win this Sunday’s game, take the other team.

  10. Chuma says:

    Yup, you aren’t wrong.  Had no idea it was that sort of game.  I see now why it is an M.  Hey… isn’t that why we have ratings? 😀

  11. RabbleRooster says:

    Have you seen anything about Blitz: The League II?  Shooting people is tame.  Here’s a tutorial about how to use their hit targeting features (not for the squeamish):

    This is exactly the type of game for which ratings are needed.  With games that involve gansters, guns, and/or zombies, you know what you’re getting.   A football game seems harmless enough, though, and many parents would not think twice before getting this for their kids based on the cover art.

    Blitz: The League (the first one) showed up on my nephew’s Christmas list last year or the year before, mostly because he was interested in any and all things football.  His parents were not aware of the M-rated nature of that game, and he was too young for it (he did not get it).

  12. hayabusa75 says:

    The ESRB doesn’t do anything of the sort.  It merely gives recommendations, and that’s all.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  13. ddrfr33k says:

    While peer review is as important a precedent as judicial review, we have to keep an eye on who’s doing the review.  Putting special interest groups, like NIMF, as testers should raise many red flags in everyone’s heads.  Just look at the commercials this past election season.  Minnesota, where I live, was a war zone on the airwaves.  Everybody and their mother had some sort of agenda and was out to attack someone.  I once feared, and now know, that these groups will take any opportunity they have to prove they’re right.

    The other thing that amuses me to no end, and others have mentioned this too, is that the ESRB is entirely voluntary.  There are no governmental requirements for ratings in the USA.  That, and all the games that were mentioned on the "avoid" list were all rated M, and persons under 17 couldn’t have bought the games by themselves if they tried.  I work at a GameStop near my house, and I had to send away a person who preordered Gears of War 2, simply because he wasn’t over 17.  We take it very seriously.  Any violation, even if it’s accidental, results in immediate termination.  NIMF told parents to essentially come to their senses, and I can’t help but laugh and crack jokes about breaking out the tinfoil hats.

    Anyways, I’m done ranting now.  Have a nice day.

  14. Andrew Eisen says:

    Oh true.  I don’t hold stock in anything NIMF says, I’m merely arguing that peer reviewing the ratings system from time to time can only be a good thing.


    Andrew Eisen

  15. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Except you can’t trust NIMF to do the job without bias. After accepting money from the ESA and them giving failing grades because of ONE game, I don’t trust their input.

    I trust the FTC more as they have nothing to gain from what ever their reports say.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  16. ddrfr33k says:

    Depends on which christians you talk to and how steeped they are in theology.  There are verses that explicitly state that we will never know when the end is coming.  "He will come like a thief in the night" is one such example.  The ones that proclaim the end is nigh have far more on their agenda than they let on.  That, and most of them fail miserably at apologetics.

    Edit: I’m looking at you, Westboro Baptist Church!

  17. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    "Stop harping on the limitations of the English language, you damn well know what I meant. We -> humanity."

    In Soviet Russia, the MODS tell YOU what to do. Guess what? Welcome to Soviet Russia.

    (Making a joke. I know it sucked. That’s why I did it.)


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  18. Chuma says:

    There’s nothing limited about the language, only how it is used.  Not picking on you for the use of "we" but merely pointing out there isn’t anything wrong with English as a language.

  19. Derovius says:

     Stop harping on the limitations of the English language, you damn well know what I meant. We -> humanity.

  20. zel says:

    Ya, i couldn’t help but think of the irony of NIMF’s acronym.


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  21. VideolandHero says:

    Anybody else think the ESRB ratings are useless in this day and age?  Sure, I can see why they put ratings on each game box back in the day.  You would have a hard time looking up the game due to the internet not being very good, but now the internet is great and you could find far more about a game than what a rating can tell you.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  22. Geoff says:

    Meh, never really cared aobut their report card.  Always viewed it as a pretentious way for them to make themselves feel important and necessary, when in truth they behind the times and are wasting their lives.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  23. Chuma says:

    Yup.  Apparently playing american football is more damaging than shooting people.  Who would have thought it?

  24. Father Time says:

    Refresh my memory, what is NIMF like again? Are they like the PTC where they complain a lot and whine to the FCC? I can’t remember anymore, I think I’ve mixed things from all those groups.


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  25. Bennett Beeny says:

    Shouldn’t the parents get to decide whether their son or daughter is mature enough for M-rated games?  I don’t see how it’s any of NIMF’s or the ESRB’s business (or anyone else’s for that matter) how I raise my child.

  26. Derovius says:

     Same reason that Christians predict the world will end in every 5 years or so. It gives them something to do.

  27. Krit says:

    I understand there target, but why would you want to list up a bunch of games that are already rated M anyway? Wouldnn’t it be better just to say "Parents with teens under 17 should avoid buying games rated M by the ESRB"? Why do they always make an issue out of things that shouldn’t be an issue?

  28. Andrew Eisen says:

    Not a bad idea to review the performance of an independent ratings body now and then, especially when people like Leland Yee constantly harp on how the ESRB cannot be trusted.  Reinforcing people’s confidence in the ratings is a good thing.  If people know and trust the ESRB ratings, they’ll be more inclined to use them.

    Between this and the FTC’s yearly survey, people who rant about the ESRB being irreparably broken just sound silly.


    Andrew Eisen

  29. Derovius says:

     Why are we double "grading" games? ESRB ratings are sufficient to inform the purchaser of the qualities of the game. Now we need to rate the rating?

  30. Andrew Eisen says:

    Just them "evil vidya games" unfortunately but to be fair, it is called the Annual Video Game Report Card.  We’ll have to wait for the FTC’s yearly report to see how all the industries are stacking up against each other (video game industry has been kicking the movie, DVD, and music industries collective butts in recent years).


    Andrew Eisen

  31. Cheater87 says:

    Is the MPAA or company that puts the warning stickers on CDs graded as well or just "the evil vidya games" rating system???

  32. E. Zachary Knight says:

    The video game industry doesn’t need graded. This is something that NIMF did to bring a spot light on their organization and agenda.

    Good thing there was no controversies this year or they would have complained louder.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

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