Organization critical of gaming to shut doors

By Hans Wuerflein

One of the most prominent, but usually reasonable critics of the video game industry will shut its doors for good next week.

The National Institute on Media & the Family, most famous for their annual “report cards” on the industry, is the latest victim of our current, less than sunny economic climate.

While many are saying good riddance, I’m not so sure we should be celebrating.

According to a story by AP writer David Baenen The National Institute on Media & the Family will shut its doors, including laying off its staff of eight, on December 23.  The organization did not put out a report card for this year.

The non-profit group, which has been putting out its report cards for the industry since 1996, was no longer able to raise the funds needed to stay in operation.  According to the article their budget was around $1.8 million per year.

Although many will be cheering the demise of gaming’s more vocal critics, this should not be viewed as a happy occasion.  Partially because of their criticism, the industry has worked harder with retail outlets to self police ratings and keep M-rated games out of younger kids’ hands.

The biggest question is who will take their place?  Long time video game journalist Steven Kent, author of The Ultimate History of Video Games (great read, by the way), is also concerned about the end of this organization.

“I think the game industry will look back and pine for the days when their top opposing voice had as much self-restraint as Dr. Walsh had,” Kent said.

Hopefully whoever does step in will be as reasonable as The National Institute on Media & the Family was.


One Response to “Organization critical of gaming to shut doors”

  1. […] The National Institute on Media and the Family shut its doors forever. […]

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