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NIMF report card lauds retailers, chastises parents

Kyle Orland

Most people know the National Institute on Media and the Family's annual video game report card for its list of ten games for children to avoid during the holidays. But the full report offers some interesting research and opinions on the industry as a whole.

Most of NIMF's scorn this year is directed at parents, who "do not seem to exercise enough control" over their children's game-playing habits, according to the report. NIMF's surveys found a large discrepancy between the gaming limits parents say they enforce and the limits their children report.

For example, 68 percent of parents said their family had rules about when video games can be played, while only 36 percent of children said the same. NIMF suggests that parents are eager to give the more socially acceptable answers in these surveys, a factor that might skew similar statistics by the ESA.

While parents got a rap on the fingers, retailers got generally good marks from NIMF this year. NIMF reported increases in employee training, in-store parent education, and retailer ratings enforcement in the stores they surveyed. The improvement led the group to give an A rating to big box retailers -- a bit of a shock since retailers as a whole received a D- in last year's report card, which described the ratings system as a whole as "beyond repair." Specialty retailers lagged behind, though, getting an F because "it is still far too easy for kids to purchase inappropriate games at such stores."

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