Media watchdog NIMF shutting down

National Institute on Media and the Family to close doors after nearly 14 years, marking an end to Video Game Report Card program.

While a rush of huge new releases dominates the gaming world at this time of year, the holiday quarter has also played host to the National Institute on Media and the Family's annual Video Game Report Card. That ends this year, as the NIMF today announced its dissolution, effective December 31.

Manhunt 2 embodied much of what NIMF opposed.

NIMF is currently in discussions to have some of its programs and initiatives adopted by other nonprofit organizations, both local and national. However, an NIMF spokesperson confirmed for GameSpot that the Video Game Report Card is not among the continuing programs.

In announcing the group's closure, NIMF founder Dr. David Walsh said that discussions about passing off its programs to other organizations have been taking place for the past two years, but "the current challenging economic environment accelerated those discussions."

Over the years, NIMF frequently butted heads with the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Notably, in the wake of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas "Hot Coffee" scandal, the NIMF labeled the ESRB system "beyond repair." In 2007, when a hacker found a way to restore the M-for-Mature-rated Manhunt 2 to the previously rated AO-for-Adults-Only version, the NIMF took the ESRB to task for failing to keep up with the technology it was rating. (An uncut, AO-rated version on Manhunt 2 was released online earlier this year.)

The watchdog group's tone toward the ratings body softened in recent years, with the 2008 report card giving the ESRB an "A" grade. That assessment came two months after the Entertainment Software Association, which owns the ESRB, awarded the NIMF a $50,000 grant to "develop an online 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."

Written By

Want the latest news about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas?

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Discussion

86 comments
LynnTerra
LynnTerra

I'm late in reading this, but good riddance to them. Adult gamers should not be punished for what parents are lacking in supervision of their children.

geoff-uk123
geoff-uk123

Well they certainity won't be missed...

Pinba
Pinba

Totally agree with partytimekegs

CodingGenius
CodingGenius moderator

Considering their reports were laughably inaccurate, it's not a shock.

shenron43
shenron43

sounds like it a might be a good thing not having all there fussing.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Well at least we won't hear from their ridiculous report card every year. Sorry but the average age of gamers get older every year. People in their 20's and 30's don't really need a report card for videogames. Regardless, the developers should be allowed to create any kind of videogames they want, whether it be entirely kid friendly or extremely harsh and vicious.

Plaidboy1
Plaidboy1

Well now I have something else to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

spag007
spag007

Causeless and bored organisations tend to fall one day or another (thinking of PETA), still, NIMF survived 14 years? I would have said less!

maverick_76
maverick_76

Wow what a bunch of hypocrites. I guess as long as they get theirs (money) they will keep their mouth shut. It is not like I cared or anything but still to let the ESRB off the hook for only 50 grand? At least try to milk more out of them if that is really what their angle was, sheesh.

partytimekegs
partytimekegs

Honestly, no one needs a rating system. If you really want to know what is good for your kids.. find out for yourself first and then let them play the game. I guess that is why I was raised with the "If you want something done right you do it yourself" mentality. I don't understand the use of this rating system at all.

-Fromage-
-Fromage-

I've never heard of NIMF until now.

Pikaandpi
Pikaandpi

Goodbye, and good riddance. The ESRB does it better, anyway.

Amir29
Amir29

Only $50,000 to by a good rating? Nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey hey hey GOODBYE!

KillerWabbit23
KillerWabbit23

*pumps fists* They deserved it. @Leria: Couldn't have said it better myself.

serial666k
serial666k

Humorguy_basic you have intellect, i live in nyc sex taboo yet violance is ok , i want to move to amstardam & live out my days!

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

spOOoOOn, varies by country, but gaming is a window on society, and just lik TV and movies shows us we are more comfortable with violence than sexuality. The Witcher, for example, censored the naked women cards for the U.S. but for Europe they didn't, but nevertheless they were very very soft-core and were only used to hide the actual love making. Any civilization that got used to violence in their entertainment died soon afterwards. When we think of Rome and the animal fights and gladiatorial fights to the death and man versus beast, etc, all came at the end of the Roman civilization.

serial666k
serial666k

manhunt & rockstar are god if there was a god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leria
Leria

Good! We never needed these overly moralistic idiots putting out reviews on games anyway. The ESRB does a damned good job of reviewing games from a neutral viewpoint, though I never listened to their ratings because they were still a little too conservative for my taste.

spOOoOOn
spOOoOOn

In europe we aint uptight about sexuality :o

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Paid off and then double crossed. Why look at world politics to decide if Western Civilization has a future. Just look to gaming, where a game like Dragon Age can have bloody violence, including beheadings, etc, with no problem form society and yet natural (non full-frontal) lovemaking is not allowed and the women to to have their underwear on! We are too comfortable with violence generally, and too uptight sexually. Between these two, I do see the end of Western Civilization!

justinrscott
justinrscott

It just goes to show that anyone can be paid off!

endocrine
endocrine

@joksterz78 if those other ones can be paid off for as little as 50k like this one, I am not worried.

Advanced_Koko8
Advanced_Koko8

Only 50K Dollars for such a bribe? Man, this organization was prude as hell. It didn't even take ESRB that much to shut them up.

LordAndrew
LordAndrew

Too bad. Those usually made for entertaining discussions.

joksterz78
joksterz78

don't worry folks, im sure there will be others willing to its place. Im not celebrating victory yet.

vaejas
vaejas

@HazyNimbus: Fair point. I'm sure the ESA was tired of the ESRB being quite legitimately spanked. Keep your enemies closer, and all that.

Sniper
Sniper

NIMF gave the ESRB / ESA an A rating after NIMF received $50,000 from the ESRB / ESA. Enough said.

HazyNimbus
HazyNimbus

So...a nonprofit organization took $50,000 in "grant" money in 2008 from ESA, mysteriously gives the ESRB an "A" a year later after YEARS of terrible marks, and then folds. Don't suppose I could get a $50,000 grant from the ESA to teach people there are violent and sexy images out in the big wide world, just to bail a year later...?

lexluis
lexluis

They never knew what videogames are all about. The only thing they did was to talk garbage and be annoying.

murrayblake339
murrayblake339

Well First it was jack Thompson now NIMF. Things are looking on the up and up for us gamers!!

Aero5555
Aero5555

They probably shut down because nothing of what they were aiming for was truly accomplished, making the program pretty much of no benefit and/or purpose, so they decided to hell with it all, let the ESRB just do its job. That's my 2 cents anyway.

il0x0li
il0x0li

Bye NIMF lol. Losers. :D

Kfoss
Kfoss

ummMMM dont know if this is such a good thing... as it was due to the opinion's of organizations like NIMF, that helped sustain Jack-T as being a wack job to the bloody end of him being thrown under the expulsion for life bus in Florida,- they disagreed with him and refused to support any legislation that was for censorship or if JT supported it....hehe even though i im not a fan of them...gotta like how that turned out...