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.
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."

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Avatar image for mockz13

what is nimf?

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for deactivated-5940fed791b8c

Well they certainity won't be missed...

Avatar image for Hazzerz

Rest in pieces

Avatar image for zombified

Manhunt 3 please!

Avatar image for Pinba

Totally agree with partytimekegs

Avatar image for CodingGenius

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

Avatar image for alexnollent


Avatar image for shenron43

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for Plaidboy1

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

Avatar image for UnrealPro

Good riddance.

Avatar image for 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!

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for Spiritwolf99

@leria, 100% Agree.

Avatar image for -Fromage-

I've never heard of NIMF until now.

Avatar image for Pikaandpi

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

Avatar image for geist9049

good riddence

Avatar image for Jettero-Heller

Rhymes with "Nymph"

Avatar image for Amir29

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

Avatar image for Jak_Napier

this isnt a good sign @ all.

Avatar image for KillerWabbit23

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

Avatar image for spartanwrath

score one for games

Avatar image for 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!

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for serial666k

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for spOOoOOn

In europe we aint uptight about sexuality :o

Avatar image for 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!

Avatar image for justinrscott

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

Avatar image for endocrine

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for LordAndrew

Too bad. Those usually made for entertaining discussions.

Avatar image for joksterz78

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

Avatar image for Siimgames

Victory is ours!

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for teeskoowared

@Sniper LOL

Avatar image for Sniper

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

Avatar image for SDBusDriver1979

School out forever

Avatar image for 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...?

Avatar image for cjasko94

Good bye

Avatar image for lexluis

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

Avatar image for colejd


Avatar image for murrayblake339

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for VexedLucifer

I'll see you in hell NIMF. :P

Avatar image for il0x0li

Bye NIMF lol. Losers. :D

Avatar image for 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...

Avatar image for Death_Dragoon

Good riddance.

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