Videogame Media Watch Dog Closes Its Doors

Videogame Media Watch Dog Closes Its Doors

Media watch-dog, the National Institute on Media and the Family is saying the slow-down of the economy is the reason for its closure. With about $1.8 million spent per year on just operating expenses, fundraising has been more and more difficult.

“It really wasn’t that we put ourselves out of business, because the technology is changing so quickly, the issues just won’t quit.” said founder David Walsh Ph.D to the Associated Press.

His education and dedicated interest in positive parenting led him to become one of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of media and technology on children’s health and development.

Last summer, sponsor Fairview Health services discontinued their funding and that put the institute in tougher straits. And after a long look at trying to go independent, Walsh and the board decided it was easier to close down than to continue.

On the website, Dec 31, 2009 is the last day of operations and they are looking to continue their program though other means. While some people, mostly gamers, are celebrating this institute’s demise, others are looking back at some positive moments. Retailers are required to ask for identification when a mature rated game is sold and Walsh’s group helped standardize a rating system that is in use today.

Established in 1994, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was not the only system that was vying for attention.

While individual companies formed their own regulatory board, like the Videogame Rating Council (Sega) or the Recreational Software Advisory Council (Software Publishers Association), they were eventually phased out and the ESRB remained. It was eventually presented to the US Congress and approved.

As for where the videogame industry will go with one of the strongest opposing voices on videogame influences on today’s youth gone, that will remain to be seen as a new decade begins.

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