Minneapolis video game watchdog shutting down

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 20, 2009 - 9:27 PM

The economy has claimed another Twin Cities non-profit organization: the National Institute on Family and the Media.

The institute, best known for its work criticizing video game violence, was founded in 1996 by psychologist David Walsh.

Primarily funded by Fairview Health Services, "the current challenging economic environment" triggered the decision to shut down on Dec. 31, Walsh said.

He said he has contacted other non-profit organizations with the hope that they would adopt his programs and research.

The Minneapolis-based institute has gotten the most attention from its annual MediaWise Video Game Report Card, which routinely criticized video-game makers and gave grades-- often low -- on how their products affect children.

In the past year, Walsh and the industry reached a truce of sorts after game makers adopted several of the institute's recommendations on marketing and rating their games.

In a statement announcing the shutdown, Walsh said, "the work is far from finished and I look forward to transitioning the Institute's programs to worthy organizations that I am confident will continue to educate parents and caregivers on our rapidly changing digital culture."

BOB VON STERNBERG

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