Harsh economic conditions have forced the National Institute of Media and Family to close its doors. The organization was notable for its “report cards” that graded how well the industry was doing in regards to regulating violent content; they became a frequent occurrence since the time that they singled out Doom and Duke Nukem as unsafe for children.
Now that the Institute is a mere memory, founder Dave Walsh reflected on his influence in an AP interview referenced by Kotaku. If anything, he muses, he at least had some part in raising awareness that such violent content existed. “Ten years ago, a kid 10 years old could walk into any store in America and buy an ultra-violent, adult-rated game. That’s no longer true,” he noted.
Walsh was also seen as far more respectful in his criticisms of games, often singling out parents in his report cards for failing to do their part. Ironically, one wonders if such even-handed regulation will remain present as games become more lifelike. Steven Kent, an author who was quoted, doesn’t think so, “I think the game industry will look back and pine for the days when their top opposing voice had as much self-restraint as Dr. Walsh had.”