National Institute on Family and the Media to shut down

The National Institute of Family and the Media, a Minneapolis-based collection of busybodies obsessed with video game violence, has decided to shut its doors. The group's founder, psychologist David Walsh, said the decision was made in light of "the current challenging economic environment." 

Founded in 1996, the institute took an adversarial approach to the video game industry, pushing for more stringent regulations on the sale of video games to minors from the get-go. The group handed out annual "report cards," invariably piss-poor, assessing Entertainment Software Rating Board's governing of the industry.


In doing so, the institute--funded primarily by Fairview Health Services--engendered controversy from time to time. In 2005, after analyzing Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel without a Pulse, the group straigh-facedly claimed that the video game industry was promoting cannibalism. Later that year, the Entertainment Software Rating Board gave the National Institute on Family and the Media a failing grade of its own, citing "inaccuracies, incomplete and misleading statements, omission of material facts, and flawed research."

In announcing the move, 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," he said.