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Soldat_Louis's picture
Joined: 2006-11-08

With their recent call to give [I]Manhunt 2[/I] an AO rating, I thought it was time to dedicate a thread to watchdog organization [URL=http://www.commercialexploitation.org/]Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.[/URL]

To know who they are and what they are dedicated to, I let you read [URL=http://www.commercialexploitation.org/aboutus.htm]their "about us" page :[/URL]

[QUOTE=CCFC]The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (formerly Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children) is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children. CCFC supports the rights of children to grow up – and the rights of parents to raise them – without being undermined by rampant consumerism.[/QUOTE]

Most of us know this organization for its call to [URL=http://gamepolitics.com/2006/11/21/boston-mayor-joins-call-to-remove-gta-ad-from-subway-trains/] remove GTA ads from Boston subway trains[/URL] (which was eventually [URL=http://gamepolitics.com/2006/12/13/banned-in-boston-transit-system-equates-m-rated-games-with-x-rated-movies-nixes-future-ads/]a success[/URL]). But [URL=http://commercialfreechildhood.org/pressreleases/*****catdollsshelved.htm]I had already heard about them last year[/URL], when they launched a campaign in order to tell Hasbro to stop marketing toy dolls based on the band [I]Puyssycat Dolls[/I] (if my memories are good, these dolls were supposed to be sold to 6 to 10-years-old kids). The campaign was successful, leading CCFC to ask their members to re-write Hasbro... this time in order to thank them for their decision.

Indeed, this is what I notice about them. On one hand, although they target primarily marketing to children, they're not different from anti-violence activists and organizations : opposing media violence (thus, video game violence), and harshly criticizing entertainment industry (thus, video game industry), but not crusading against media nor video games [I]per se[/I]. But on the other hand, they're always quick to thank the industry for actions they consider as going in the right direction. For example, in the case of [I]Manhunt 2[/I], when they learnt that ESRB had given an AO rating to the game, they did what they had done with Hasbro : [URL=http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/ccfc/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=11891&t=SansSignupBox.dwt]they asked their members to thank the ESRB :[/URL]

[QUOTE=CCFC]June 20th update: The ESRB has given Manhunt 2 an AO rating! But that decision could be changed on appeal. Please thank the ESRB for their decision - and urge them to hold strong during the appeals process.[/QUOTE]

About the CCFC's steering committee, some of them may be not totally unknown. For example, founding member Susan Linn, instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is the author of [URL=http://www.consumingkids.com/]Consuming Kids[/URL] (originally published in 2004 as [I]Consuming Kids : The Hostile Takeover of Childhood[/I], re-printed in 2005 as [I]Consuming Kids : Protecting Our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing & Advertising [/I]). And other founding member [URL=http://faculty.wheelock.edu/dlevin/]Diane Levin[/URL], Professor of Education at Wheelock College in Boston and also co-founder of [URL=http://www.truceteachers.org/]TRUCE[/URL] (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children's Entertainment), has written many books since the 80's, especially [I]Who's Calling the Shots ? How to Respond Effectively to Children's Fascination with War Play and War Toys[/I] (with Nancy Carlsson-Paige, 1990) and [I]The War Play Dilemma : What Every Parent and Teacher Needs to Know[/I] (with Nancy Carlsson-Paige, originally published in 1987, re-printed and updated in 2005).

Anyway, they're bringing an interesting contribution to video game debate, and they are people I'd like to hear in a GP podcast interview (if it's possible to bring these podcasts back).


- Gaming Since 198X : http://gamingsince198x.fr/
By crazy old men, for crazy old men (in French)
- If you want to know more about the real Soldat Louis (which I'm not affiliated with : I'm just a devoted fan), go there : http://www.soldatlouis.com/

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