p>Because "videogames" includes the word "games," there are still some parents who don't take videogames seriously enough, said David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and the Family this week. So parents got a "C" on the organization's 12th-annual "Video Game Report Card" (see p. 12 of the 26-page document). The videogames rating board, the ESRB, got a B- for its education efforts; the ratings themselves got a C+ (for "not being based on all of games' content and code, locked or unlocked," the latter meaning gamers' ability to modify the content); the game industry got a C; and the big national retailers got a D for not enforcing the ratings at point of purchase. "The institute conducted 58 sting operations and found almost half the time, children as young as 12, could buy games rated M for 'mature' - intended for kids 17 and older," ABC News reports. For holiday game shoppers, see p. 14 of the institute's report for lists of 10 recommended games and 10 "games to avoid for your children and teens." Other resources include the ESRB's ratings site, where you can search for a game title on somebody's wish list, the Washington Post's "Holiday Videogame Guide," a transcript of Post game columnist Mike Musgrove's
chat with readers on this year's videogames, and WhatTheyPlay.com's game reviews for parents. Here, too, is the Associated Press's coverage on the "Report Card."