Olympia -October 19, 1999- As part of a nationwide effort to reduce the effects of violent entertainment on children, Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced two new anti-violence resources for parents.
The AG's Office and Mothers Against Violence in America (MAVIA) will make available the "Media Violence Inventory: A Parent's Diary." This pamphlet allows parents to gauge the level of violent content in entertainment programs, music and video games their children experience in a typical week. The purpose is to help parents make better judgments about the suitability of their children's entertainment choices. The inventory also provides facts on media violence and other sources of help.
The other resource is a wallet-sized card designed by the Federal Trade Commission. The card contains descriptions of ratings systems seen in movie advertising and on video-game and music packaging. The cards are intended as an easy reference tool for parents making decisions about purchasing entertainment products or permitting children to view films.
Violence in movies, music and video games concerns many parents. Recent statistics indicate that children spend an average of four hours a day watching television, and a typical boy spends 28 hours a week playing video games.
"By the age of 18, the typical child has witnessed 200,000 acts of violence, including 40,000 murders," Gregoire said. "Violent entertainment does not trigger violent behavior in all kids. But it does appear to provide models for those children who are disposed to act out their violent fantasies in real life."
"It's easy for parents to feel powerless when it comes to controlling their children's exposure to violent entertainment," Gregoire continued. "We hope these materials educate parents and help them to open new areas of discussion with their children."
Distribution of the Media Violence Inventories and ratings cards is being coordinated at the national level by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and the YWCA of
the USA in conjunction with the Y's annual Week Without Violence events, Oct. 17-23. Within the state of Washington, MAVIA also is assisting with distribution.
For copies of the Media Guide and wallet card, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Resource Center at 1-800-551-4636, or contact MAVIA at 206-323-2303.