Nickelodeon's AddictingGames.com Is Worst Toy of the Year; Promoting 'Naughty Games' to Preschoolers Earns Gaming Site TOADY Award

For Immediate Release

Nickelodeon's AddictingGames.com Is Worst Toy of the Year; Promoting 'Naughty Games' to Preschoolers Earns Gaming Site TOADY Award

BOSTON - The people have spoken. Appalled by Nickelodeon's blatant disregard
for children's well-being, members of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free
Childhood overwhelmingly chose AddictingGames.com - Nick's free website
that features graphically violent and sexualized games - as this year's
winner of the TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children)
Award for the worst toy of the year. TOADY voters were particularly
aghast that Nickelodeon linked to AddictingGames.com from its popular
websites for young children, such as Neopets.com, Nick.com and
NickJr.com. AddictingGames.com received almost two-thirds of the nearly
5,000 votes cast in online balloting.

AddictingGames.com features an
easily accessible section of "naughty games," including the Perry the
Sneak
series, where gamers take the role of a peeping Tom trying to
catch revealing glimpses of naked women showering. At every level,
successful voyeurs are rewarded by getting in bed with their prey. One
advertiser for Perry the Sneak 2 is Lunchables, Kraft's popular
brand of packaged lunches for young children.
 
"We pass our values on to kids
through the toys and games we give them," said CCFC's Director Dr. Susan
Linn, author of The Case for Make Believe. "That Nickelodeon promotes
violent and sexualized games to young children shows how little regard
the company has for their well-being.

Other Addicting Games include Stick
Dude Killing Arena
, the object of which is to "Train to Kill Until
You Die"; Kitty Cannon, where players can "make Fluffy bloody" by
shooting a kitten out of a cannon onto a row of metal spikes; and Dark
Cut 2
, which features "More macho surgery! No anesthetic. No
antiseptics. Just rusty knives, corn whiskey, and lots of blood!"

"My daughter loves playing Dora and
Diego games on Nickelodeon.com and I am absolutely astonished there
would be a link from that site to such heinous 'games,' said CCFC member
Lisa Stieler of Mission Viejo, California. "A simple mis-click and my
5-year-old could arrive on AddictingGames.com!"

Since December, thousands of parents
have written to Nickelodeon to demand that the children's media empire
remove the links to AddictingGames.com from Nick.com, NickJr.com and
Neopets.com. Nickelodeon has refused to grant parents even this simple
courtesy. 
 
"Nickelodeon's cynical
disregard of pleas from parents is troubling," said Dr. Diane Levin,
professor at Wheelock College and coauthor of So Sexy So Soon. "It
seems that keeping children's eyes glued to advertiser-supported
screens by providing edgy content is much more important to Nick than
honoring parents' trust."

CCFC created the TOADY award in
response to the Toy Industry Association's TOTY (Toy Of The Year)
Awards, which celebrate the most popular brands and toys, often with
little regard for their impact on children's well-being.  Each TOADY
nominee was selected for epitomizing one or more of the troubling
commercial trends of the toy industry, such as marketing sex and/or
violence to young children, promoting brands and screen time at the
expense of creative play, and encouraging excessive and conspicuous
consumption. Last year, the Barbie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Doll won
the inaugural TOADY. In addition to AddictingGames.com, the 2010
nominees were The Little Tykes Young Explorer; the Barbie Doll'd Up
Nails Digital Nail Printer; the EyeClops Mini Projector; and the Halo
United Nations Space Command Turret. For more information on why these
toys were nominated, please visit http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/actions/toady2010.html.
  To read why CCFC members voted the way they did please visit http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/actions/whyyouvotedtoady2010.html.

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The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood 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 is a project of Third Sector New England (www.tsne.org).

 

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