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November 2, 2010 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Video games are replete with gangsters, zombies and other evil characters. But for the industry that makes those games, its scariest foe is Jim Steyer. A longtime children's advocate, Steyer has taken up the flag against the game industry and lobbied zealously on behalf of a California law that bans the sale of violent games to minors. The law, which was struck down by lower federal courts as unconstitutional, is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court. For Steyer, the hearing is the culmination of a life's work tackling what he sees as a major health hazard endangering kids.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Nick Stepka knew what gift would make his daughter's third birthday a hit, and it wasn't a toy or doll. He gave her a tablet - not a sleek new iPad or a hand-me-down Samsung, but one specifically designed and marketed for little ones. It even came with a purple protective casing and loaded with kids' apps and games. "Her eyes lit up when she opened it," said Stepka, 34, a Shakopee, Minn., father of three. "Everything else got put to the side. " That's exactly what tablet makers and companies that create children's entertainment were hoping for. PHOTOS: Top 10 gadgets we want to see this year Stepka's household is part of a growing group of consumers for whom traditional children's toys and games are not enough.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Nick Stepka knew what gift would make his daughter's third birthday a hit, and it wasn't a toy or doll. He gave her a tablet - not a sleek new iPad or a hand-me-down Samsung, but one specifically designed and marketed for little ones. It even came with a purple protective casing and loaded with kids' apps and games. "Her eyes lit up when she opened it," said Stepka, 34, a Shakopee, Minn., father of three. "Everything else got put to the side. " That's exactly what tablet makers and companies that create children's entertainment were hoping for. PHOTOS: Top 10 gadgets we want to see this year Stepka's household is part of a growing group of consumers for whom traditional children's toys and games are not enough.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
Parents object to the collecting of personal information from kids under 13 when they are online and using mobile devices, according to a new survey conducted by two privacy groups ahead of a vote from federal regulators on whether to strengthen privacy rules that protect children. Common Sense Media and the Center for Digital Democracy released the survey of 2,000 adults on Thursday, saying it showed strong support for proposed changes in Federal Trade Commission regulations that would tighten enforcement of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, despite overwhelming opposition from technology and media giants.
BUSINESS
January 8, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
If you've got a kid who plays video games, you probably have concerns that he or she (probably he) spends too much time on them and might be viewing content not to your liking. Here are some tips for controlling your child's video game usage. • Play the games yourself: By doing so, you can check the content and talk it over with your child. "If you don't get involved and help kids learn to think critically about role models, activities and media content, then they're absorbing things unquestionably that you might want them to question," according to Common Sense Media, a nonprofit children and family advocacy group.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
Parents object to the collecting of personal information from kids under 13 when they are online and using mobile devices, according to a new survey conducted by two privacy groups ahead of a vote from federal regulators on whether to strengthen privacy rules that protect children. Common Sense Media and the Center for Digital Democracy released the survey of 2,000 adults on Thursday, saying it showed strong support for proposed changes in Federal Trade Commission regulations that would tighten enforcement of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, despite overwhelming opposition from technology and media giants.
BUSINESS
May 11, 2008 | Michelle Quinn, Times Staff Writer
As far as Jim Steyer's children are concerned, he has the worst job ever. Their friends complain that because of what he does at the office, they're forbidden to visit some websites or watch certain TV shows. The grousing doesn't bother Steyer, the founder and chief executive of Common Sense Media ( www.commonsensemedia.org), because it's proof of his success.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 29, 2004
I enjoyed reading David Shaw's review of Common Sense Media ("Media Giants or Parents -- Just Who Is in Charge?" Feb. 22). I too have a 14-year-old son, as well as children ages 19, 11, and 5. During the past four years, if the three older kids have wanted to see a movie rated PG or above, they have gone to www.kidsinmind.com. The website uses three ratings numbers for a film (for Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, and Profanity, respectively). Our kids read the review and then plead their case.
OPINION
November 15, 2012
One of the most valuable pieces of information about a video game is also the simplest: the rating that tells parents what ages the story and graphics are suitable for and why it might not be right for younger users. But as games have moved from computers and consoles to mobile devices, the rating systems have multiplied. Apps for the iPhone and the iPad, Facebook, Android devices, BlackBerrys, Kindles and Windows phones all go through separate ratings processes, each with its own set of labels.
BUSINESS
September 9, 2010 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Girding itself for its final battle, the video game industry will lay out its arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on why California's ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors violates the developers' free speech rights. The industry, expected to file its brief with the high court late Friday, seeks to overturn the state statute as it also takes on family advocates who argue that parents should be able to determine whether their children get exposed to violent media.
OPINION
November 15, 2012
One of the most valuable pieces of information about a video game is also the simplest: the rating that tells parents what ages the story and graphics are suitable for and why it might not be right for younger users. But as games have moved from computers and consoles to mobile devices, the rating systems have multiplied. Apps for the iPhone and the iPad, Facebook, Android devices, BlackBerrys, Kindles and Windows phones all go through separate ratings processes, each with its own set of labels.
BUSINESS
January 8, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
If you've got a kid who plays video games, you probably have concerns that he or she (probably he) spends too much time on them and might be viewing content not to your liking. Here are some tips for controlling your child's video game usage. • Play the games yourself: By doing so, you can check the content and talk it over with your child. "If you don't get involved and help kids learn to think critically about role models, activities and media content, then they're absorbing things unquestionably that you might want them to question," according to Common Sense Media, a nonprofit children and family advocacy group.
BUSINESS
November 2, 2010 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Video games are replete with gangsters, zombies and other evil characters. But for the industry that makes those games, its scariest foe is Jim Steyer. A longtime children's advocate, Steyer has taken up the flag against the game industry and lobbied zealously on behalf of a California law that bans the sale of violent games to minors. The law, which was struck down by lower federal courts as unconstitutional, is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court. For Steyer, the hearing is the culmination of a life's work tackling what he sees as a major health hazard endangering kids.
BUSINESS
September 9, 2010 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Girding itself for its final battle, the video game industry will lay out its arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on why California's ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors violates the developers' free speech rights. The industry, expected to file its brief with the high court late Friday, seeks to overturn the state statute as it also takes on family advocates who argue that parents should be able to determine whether their children get exposed to violent media.
BUSINESS
February 21, 2009 | Alex Pham
A parents group is warning about explicit footage in a new Grand Theft Auto video game, even though a California law banning such material from being sold to children was struck down as unconstitutional Friday. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that reviews games, movies and other entertainment for children, sent out a message late Thursday warning against Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned. "Heavy violence, strong language -- and now nudity," the group said.
BUSINESS
May 11, 2008 | Michelle Quinn, Times Staff Writer
As far as Jim Steyer's children are concerned, he has the worst job ever. Their friends complain that because of what he does at the office, they're forbidden to visit some websites or watch certain TV shows. The grousing doesn't bother Steyer, the founder and chief executive of Common Sense Media ( www.commonsensemedia.org), because it's proof of his success.
BUSINESS
February 21, 2009 | Alex Pham
A parents group is warning about explicit footage in a new Grand Theft Auto video game, even though a California law banning such material from being sold to children was struck down as unconstitutional Friday. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that reviews games, movies and other entertainment for children, sent out a message late Thursday warning against Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned. "Heavy violence, strong language -- and now nudity," the group said.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Technology has changed a lot in 15 years. It's been nearly that long since the Federal Trade Commission has updated rules protecting kids' online privacy. The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it has given parents greater control over the information that online services collect from kids 12 and under. Read Jessica Guynn's story on the issue here . Among the changes to the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: The FTC updated rules for mobile apps and made it clear that a child's location, photographs and videos cannot be collected without a parent's permission.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 29, 2004
I enjoyed reading David Shaw's review of Common Sense Media ("Media Giants or Parents -- Just Who Is in Charge?" Feb. 22). I too have a 14-year-old son, as well as children ages 19, 11, and 5. During the past four years, if the three older kids have wanted to see a movie rated PG or above, they have gone to www.kidsinmind.com. The website uses three ratings numbers for a film (for Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, and Profanity, respectively). Our kids read the review and then plead their case.
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