May 12, 2010
Contact: Josh Golin (617-896-9369; josh<at>commercialfreechildhood.org)
For Immediate Release
Nickelodeon’s AddictingGames.com Is Worst Toy of the Year;
Promoting “Naughty Games” to Preschoolers Earns Gaming Site the TOADY Award
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.