INA is Right to Speak Out Against Dante’s Inferno

“Bad Nanny” is Bad Image for Nannies

Be the Best Nanny Newsletter supports the International Nanny Association (INA) for speaking out against the new violent video game, Dante’s Inferno which features a baby killing achievement, or trophy, called “Bad Nanny.” The “Bad Nanny” achievement requires gamers to kill 1,000 un-baptized children.

The INA said:
“INA feels this video game component of Dante’s Inferno was created out of poor taste and bad judgment. INA is opposed to video games that promote and encourage players to “kill” babies, even in fantasy play. It is our opinion that this type of play may promote violence towards children. The name of the trophy or achievement, “Bad Nanny,” is offensive to our association in that we strive to promote and educate the public regarding the selfless work nannies do to support families by providing quality in-home childcare.”

After speaking out against this violent game some authors disagree with the INA saying the babies are clearly demonic creatures in the game.

But, that argument still does not address the fact that the video game is violent and may have a negative influence on players.

It is obvious why the non-profit childcare organization that works to encourage the professionalism of nannies cannot support such a violent video game.

Despite the dozens of authors who write against the INA for speaking out, there are hundreds more articles and clinical studies proving the adverse effect violent video games on children. Both violence in the media and video games are blamed for many problems in raising children today. There is no doubt that much media has a negative influence on children.

For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports:
“Exposure to violence in media, including television, movies, music, and video games, represents a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents. Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed. Pediatricians should assess their patients’ level of media exposure and intervene on media-related health risks. Pediatricians and other child health care providers can advocate for a safer media environment for children by encouraging media literacy, more thoughtful and proactive use of media by children and their parents, more responsible portrayal of violence by media producers, and more useful and effective media ratings.”

The American Psychological Association (APA) reports, “Psychological research confirms that violent video games can increase children’s aggression, but that parents moderate the negative effects.”

The APA reports:
“Fifty years’ of research on violent television and movies has shown that there are several negative effects of watching such fare (click here to see article). Because video games are a newer medium, there is less research on them than there is on TV and movies.

However, studies by psychologists…indicate it is likely that violent video games may have even stronger effects on children’s aggression because (1) the games are highly engaging and interactive, (2) the games reward violent behavior, and because (3) children repeat these behaviors over and over as they play (Gentile & Anderson, 2003). Psychologists know that each of these help learning – active involvement improves learning, rewards increase learning, and repeating something over and over increases learning.

Drs. Anderson and Gentile’s research shows that children are spending increasing amounts of time playing video games – 13 hours per week for boys, on average, and 5 hours per week for girls. A 2001 content analyses by the research organization Children Now shows that a majority of video games include violence, about half of which would result in serious injuries or death in the ‘real’ world. Children often say their favorite video games are violent. What is the result of all this video game mayhem?

Dr. Anderson and colleagues have shown that playing a lot of violent video games is related to having more aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (Anderson & Bushman, 2001). Furthermore, playing violent games is also related to children being less willing to be caring and helpful towards their peers. Importantly, research has shown that these effects happen just as much for non-aggressive children as they do for children who already have aggressive tendencies (Anderson et al., under review; Gentile et al., 2004).

Parents have an important role to play. Psychologists have found that when parents limit the amount of time as well as the types of games their children play, children are less likely to show aggressive behaviors (Anderson et al., under review; Gentile et al., 2004).

Other research suggests that active parental involvement in children’s media usage-including discussing the inappropriateness of violent solutions to real life conflicts, reducing time spent on violent media, and generating alternative nonviolent solutions to problems-all can reduce the impact of media violence on children and youth (Anderson et al., 2003).”

The National Institute on Media on the Family lists that some of the negatives of violent video games include:

  • Practicing violent acts may contribute more to aggressive behavior than passive television watching.
  • Studies do find a relationship between violent television watching and behavior.
  • Women are often portrayed as weaker characters that are helpless or sexually provocative.
  • Game environments are often based on plots of violence, aggression and gender bias.
  • Many games only offer an arena of weapons, killings, kicking, stabbing and shooting.
  • Playing violent video games may be related to aggressive behavior (Anderson & Dill, 2000; Gentile, Lynch & Walsh, 2004).
  • Questions have been raised about early exposure to violent video games.
  • Games can confuse reality and fantasy.
  • In many violent games, players must become more violent to win.
  • In “1st person” violent video games the player may be more affected because he or she controls the game and experiences the action through the eyes of his or her character.
  • Academic achievement may be negatively related to over-all time spent playing video games. (Anderson & Dill, 2000; Gentile, Lynch & Walsh, 2004)

Some other organizations that should support the INA include:

1.Center for Media Literacy, (CML). The CML is a not-for-profit organization to inspire independent thinking and foster critical analysis of the powerful influence of the media.

2. The Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health is dedicated to understanding and responding to the effects of media on the physical, mental, and social health of children through research, production, and education.

3. American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

4. National Institute on Media on the Family says, “more and more kids are shaped by a media culture that promotes more, easy, fast, fun, violence and disrespect.” Since 1996, the National Institute on Media and the Family has worked tirelessly to help parents and communities “watch what our kids watch.” The National Institute on Media and the Family is the world’s leading and most respected research-based organization on the positive and harmful effects of media on children and youth.

If you work as a nanny do you think that violence in the media effects children?


  1. Amen, every group and business with the term "nanny" in it should back up INA with their decision. Nannies that allow kids to play violent video games are not providing proper supervision or care.

  2. The gamers are totally going to come out of the woodwork on this one and say that this game won't be for kids when it comes out- it's an adult video game. WHATEVER. We all know that these games (yeah, even Dante's Inferno) are played by 7 year olds when people aren't watching (and sometimes even when they are).Good for INA for taking such a stand. I just did a quick google search on this and was shocked at how much attention this topic has gotten- 100's of blogs and articles. Yay INA. Well done. And yes, other organizations should be supporting this cause.

  3. Great Blog post BBTB! And yes, I'm in 100% agreement with poster "5:50pm."

  4. If it is in the house the kids will find it. Parents can't hide condoms, porno, bills, guns…I never blamed Columbine on video games. So many people did. In college courses I rolled my eyes because I think really only sick in the head people actually do what they see in a video game. But the links above really make you think.If it is in the house the kid will find it. Porno, guns, video games will be seen by the kids when parents aren't around.Maria Lopez Miami Florida

  5. There is no way they are going to change the game. It won't be rated for kids either. Plus free speach and expression and all that…Still the fact they make a Bad Nanny is so disgusting.

  6. No one with half a brain is going to confuse the "Bad Nanny" in the game as nannies in general. But your point about violence in the media is right. Parents and nannies know better then to allow such games in their homes. Tara Connoly

  7. The APA you quoted says that parents must monitor their children's use of video games.I think the first admendment will ensure that the video game will be sold.Like someone wrote above that guns are bad for kids, porn is bad for kids, junk food is bad for kids, soap operas are bad for kids, nightly news is bad for kids, but they all exist in homes.As always, it is up to the parents to protect the kids. We must protect kids from bad nannies killing demonic babies. College kids and adults will play it. I hope they know to not allow kids to see it.Concerned nanny Lawrenceville NJ

  8. The idea of "killing babies" as play demonstrates how desensitized our society is to violence and how uneducated some are on the effects of playing violent games has on behavior.For me, this isn't about free speech or not selling the game.. it's about educating people about this aspect of the game, and the potential risks associated if children play it, about opposing the use of the term nanny and advocating for children- that they not be portrayed as hellish all.. ever..Michelle LaRowe 2004 INA Nanny of the YearINA Credentialed NannyAuthor

  9. Similar problem is porn. We know it is a negative portrayal of women. We women want to end it. Our husbands & sons still buy it. It does not make them bad. We can argue but we will never be able to get rid of it. Same thing with this video game. It isn't this one game, it's all violent games & violent TV & movies. No matter what media objectifies women and even news is violent. The big picture is we have to protect kids.I think INA was more worried about the tern "Bad Nanny" though. That is how I read it.

  10. I also think we are not going to stop the game from changing or being sold. The rating systems are made for a reason. X rated movies should be not shown to kids and violent games should be kept away from kids. Parents must protect their kids. Even though i think the game will be sold still nanny groups should complain about them using the "bad nanny". I think on the list of organizations that should speak out against the bad nanny should also be the Association of Professional Nannies and Association of Premier Nanny AgenciesBad Nanny is a terrible use of a nanny.Nanny and Newborn SpecialistMarsha Atlanta Suburbs

  11. This game will not lead to people killing babies. It won't be the game's fault if a child commits a crime. Everyone knows this is fantasy. Everyone knows a real nanny will not kill babies. Raise kids right and allow adults to have fun playing video games.Charlie Wong

  12. The claim that this will somehow discredit real nannies is ridiculous. The INA is being self righteous. Obviously this is fantasy. I will say it is deeply troubling and tasteless for the game to kill babies. No need for it. Then again, if you’re sending out detached human appendages to people, I suppose taste is taking a back seat already.Chris

  13. I want to thank the INA for taking a stance on this. It's not easy to do. But, I think it is actually funny. It's just so ridiculous it's funny. Do you see what I mean? The makers of the game will be thanking the INA though because their statement has given a lot of media attention to the game, which they want. Not that the statement isn't valid that nannies shouldn't be portrayed as killing babies, but it's a video game. Video games are ridiculous.

  14. I may be the only who will actually answer this question "If you work as a nanny do you think that violence in the media effects children?"Absolutely. I will never tell a parent they can't buy a toy for a kid but I don't even like power rangers, light sabers, air soft products that look exactly like real guns. My last boss didn't even want the kids wearing camoflauge because she opposes war.Yes boys mimic power rangers and hurt other kids.Karate and taekwondo are different, they are discipline and exercise. Light sabers, nerf guns, air soft guns are terrible. The links of articles about violence in the media is great.Most children won't mimic what is seen in video games and commit crimes, but there are a few who will. Why teach kids violence?Mary near Boston

  15. Do you really think the Bad Nanny is really going to make the target audience of this game think less about nannies? 18-30 year old males know the difference. Parents already have to protect children from violent video games, this will be no different.

  16. I don't think there is any problem with INA's statement. I just think it won't make a difference.

  17. This whole thing made me really upset, so I just researched this more.While I don't condone this at all-I now understand what the game is about.Dantes Inferno, which is loosly based on the Inferno section of Dante Aligheris epic poem- The Divine Comedy (google that to read more….) and game features an Achievement/Recognition of "Bad Nanny" for the slaugher of unbaptized infants.The game is set in Hell and when you get to a certain level a big breasted female demon gives birth to the unbaptized demon babies and those are the ones the person playing the game is supposed to kill. Once you kill a certain amount of demon babies- you get the BAD NANNY title. (How the heck that relates to a "NANNY" and why they chose to use the word "NANNY" is what I don't understand. But again…just one more example of the thousands examples of the public not understanding what the word "NANNY" is!!!)What bothers us as "nannies" I am sure, is that they use the word Nanny and relate/associate it to a negative/violent product.While I hope they change the name of the "achievement" of Bad Nanny-I did read the comment that the target audience for this game is 18 to 30-something year old males- and they are not going to care that the word nanny is used or have any ill feelings toward nannies.In any case, more power to everyone at INA for taking this on.Hopefully with all the media buzz, parents will wake up and be educated on how this type of "fantasy play" can carry over to real life.However, personally I don't think they are going to change a thing, I am sure many copies will be sold regardless. Sad, so sad, but we all know there are countless sickos out there, who enjoy spending their time in a "fantasy hell".~Andrea- Nanny in NJ

  18. Good comments about violence and the media and violence in video games. But good parents know not to allow their kids to see violent games and movies. INA would have made a better argument if they had spoke out about violence in the game as the problem. They need to inform nannies how to protect kids from viewing inappropriate media,because viloence in the media is not going away. Those playing know it is completely silly fun. BAD is used before nanny. A good nanny would be something to get upset about. It is funny.These nannies talking about the bad nanny being a bad representation of nannies is obvious.Parent and Video Game Lover

  19. This link says people question if this isn't a marketing ploy of the video game maker., many feel the comment by INA ended up helping the maker of the game.Nanny Tracey Atlanta

  20. Yep it helps bring attention to the game, but not good attention. The "Bad Nanny" is supposed to be funny.The info about violence in the media is important though. Parents and nannies know better than allow young tots to see such nonsense.

  21. I am still waiting to see other businesses and organizations with "nanny" say something.The game is ridiculous. What if it were a priest killing the babies, or blacks, or Christians? They would speak out too. So it ok to say something.But it won't change the mind of the business making the game. It is just funny to them. The attention will sell more games in the long run.

  22. This fight has only just begun. Just wait… This is going to pick up speed quick and steady. I'd put major money on it.

  23. I wouldn't say that pressure CAN'T do any good, as it very well could. Here's an interesting blog post regarding this and the rating of the video game.

  24. Someone wrote above: "This fight has only just begun. Just wait… This is going to pick up speed quick and steady. I'd put major money on it."You'll lose money. Thing is this type of censorship doesn't work. The resentment from nannies is giving the game much wanted media attention — might be backfiring on the nannies.Everyone knows it's a disgusting thing to do (kill babies) and by nannies of all people?! It's gross. It's ridiculous. They are banking on the audacity of it.

  25. The INA says that they cannot support such a violent video game. By even bringing the topic up in the first place by speaking up, loud and against it, you've already provided an outlet that gives you an indirect route of supporting it. You've given the publicity towards it. We all know countless times when games such as Grand Theft Auto got backlash from the media in its portrayals of murder, theft, hookers, what-have-you. It only increased the attention of its product and helped sustain itself in the ranks of being one of the most sought after and bought video game titles. It's like reverse psychology. Say you can't have it, somehow you still want it.The game is Dante's Inferno. The story of a guy sent to hell, battling demons to save his soul or some crud like that. Sounds like whatever. The character is a guy of some ancient times, clearly not a nanny. Clearly not his only objective to kill babies. The achievement is there to reward the player with gaming points that they then can use to help boost their ranks in the gaming community, spend in an online store, and ultimately, to boost their own egos. Some gamers out there dedicate their lives to unlocking every achievement in a game, it's a little game within a game that they feel they gain some sort of self-worth by fulfilling. These people are geeks, have lots of time on their hands, so much so that most don't pose any threat to society considering their lives consist of sleeping, eating, working, going home, playing video games and unlocking achievements in those games. The achievement is a joke, a tasteless one, but still a joke. It's intended to be there for a laugh and to move on. By gaining this achievement, your player does not turn into nanny, nor does it reflect negatively at all on nannies as a group.Like I said before, by even acknowledging that this upsets the INA enough to gripe about it to a mainstream outlet, you've given that much more publicity to a game that hasn't even hit stores yet. I highly doubt that a community of nannies is going to have enough power to stop a video game from being sold. If I'm wrong, good on you.But as we've seen before, life goes on. Somewhere down the road, some other "offensive" thing will show up in our entertainment outlets and once again it will be challenged by another group and slide by once again when the sales get boosted by all it's publicity coverage whether it be negative or positive.Society has much more to worry about than gamers and the games they play. If anyone with any iota of common sense knows, you kill a baby, you go to prison. No more video games. Game over."Bad Nanny" is just a joke. Don't get stuck on all the hubub.-A. from AZ, U.S., planet Earth

  26. To A from planet Earth:Nannies must say something. Does not mean the game will change but nannies have a right to say this is disgusting. You know any group portrayed that way would do the same.Deb and au pair on planet earth too

  27. You seem to have misunderstood the meaning of the word 'bad'. If the game suggested that a *good* nanny, or even an *average* nanny would kill babies, but how can you be so eager to defend the concept of *bad* nannies?It's like a sushi chef complaining about someone suggesting that a 'bad sushi chef' might prepare poison fugu. It's not only not offensive to the good chef, but also perfectly reasonable.And then the rest of your article launches into listing off organisations and studies which have expressed concern over the possible effects of violent videogames in general. Have you noticed the amount of 'may' and 'can' language, and the fact that there isn't a single study that shows a real causal link?The strongest studies rely on correlating violent media with 'aggression' or 'aggressive thoughts and behaviours', like in Bandura's infamous experiment which used knocking over a bo-bo doll – a toy explicitly designed to be knocked over and pop back up again – as a measure of aggression brought on by TV.The trouble is 'aggression' in these studies is defined by the person creating the study, who is setting out to look for effects of media violence on the participants. The resulting metrics of aggression often have nothing whatsoever to do with actual harm or violence, and may even represent greater assertiveness and other positive effects on the part of those displaying 'aggression'.Meanwhile, those few studies which have used real-world statistics to measure the actual effects of violence have shown that greater availability of violent media leads to lower rates of violent crime, though they have yet to identify a causal mechanism for this – one theory being that people who are inclined to love violence are kept busy watching violent movies when they would otherwise be roaming the streets looking for trouble – but regardless of the mechanism, reliable evidence suggests media violence is making our society less violent overall, not more.

  28. But, responder 11:10 am doesn't mean it isn't in terribly bad taste. Studies or no studies the opinions of professionals more likely than not do not support violent media viewing for children period. Many other things they can do with their time like read, run, even sleep, etc.Imagine if the character were "Bad Pediatrician" — doctors would be outraged, with good reason.Fran Naperville IL

  29. Yes,you do all realise (INA included) that the game is set in the 9 fucking circles of hell!What do you expect to do in hell with Death's sycthe and a cross that burns demons?And for the record you ARN'T a nanny you a fucking Crusadier!I wish..i wish,i wish Visceral Games and EA change the name of the Achevemnt to "Good Nanny".Go suck it.Loyal gammer – since 89

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