Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that provides education and advocacy to families to promote safe technology and media for children.
Founded by Jim Steyer in 2003, Common Sense Media reviews books, movies, TV shows, video games, apps, music, and websites and rates them in terms of age-appropriate educational content, positive messages/role models, violence, sex and profanity, and more for parents making media choices for their kids. Common Sense Media has also developed a set of ratings that are intended to gauge the educational value of videos, games, and apps. The nonprofit's "Learning Ratings" attempt to assess different types of learning qualities within various forms of media.
However, they seem to take the educational factor too seriously sometimes and some of their reviews literally betray common sense.
Why It's Very Rotten
- It is easily like IGN, except it reviews a bit of everything and from a parent's perspective (not from a journalist's).
- Like IGN, it's at times a slave to EA and Activision.
- It tries too hard to force lessons into everything and seems to believe that everything will influence kids.
- For instance, it has given A Christmas Story 5/5 because Ralphie "learned his lesson on swearing".
- It has also given Home Alone 4/5 because "it shows that kids can do just fine home alone and it shows that violence is a good way to solve problems". In reality, it is a bad idea to leave one's child behind when going on vacation. Additionally, if burglars break into your house, call the police.
- It gave Toddlers And Tiaras 2/5 but listed nothing about child abuse in their review. Judging by the review, they seem to have given it an extra star because it might teach kids about pageants. Education is most certainly nowhere more important than having 4-year-olds being sexualized and treated like fashion accessories.
- Speaking of education, they think that every show must be educational and criticize ones that entertain rather than educate. An example is Spongebob Squarepants.
- They are also overly sensitive sometimes, believing that slight crushes or characters in relationships in kids' media count as "sexy stuff". They also seem to think all insult words, exclamations, and potty words, such as "stupid", "dumb", "jerk", "poop", "idiot", "shut up", "darn it", and even "heck" count as profanity.
- Most reviews are biased and pander towards nostalgia. They seem to give almost every kids' and/or classic movie, TV show or video game a good rating, and Barely pay much attention to whether or not this is actually good which proves that they are mostly nostalgiatards.
- An example of a Biased Rating is their review of the 1995 Mortal Kombat film.
- As for media aimed at teenagers and adults, Common Sense Media tends to treat them like children's media as well and hardly ever gives them positive reviews.
- Their annual video game alternatives. For example, in the 2014 list Lego Marvel Super Heroes as a substitute for Grand Theft Auto V, even though it feels nothing like the latter, and Lego City Undercover would've been a better choice, since the whole game was meant to be a spoof of GTA.
- sometimes they can lack knowledge, for example In their "violent video games of 2013 list", They put Gears of War 3 in it Even though that game was released in 2011.
- They're hypocrites. For example, Sonic Forces got a 1/5 because of the character being "too small" and Doom 3 was given also a 1/5 because of the game not being appropriate for children. Yet they give every Grand Theft Auto game either a 4/5 or a 5/5 on CSM. Even Dead Space 2 got a perfect five.
- Marc Saltzman is a Social Justice Warrior since he will bash any game with an attractive female character such as Bayonetta 2.
- Additionally, the majority of the user reviewers consists of moral guardians, soccer moms, and people with similar mindsets to Saltzman.
- The age ratings of some media are unfitting, like giving Warcraft 3 an 18+ when it has a T rating, or giving F is For Family a 14+, even though it’s rated TV-MA.
- A lot of the parents give things really high age ratings just because they think that it is so bad and no one should watch it. They often times complain too much about PG-13 violence most commonly in superhero movies.
- Half of the things they say about the YouTubers is just either to keep hating on with reasons that aren't true or just pure nonsense (which according to them is actually "common sense" apparently...).
- They practically gave up on reviewing music, since their last reviewed album was 1000 Forms of Fear by Sia, released back in 2014.
- In 2018, the site was hacked and the review for Thomas and Friends was changed to have an 18+ rating and 1/5 stars, the review also had a lot of information that wasn't true, like it promoting unclean air. Thankfully however, the review was changed back afterward.
- Sometimes, they give pre-school shows a 4 or 5/5 solely because they are educational, which has no effect on the quality of a show.
- Weird age rating spikes. Princess Mononoke used to have a 9+ rating, with the review even mentioning a mature 8 year old could handle it, but it got bumped to 12+.
- Sometimes it provides good information, such as listing actual inappropriate moments in media rather than just slight crushes or mild insults, and their articles sometimes give good tips on how to choose good media for kids (for instance, how to take your kid to a movie theater for the first time).
- It does give certain things their appropriate ratings. Examples:
- They Gave the Paul Brothers (Jake Paul And Logan Paul) a 2/5 Because of pretty much everything They do, We See why People Hate them.
- The Loud House got a 4/5.
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Freddy Got Fingered, and Disaster Movie both got a 1/5.
- Super Mario Odyssey got a 5/5.
- Prodigy Math had a 1/5. It's now a 4/5.
- The Cat in the Hat (2003) and Foodfight were given a 2/5.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was given a 1/5.
- Sonic Free Riders was given a 2/5.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 got a 5/5.
- The Last Of Us got a 5/5.
- God Of War(2018) got a 5/5.
- Lego Dimensions was given a 5/5.
- Adventure Time was given a 5/5.
- The Simpsons was given a 5/5.
- Many films from Studio Ghibli got either a 4/5 or a 5/5.
- Steven Universe got a 4/5.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood got a 4/5.
- Happy Tree Friends and Doki Doki Literature Club, despite being well liked, got a 1/5 and a 2/5 respectively.
- Cowboy Bebop got a 4/5.
- One Piece got a 4/5.
- Dork Diaries got a 2/5.
- FGTeeV got a 2/5.
- Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica got a 5/5.
- The Super Smash Bros games got a 4/5, with Ultimate having a 5/5.
- Toontown Online got a 5/5.
- Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir got a 4/5.
- Harvey Beaks got a 4/5.
- Breadwinners got a 2/5.
- Plants vs. Zombies got a 5/5.
- Angry Birds Space got a 4/5.
- Winx Club got a 3/5.
- Sanjay & Craig got a 2/5.
- It actually criticized the Violent Video Games Return Program for being what was basically a book burning.
Despite favorable reviews from parents, Common Sense Media has been universally panned by the majority of the Internet, likely due to poor research, errors, being too picky/gullible about lessons and teaching kids from nonsense.
Some More Questionable Reviews
- The Emoji Movie received a 3/5 from Common Sense Media, which alongside 8 other "fresh" reviews brought the Rotten Tomatoes score to 7% as of today.
- The original Teen Titans was rated a 3/5 while Teen Titans Go! got a 4/5.
- The 2016 reboots of both Ben 10 and The Powerpuff Girls received a 3/5, which is the same ratings the original shows received.
- Similarly bad-mediocre cartoons like Almost Naked Animals and Johnny Test also got a 3/5 ratings.
- Codename: Kids Next Door received a 1/5 because it was "too violent".
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends received a 2/5.
- The original The Magic School Bus was given a 3/5 while The Magic School Bus Rides Again got a 4/5.
- Frozen was given a 5/5, while Disney/Pixar movies that are widely considered better like Coco, Finding Dory, Cars, and Zootopia got a 4/5 from it.
- The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and Kirby: Right Back at Ya! (both of which received a 1/5 despite being well received). Sonic Underground, which received generally negative reviews, was given 3/5.
- Homestar Runner received a 4/5 and a 15+, although the description is known to be extremely vague, and is regarded as one of the worst written CSM reviews ever. As noted, the users are against that review for being poorly written, showing inversion of the toxic fanbase.
- Fairy Tail got a 3/5 for biased reasons.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! series all got a 2/5 (most of them were judged by the 4Kids dub).
- Not only Doom 3, but older M rated games, whether they were good or not, got a 1/5 or a 2/5 SOLELY BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT FOR KIDS, we kid you not!
- Herbie Goes Bananas has a 3/5 when it got negative reviews from Herbie fans.
- Oggy and the Cockroaches got a 2/5 when IMDB gave it a 7/10. However, this might be because of the later seasons.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes has a 3/5, just like Avengers Assemble.
- Friday the 13th received a 1/5 due to its graphic violence, while more graphic films such as The Evil Dead received a 4/5.
- Calling All Mixels got a 2/5 (Some reviews say that Mixels Rush which is considered awful, Is better than CaM).
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down (Which is considered the worst book of the series) Got a 4/5 While The Getaway, Hard luck and The Meltdown only got a 3/5.
- Spongebob Squarepants was called "Edgy" even though it was a innocent kids show with some adult jokes, It was also given a 3/5.
- Pig Goat Banana Cricket got a 3/5 despite it's obvious gross-out vomit inducing content.
- Mega Man Fully Charged got a 4/5 despite negative reviews from Mega Man fans.
- Angry Birds Match got a 4/5 and they called it a "Clever" match 3 puzzle game.
- Fanboy & Chum Chum got a 3/5.