Attorney General Wasden Joins ESRB For PSA Campaign On Video Game Ratings
BOISE, ID – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) president Patricia E. Vance unveiled a new statewide Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign to explain video game ratings to parents.
In the TV and radio ads, previewed for the news media at a Nampa Wal-Mart store this morning, Wasden encourages parents to use the video game rating system as a starting point in helping their kids make good choices when purchasing video games. The Attorney General also encourages parents to spend time playing the purchased games with their children in order to be sure the choice of game was appropriate.
“Some games contain graphic violence, language and sexual material that are simply not suitable for kids. I know this is a concern for many parents, because I’ve been asked about it many times,” Attorney General Wasden said. “But, with 1,000 new games released every year, how are parents to make, and help their kids make, good choices? The video game rating system is a good place to start. It includes age appropriate ratings, along with information about what’s actually in the game.”
The public service announcements, produced and distributed by ESRB, will air on radio and television stations throughout Idaho through the Christmas holiday season. ESRB has also prepared a brochure, which provides more detailed information for Idaho parents. The brochure and the PSAs can be viewed on the Attorney General’s website (www.ag.idaho.gov).
“Just like movies and TV shows, video games are created for a diverse audience of all ages,” said ESRB president Patricia E. Vance. “That is why it is so important that parents remember to check the rating when choosing games for their children. We are very proud to have the support of Attorney General Wasden in reaching out to Idaho’s parents and educating them about the ratings.”
ABOUT THE VIDEO GAME RATINGS
The ESRB video game ratings employ a two-part system. As seen in the illustration below, rating symbols on the front of virtually every game package sold at retail provide an age recommendation, such as EC (Early Childhood 3+), E (Everyone 6+), E10+ (Everyone 10 and up), T (Teen 13+), M (Mature 17+), and A (Adult 18+). On the back of each package, next to the rating, are content descriptors that provide information about what’s in the game that may have triggered the rating or may be of interest or concern to parents.
Since its inception in 1994, the ESRB ratings have become a trusted resource for parents when buying or renting computer and video games. In April of this year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report1 which found that nine in ten parents are aware of the ESRB ratings, 87% expressed satisfaction and nearly three quarters use them regularly when choosing games for their children.
A complete list of ratings, content descriptors and their definitions can be found on the ESRB website at http://www.esrb.org. More information about ESRB PSA initiatives is available at http://www.esrb.org/about/psa.aspx.
The ESRB is a non-profit, self-regulatory body established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESRB independently applies computer and video game content ratings, enforces advertising guidelines and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry.
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1Federal Trade Commission Report to Congress on the Marketing of Violent Entertainment to Children, April 2007
Office of Attorney General
Eliot Mizrachi, ESRB