Delaware Lieutenant Governor John Carney And Representative Helene Keeley Launch PSA Campaign On Video Game Ratings

December 7, 2007

New Ads Explain and Encourage Parents to Use ESRB Ratings to Choose Age-Appropriate Games for their Families

WILMINGTON, DE – Delaware Lieutenant Governor John Carney and State Representative Helene Keeley were joined today by Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) president Patricia E. Vance to announce the launch of a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign to explain video game ratings to parents and encourage that they use them when buying games for their children. The campaign is comprised of radio PSAs as well as billboards (images attached) and mall kiosk displays that were previewed for the news media at a press conference this morning, where Carney and Keeley underscored the need for parents to be involved and informed with the video games their children play.

“With two sons of my own, I know about the tough decisions parents face today about the media they allow into their homes,” said Lt. Governor Carney. “The simple fact is that there’s no substitute for parental involvement, so it’s important that parents play an active role in choosing games for their children. The ESRB ratings help parents ensure that they are bringing home suitable games for their families.”

“The ESRB ratings are an effective and informative resource that allows parents to decide if the video game their child wants is appropriate, and parents should be sure to check the rating each time they consider a game for their child so they know they’re choosing one that’s right for their age,” added Rep. Keeley. “I’m proud to be participating in the effort to educate parents in our state about the tools at their disposal so they can make informed decisions.”

The radio PSAs have been distributed to stations statewide, and will begin airing in the coming weeks. The print PSAs will be appearing throughout the state over the course of December and January.

“Just like movies and TV shows, video games are created for a diverse audience of all ages,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance. “That is why it is so important that parents remember to check the rating when purchasing games for their children. I’m pleased to be joining Lt. Governor Carney and Rep. Keeley in announcing this effort to reach out to Delaware’s parents and educate them about the 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+) and M (Mature 17+). 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 choosing 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.

“While many parents are aware of the ratings, and are making sensible game purchase decisions as a result, there is always more that can and should be done,” concluded  Vance. “We hope that these ads will help arm parents with the information they need to make the right choices about the video games they deem appropriate for their children and families.”

A complete list of ratings, content descriptors and their definitions can be found on the ESRB website at www.esrb.org. More information about ESRB  PSA  initiatives  is  available at http://www.esrb.org/about/psa.aspx.

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About Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)

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.

1Federal Trade Commission Report to Congress on the Marketing of Violent Entertainment to Children, April 2007

Contacts:

Eliot Mizrachi, ESRB
718.872.8820
emizrachi@esrb.org

Doug Gramiak, Lt. Gov. Carney’s office
302.577.8787
doug.gramiak@state.de.us

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