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ESRB And National Institute On Media And The Family Remind Parents To Observe ESRB Ratings When Choosing Video Games For Their Children

April 25, 2008

April 25, 2008 – In advance of the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, the latest installment of the popular Grand Theft Auto series, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and the National Institute on Media and the Family are taking the opportunity to remind and encourage parents to review the ESRB ratings when selecting games.

JOINT STATEMENT OF ESRB PRESIDENT PATRICIA VANCE AND NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON MEDIA AND THE FAMILY FOUNDER DAVID WALSH, Ph.D.:

“With the latest installment of the Grand Theft Auto series, Grand Theft Auto IV, set to be released on April 29th, parents need to be reminded to make sure their kids are playing games appropriate for their age and level of maturity. Grand Theft Auto IV is rated M (Mature for ages 17+) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which rates computer and video games. The game’s rating also includes content descriptors for Intense Violence, Blood, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Partial Nudity and Use of Drugs and Alcohol.

“According to the Federal Trade Commission, a parent is involved in the purchase of a video game nearly nine out of every ten times, so it is critical that parents consider the assigned rating carefully when purchasing or renting computer and video games for their children.

“The ESRB and the National Institute on Media and the Family encourage parents to be informed and exercise their discretion when considering the purchase of all M-rated games. Parents should look for the ESRB rating on the game’s box, which provides guidance on age-appropriateness as well as describes the content in the game. With the average age of a gamer today being over 30, some games are clearly not intended for younger audiences, making the ratings a vital resource for parents in selecting age- appropriate computer and video games for their families.

“In addition to the ESRB ratings, which can be found on the ESRB’s website (www.esrb.org), there are various tools and resources that parents can use to make informed decisions and exercise control over the games their kids play, including reading reviews and setting the parental controls that are built into their gaming consoles.

“We encourage parents to take advantage of these tools. The best way for parents to know what games their kids are playing is by watching what your kids watch and playing what your kids play.

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About the National Institute on Media and the Family

The National Institute on Media and the Family is an independent non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-profit organization which aims to maximize the benefits and minimize the harm of media on the health and development of children and families. For more information, visit www.mediawise.org on the Web or call 1-888-672-5437.

About Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a non-profit, self-regulatory body established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESRB independently assigns ratings, enforces advertising guidelines, and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry.

Contacts:

Eliot Mizrachi, ESRB
emizrachi@esrb.org
917.522.3235

Darin Broton, NIMF
dbroton@tunheim.com
952.851.7286

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