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ESRB Video Game Ratings Search “Widget” Unveiled

April 7, 2008

PTA & Public Officials Join ESRB To Raise Public Awareness

ALBANY, NY – Joined by New York State Senator Stephen Saland, New York State Assemblyman Ronald Canestrari and New York State PTA President Maria DeWald, Patricia Vance, President of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) today announced the availability of a video game ratings search “widget” – a free, downloadable tool that provides consumers faster, easier access to information that will help them determine which video games are suitable for children.

“Last year alone, we had four million ratings searches conducted on our website at ESRB.org, so we know that parents are hungry for this information,” said Ms. Vance. “The ESRB is committed to providing consumers, especially parents, with information that helps them make informed choices about the games they deem appropriate for their children and families. With the help of leaders like Senator Saland and Assemblyman Canestrari, as well as groups like the New York State PTA, we’re providing yet another way of putting the helpful guidance that the ESRB ratings offer into the hands of parents. We’re extremely grateful for their participation and strong support.”

“As Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, one of my top priorities is to empower parents, grandparents and caregivers with the resources they need to make informed choices when it comes to the well-being of the children they care for. It’s important parents know what kinds of video games their children play as well as the music, TV and movies they enjoy,” said Senator Steve Saland.

The ESRB is the non-profit organization that assigns video game ratings for age-appropriateness and content, which appear on the front and back of virtually every game sold at retail in the U.S. and Canada. In order to make it even easier for consumers to find ESRB rating information for these games, the ESRB has created a rating search “widget” – a tool that can appear on a website, be placed on a personal web page or put onto a PC desktop. This ESRB widget provides consumers faster, easier access to information that will help them determine which video games are suitable for children, including information about the game’s ESRB rating category, content descriptors and platform(s).

“Becoming familiar with the ESRB rating system and using this new widget is a great way for parents and consumers to get the information they need. I’m happy to lend a hand in the effort to raise public awareness and I applaud the ESRB for taking the lead by providing this new tool that gives parents fast, easy and free access to video game ratings and content,” said Assemblyman Ron Canestrari, Majority Leader of the State Assembly.

The New York PTA will be making the widget available through its website as well as distributing it to its membership via its regular newsletter. In addition to encouraging use of the widget by parents, the New York PTA will be making a ratings education brochure available via its website and newsletters for parents wishing to learn more about the rating system.

“Once parents become familiar with the video game ratings system, they can talk to their kids about the games they want, and use the ESRB widget to look up their ratings before going out to the store. The New York state PTA is committed to spreading the word so that more parents and caregivers will have access to this important information right at their fingertips,” said Maria DeWald, President of the New York State PTA.

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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 assigns computer and video game content ratings, enforces advertising guidelines, and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry.

Contact:

Eliot Mizrachi, ESRB
718.872.8820
emizrachi@esrb.org

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