Attorney General Abbott Encourages Parents To Check Video Game Ratings

December 19, 2007

Video game ratings can help parents choose age-appropriate games for their families

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today encouraged parents to ensure video games are appropriate for children by checking game ratings before making a purchase. Today’s announcement, which was made in conjunction with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), launched a public awareness campaign highlighting the ESRB’s ratings system.

“Parents must play an active, informed role in their children’s lives, and choosing video games is no different,” Attorney General Abbott said. “ESRB ratings are an effective and informative resource that allows parents to evaluate whether video game content is appropriate for their child.”

The ESRB video game ratings employ a two-part system. Rating symbols on the front of the game package 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, content descriptors provide information about elements within the game that may have triggered the rating as well as other items that may be of interest or concern to parents.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), nine in ten parents are aware of the ESRB ratings, 87% expressed satisfaction with them, and nearly three quarters regularly use the ratings when choosing games for their children.

Attorney General Abbott added: “Just as movies and television shows employ ratings systems to inform parents, the ERSB ratings help inform parents which video games are simply not meant for children. Working together, public officials and the industry can help provide parents with the tools they need to choose suitable video games for their children and families.”

A complete list of ratings, content descriptors and their definitions can be found on the ESRB Web site at www.esrb.org.

The ESRB is a non-profit, self-regulatory body established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association. 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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