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If you are like most parents you check—and trust—the video game ratings issued by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). We include those ratings on all of our video game reviews! Now the industry wants to help families make even more informed gaming decisions.
The video game industry announced a new national public education campaign to educate parents about the tools and information available to manage entertainment choices for their families. The campaign’s focal point will be a new series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) encouraging parents to review the ESRB video game ratings and utilize existing video game console parental controls.
The video game industry plans to speak to parents in the following ways:
• Enhance public education efforts around video game ratings and parental controls by developing and funding a series of new PSAs;
• Utilize the interconnectivity and reach of the video game industry’s platforms to promote these public service messages and related content;
• Coordinate with video game retailers to use both their physical store as well as dedicated online networks to educate customers about video game ratings and parental controls;
• Work with policy makers to extend the ESRB rating system to the broader games market of smart phones, tablets, and online social games;
• Support and partner with non-profits using video games for educational and other pro-social purposes.
Here are some ways the industry plans to accomplish these goals:
• Feature new PSAs on video game platforms;
• Provide consumers with information on video game-specific websites and online stores;
• Provide PSAs to video game industry news and fan discussion sites for use;
• Encourage broadcast outlets to run the PSAs on local channels;
• Work with federal and state elected officials to provide rating and parental control information to their constituents;
• Distribute PSAs to retailers for use on their in-store and online channels.
According to industry statistics, approximately half of American homes have at least one video game console. The industry says that every video game console has password-protected parental controls that allow parents to limit their children’s video game use. Each of those consoles, handheld devices, and PCs can be activated to block types of video games and restrict access to the internet.
Do you think these new initiatives from the gaming industry will help your family?