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Gaming Industry Launches Ratings Awareness Campaign

11 Mar, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

The American video game industry is launching a national public education campaign, encouraging parents to pay closer attention to video game ratings and existing video game console parental controls.

The announcement comes two weeks after the TV and film industries launched a similar public awareness campaign, with both campaigns coming in the wake of the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“This campaign will connect with consumers in an immediate and sustained way in addition to the traditional mechanisms over TV outlets,” said Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade group representing video game publishers. “By channeling our industry’s compelling and innovative medium, we will instantly provide proven, practical and effective information to millions of consumers.”

The video game ratings awareness campaign will center on a new series of public service announcements (PSAs) on TV, online and in game stores. The PSAs will remind parents of what video game ratings stand for, and that consoles have password-protected parental controls.

“The video game industry makes games for people of all ages, but that doesn’t mean all games are appropriate for everyone,” said U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “I commend the industry for raising awareness of the tools available to parents that can help them make informed decisions about the games their children play.”

The Entertainment Software Rating Board estimates 85% of parents of children who play games are aware of the rating system, while the Federal Trade Commission estimates parents are present when video games are purchased 90% of the time.

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