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ESA releases a PSA about informing parents of the ESRB

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today began distributing a new PSA to further educate parents about the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) video game ratings and parental controls available on game devices.

“This PSA will reach millions of parents through our industry’s unique network of businesses and innovative technology platforms,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, the trade association representing U.S. video game publishers. “Our industry has an unparalleled commitment to ensuring parents and consumers are informed when making purchasing decisions for their families.”

“I want to thank the video game industry for stepping up and providing parents the tools they need to protect their children. As a parent and grandparent I know how important it is to provide resources so that parents can make the decision on what is best for their children,” said Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).

In addition to distributing the PSA to TV stations across the country, ESA is collaborating with entertainment software companies to share the PSA on video game consoles, video game-specific websites, fan discussion websites, online stores, and mobile devices to maximize the campaign’s reach. The association is also working with retailers, such as GameStop, to air the video on in-store channels. The video game industry has more than 300 million interactions with consumers each month through this network, providing a significant opportunity to continue reaching multiple audiences with the PSA and related information.

“Parents are the best decision-makers when it comes to selecting which video games are appropriate for their children. The video game industry is taking responsibility by empowering families with innovative tools and resources to make better choices. Their new national campaign will make parents more aware of the ratings system and the controls that are available in the marketplace. As a mother and grandmother who cares about improving safety and empowering parents, I welcome their commitment,” noted Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN 7th District).

“While the majority of parents are aware of the ESRB ratings and use them regularly when choosing games, our public education efforts are as vital today as they were when we launched the system almost two decades ago,” added ESRB president Patricia Vance. “This industry offers a diverse assortment of games for players of all ages, and it is essential to keep reminding parents and caregivers of the tools that empower them to ensure the games their children play are age-appropriate.”

Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA 6th District) commented, “As a parent, I know how important it is to provide tools and information to help families in making the right entertainment decisions, and the video game industry is providing valuable tools to help parents make these important choices. I commend them for putting together this new national campaign that will help ensure that parents are aware of the video game ratings and parental controls.”

The new PSA is a central part of the video game industry’s ongoing commitment to equip parents with dynamic tools to help them inform and manage their family’s entertainment choices. The ESRB provides parents with age-based ratings for computer and video games, as well as more than 30 content descriptors that provide more detail about specific game elements. Their free mobile app allows parents to go even deeper by providing detailed descriptions of the content that factored into a game’s rating assignment. In addition, robust parental controls are available on all current consoles, PCs, and handheld devices.

The video game industry has a long history of collaboration with family advocates, elected officials, celebrities, and sports teams to raise awareness of parent resources and share tips for playing safely online. The new PSA will add to a growing library of similar videos and other materials, which include instructions for using parental controls and a guide for family discussions about game play.

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