Officials urge video game shoppers to check content ratings

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Attorney General Steve Six today urged parents and other consumers to check the Entertainment Software Rating Board rating before purchasing computer or video games as gifts. More than 50 percent of computer and video games are sold during the holiday shopping season, so it is important shoppers make sure the games they give to young people are age and content-appropriate.

"As a parent of four young children, I know how important it is to be informed about the content in video games and to make sure games purchased as gifts are age appropriate for your child," Six said. "The ESRB computer and video game rating system is the best guide parents can use to determine if a game's content is right for their children," said Six.

"More than 40 percent of Americans expect to purchase a computer or video game this year and a majority of those games are purchased during the holiday shopping season," said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. "As parents choose titles from the broad range of entertainment choices our industry offers we urge them to use the ESRB ratings system to ensure the games they purchase for their children are appropriate."

The ESRB ratings are designed to provide information about computer and video game content, so consumers can make informed purchase decisions. ESRB ratings have two parts: rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game, and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and may be of concern.

"As a parent, I know how important and challenging it is to manage the media that our children consume. Luckily, video games are actually among the simplest to control," said Patricia Vance, president of the ESRB. "The ESRB ratings are easy to understand, and provide valuable guidance about the age appropriateness and content of video games so parents can decide which games are suitable for their children. I strongly encourage parents to check both the ratings and content descriptors on every game box, so they can be sure that the games they purchase as gifts this holiday season are appropriate for their children."