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Attorney General Baker To Launch New Public Service Campaign On Video Game Ratings

PRESS ADVISORY

Attorney General Baker To Launch New Public Service Campaign On Video Game Ratings

August 14, 2006

ATLANTA, GA – Georgia State Attorney General Thurbert Baker was joined by Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) president Patricia E. Vance today to announce the launch of a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign developed to explain video game ratings to parents and encourage them to check the rating each time they purchase a video game to ensure that it is appropriate for their children and family. The campaign employs both television and radio PSAs, and will begin running in Georgia in the coming weeks.

“As a father, I know about the tough decisions parents face today about the media they allow into their homes,” said Attorney General Baker. “Parents need and deserve all the help they can get, and the ESRB ratings are an effective and informative resource that allows parents to decide if the video game their child wants is appropriate. I’m proud to be helping educate Georgia’s parents about the tools at their disposal.”

The ESRB video game ratings employ a two-part system. As seen in the illustration below, rating symbols on the front of virtually every game package sold at retail 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, are content descriptors that provide information about what’s in the game that may have triggered the rating, or may be of interest or concern to parents.

“Just like movies and TV shows, video games are created for a diverse audience of all ages,” said ESRB president Patricia E. Vance. “That is why it is so important that parents remember to check the rating when purchasing games for their children. We are very grateful to have the support of Attorney General Baker in reaching out to Georgia’s parents and educating them about the ratings.”

Since its inception in 1994, the ESRB ratings have become a trusted resource for parents when choosing computer and video games. Recent studies commissioned by ESRB and conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates show that 83% of parents with children who play video games are aware of ESRB ratings, and three quarters use them regularly when buying games.

“While many parents are aware of the ratings, and are making sensible game purchase decisions as a result, more can and should be done,” added Baker. “Working with ESRB, we hope that these ads will help arm parents with the information they need to make the right choices for their children and families.”

A complete list of ratings, content descriptors and their definitions can be found on the ESRB website at www.esrb.org. More information about ESRB PSA initiatives is available at http://www.esrb.org/about/psa.jsp.