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Game Industry Will Extend Ratings to Versions for Phones, Tablets

Video game manufacturers and distributors Monday launched
their own public service campaign to educate the public about parental
controls, particularly the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings
system, which they said they would extend to smartphones, tablets and online
social gaming.

The move comes in the wake of increasing pressure from
Washington following the Sandy Hook school shootings.

The National Association of Broadcasters, National Cable and
Telecommunications Association, Motion Picture Association of America and
American Cable Association launched a parental control/media literacy/mental
health campaign two weeks ago similarly informing parents about TV and film

In announcing its campaign, the Entertainment Software
Association pointed to a 2012 Peter D. Hart Research Associates study that found
that 70% of parents check the ESRB rating before buying video games.

"This campaign will connect with consumers in an immediate
and sustained way in addition to the traditional mechanisms over TV
outlets," said ESA president Michael Gallagher. "By channeling our
industry's compelling and innovative medium, we will instantly provide proven,
practical, and effective information to millions of consumers."

ESA pledged to:

  1. "Enhance public education efforts around video game
    ratings and parental controls by developing and funding a series of new PSAs;
  2. "Utilize the unique interconnectivity and reach of the video game
    industry's platforms to promote these public service messages and related
  3. "Coordinate with video game retailers to use both their physical store
    footprints and dedicated online networks to educate millions of their customers
    about video game ratings and parental controls;
  4. "Work with policy makers to extend the proven ESRB rating system to the
    broader games ecosystem of smart phones, tablets, and online social games; and,
  5. "Support and partner with nonprofits using video games for educational
    and other pro-social purposes."