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ESA announces large-scale ESRB awareness campaign

by Steve Watts, shacknews.com, Mar 11, 2013 10:35AM PDT

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced plans today for a new series of public service announcements to educate parents on ESRB ratings and console parental controls. The awareness blitz will include new announcements on video game platforms, information on game-specific websites and stores, cooperation with state and federal officials to get information to constituents, and PSAs distributed to video game sites, broadcast channels, and retailers.

The announcement cites a survey conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates from 2012, which concluded that 70% of parents regularly check the ESRB ratings before buying games, and most parents trust the ratings. That number is high, but as the industry faces increased scrutiny the ESA is taking clear steps to appear more proactive in increasing the figure.

The announcement included kudos from two politicians: Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). Both say they "commend the video game industry" for raising awareness about the tools available to parents.

"Our industry has a long-standing, high-quality track record of empowering parents," said ESA president Michael Gallagher. "The Federal Trade Commission described the ESRB as having the strongest self-regulatory code with regard to its marketing guidelines and enforcement system. Today we will build on that success."