Though the debate about objectionable content in video games is probably never going to go away, the industry can and does attempt to further educate people about its ongoing efforts to explain to people exactly what they might encounter in the games they buy.
Further proof of that surfaced today, as the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) unveiled and distributed a new PSA intended to help explain to parents the ratings used by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and the parental controls some game devices utilize to screen content. Formed in 1994, the non-profit ESRB has been rating games and using specific content descriptors for some time, but questions still arise over their meanings.
The new PSA is just the latest effort to clear those questions up for consumers, especially those buying games for their kids.
“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,” ESRB president Patricia Vance said in a press release announcing the PSA. “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.”
Lawmakers from both US political parties spoke out in favor of the PSA, which is being sent out to TV stations across the country. The ESA is also partnering with retailers like GameStop to show the video on in-store monitors, as well as encouraging its member companies to share it online and on mobile devices.
Here’s a look at the PSA, which you’ll no doubt be seeing a lot of in the ramp up to the holiday shopping season: