GamesBeat

Ratings board wants parents to think twice before buying that video game

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) teamed up with San Francisco Giants players Ryan Vogelsong and Buster Posey (shown above) Wednesday to kick off a public service announcement encouraging parents to check the rating on their child’s video game.

While working in retail years ago, I sold many “mature” rated video games to oblivious parents. They usually had no clue that mature rated games contain a lot of violence, despite the clear ESRB label on each game. The new PSA is an effort to clue parents in.

“I feel it’s very important for parents to know what video games their kids are playing. We all know how sneaky kids can be, trying to pull a fast one,” said Vogelsong during a press conference.

The PSA urges parents to read video game packages to decide if the game is right for their child. The hope is to get more parents involved in the buying process, regardless if they had ever heard about the video game before their child asked for it. The point is to urge parents to think carefully if their eight-year-0ld should really be playing Diablo III.

The PSA includes references to the ESRB’s website and mobile app, which help parents check a game rating by typing in the name. Parents can also use the mobile app to snap a picture of the game to find the rating.

A video from Vogelsong and Posey, which will run on TV channels in the San Francisco Bay Area and parts of California, shows parents how to easily find an ESRB rating on video game packaging. The PSA will also include radio spots and advertising at San Francisco Giants’ home games. Brochures describing the ESRB’s rating system and resources will also pop up at GameStop stores and other retailers.

Should parents be paying more attention to the ratings on their kid’s games? Sound off in the comments.

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