ESRB and New Orleans Saints Double Team Parents

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With the NFL season underway and the Holiday shopping season fast approaching, New Orleans Saints receivers Marques Colston (#12) and Devery Henderson (#19) have teamed up with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) – which assigns the official age and content ratings for computer and video games – for a new PSA campaign explaining the ESRB rating system and encouraging parents to use it when buying games for their families.  The ads were previewed at a press event held at a local GameStop, which is lending its support by running the ads nationwide on their in-store video network.  State Senator Daniel Martiny (R-Metairie) and State Representative Jeffrey Arnold (D-New Orleans) were also on hand for the announcement.

 

 

“I play a ton of video games, and while most of them are OK for kids, some of them are clearly intended for older players,” said Colston.  “They say the best defense is a good offense, and I know about good offense.  A parent’s best defense against bringing home the wrong game for their child is to go on offense and use the ratings every time they buy or rent a game.  You’re always better off when you know the play.” 

“Being a father, I know how important it is for parents to have all the help they can get,” added Henderson.  “The ESRB ratings give us the guidance and information that we need to make sure our kids are playing age-appropriate games.  Marques and I are proud to be a part of this effort to educate parents throughout Louisiana and across the country.” 

In addition to being distributed to TV and radio stations throughout the state and being run nationally in GameStop stores, the ads will also appear on the Pro Star Video Board at each Saints home game this season.  Ratings education brochures are also being distributed statewide through GameStop and other retailers. 

“If you’re a parent, you know how popular video games are these days.  But what you may not realize is that video games are no different than movies and TV shows in that they are created for a diverse audience of all ages,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance.  “That’s why the ratings are such an important tool, and why parents should use them regularly.  Educating parents about the ratings is a valuable public service and we’re very appreciative of Marques’ and Devery’s support.”

“There’s no question that video games can be fun for the whole family, but choosing the right games is critical.  Tools like the ESRB ratings are easy to use, and parents should use them each time they buy or rent a game for their children,” added State Representative Arnold.  “The ratings give parents precisely the kind of guidance they need to bring home games they deem suitable for their children and families.”

The ESRB video game ratings consist of two parts.  Rating symbols on the front of virtually every game package sold at retail provide an age recommendation.  On the back, 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. 

In 2008 the ESRB announced the availability of “rating summaries,” a supplementary source of information that gives parents a detailed yet brief and straightforward description of exactly the kind of content they would want to know about when choosing a game for their child.  Parents can look up a game’s rating summary right from the store using a free mobile app (www.esrb.org/mobile), mobile website (m.esrb.org), or search for games before heading to the store by searching ESRB’s website at www.esrb.org.   

See my 2007 series of articles on game ratings for more information on the ESRB, PEGI (Europe), CERO (Japan’s rating system), USK (Germany’s ratings) and the OFLC (Australia):

 Generation: Gamerz PEGI - Pan-European Game Information Rating System Explained
Dec 31, 2007 01:00
 Generation: Gamerz OFLC - The Art of Censorship at its Finest
Dec 31, 2007 01:00
 Generation: Gamerz OFLC - Australia’s Video Game Rating System Explained
Dec 31, 2007 01:00
 Generation: Gamerz USK - Nazi Symbolism, Violence and the Law
Dec 31, 2007 01:00
 Generation: Gamerz USK - The German Videogame Rating System Explained
Dec 31, 2007 01:00
 Generation: Gamerz ESRB - Content Descriptors Explained
Dec 31, 2007 01:00
 Generation: Gamerz ESRB - North America’s Video Game Rating System Explained
Dec 31, 2007 01:00
 Generation: Gamerz CERO - Japan’s Computer Entertainment Rating Organization System Explained
Dec 31, 2007 01:00

Some of the information may now be dated, for example on December 14, 2009, the Australian Government released the long awaited R18+ discussion paper, with public consultation closing on February 28, 2010. As of June 2010, the Attorney-General’s department is processing submissions. (Wikipedia)

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