ESRB launching new PSA; possible global game rating system coming soon

esrb psa 3The video game industry has faced a few political attacks recently: A violent video games tax earlier this month from Oklahoma legislator Fourkiller, and most notably, California’s push to ban violent video games last year. And while these actions may have flown under the banner of parental aid, what about the ESRB? In an attempt to make the video game ratings system more visible, the ESRB has teamed up with Penny Arcade once again on a new PSA campaign to alert more parents about ways to aid their video game decision-making process.

The campaign will be making its way online and through print in the spring through parenting and gaming media outlets. There will be three messages, drawn in the Penny Arcade-style, featuring caricatures based on real parents and gamers with different perspectives on ESRB ratings. There will be one PSA for using ratings to buy video games, how to check rating summaries for more game content detailsm and one on using the ESRB mobile app for decision making convenience while purchasing games in-s2012 esrb psa 1tore.

The three main stars of the ESRB campaign include a Navy wife with two teenagers from Lakeside, CA, a married father and his son from Lafayette, IN, and a devoted gamer from Los Angeles, CA. The stars were selected based on a “micro-essay” contests held on Facebook, where entrants described how valuable the ESRB ratings and resources were.

“Our new PSA campaign is designed to get the message to parents that there are tools they can sue to make informed choices about video games for their children and families, even beyond the rating on a game’s package,” said Patricia Vance, ESRB president. “We felt there was no one better to share insights about the ESRB ratings than real parents and gamers who use the ratings themselves.”

The Entertainment Software Rating Board is the non-profit, self regulatory (non-government) body that has been assigning age and content ratings for video games since 1994. According to the board’s commissioned study, conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, at least 85 percent of parents with gamer children know of the ESRB ratings, and at least two-thirds of 2012 esrb psa 2that number use the ratings regularly. According to a report by the FTC–which was cited in the recent California violent games case– the system allows the gaming industry to “[outpace] the movie and music industries,” through restrictions on target marketing mature products to children, by prominently disclosing rating information, and by restricting children’s access to mature-rated products at retail.

While the ESRB has managed the industry so far, the non-profit body will need to revamp the way it does things with the upcoming spike in rating needs. Gaming popularity is on the rise, and with the influx of social and mobile gamers, there’s talk of the rating process becoming automated and there being one global system for all games. The ESRB has already gone forward on the mobile-front last year by cutting down on the requirements needed for obtaining a rating. Globally, the new system would create one process for developers, taking into account different countries norms and particular laws when assigning ratings.

“There is a general buy in on the concept,” said Patricia Vance. “The devil is going to be in the details, like who funds it and what the questions (for the rating system) should be. They have to be nuanced enough to address the differences in cultural norms.”

Product Review

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide gaming monitor review

Samsung has taken "ultrawide" to its new limit with its 49-inch gaming monitor, the CHG90. With a 144Hz refresh rate and ungodly amounts of screen real estate, it just might be the most impressive gaming monitor ever made.

The best video games to gift this holiday season, from ‘Spider-Man’ to ‘Hitman 2’

The holidays are quickly approaching and you might be looking for ideas on what to get your favorite gamer. Here are the best games you can buy for your gaming loved ones this holiday season.

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Product Review

Huawei’s monster Mate 20 X makes the Galaxy Note 9 look small

The Huawei Mate 20 X has a 7.2-inch screen, but is surprisingly manageable to hold, yet still a little too big to carry around. Huawei’s pushing the phone’s ability as a mobile gaming handheld, challenging the Nintendo Switch.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Product Review

Kill a Nazi while skiing in ’Battlefield V: War Stories’

World War II is hardly a unique setting for a shooter, but Battlefield V’s War Stories has managed to liven it up. Our preview left us eager to see more of the new Battlefield’s single-player story.

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ adds Black Market system to dress up your soldier

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 added the Black Market system to PS4 today, giving players new ways to unlock and acquire additional customization items, such as outfits for Specialists.

In 2018, the rivalry between AMD and Intel has become more interesting than ever

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.

Have problems with your Xbox One? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

Choose your weapon wisely -- these are the best keyboards for gaming on your PC

Your PC isn't complete without one of the best gaming keyboards on the planet. We have a list spanning full-sized models to compact versions from Razer, Cooler Master, Corsair, Logitech G, and more.

Why are game studios run like sweat shops? The human toll of ‘crunch time’

After the revelation of 100-hour work weeks in Red Dead Redemption 2’s development, we spoke with a number of developers about what it’s like to work in crunch culture in the game industry.

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.