The Entertainment Software Rating Board, or ESRB, seems to be permanently trapped between a rock and a hard place. The self-regulatory body is forever trying to raise awareness of it’s self-imposed rating system and has to withstand flak from both gamers and parents about the process.
While gamers often argue that a more standardised, government enforce system needs to be introduced, parents are often left unaware that the ESRB even exists and rarely think to check the back of the box.
The ESRB offers not only ratings on games which agree to be rated by it, but also content descriptors and warnings on certain types of content – providing a clear and much-needed distinction between ‘violence’ and ‘comic violence’.
The ESRB has now announced a new Washington spokeswoman however, who shall try to raise parental and governmental awareness of the system so that people can make more educated choices about what is suitable for their parents. Governor Chris Gregoire has been appointed to the role.
ESRB President, Patricia Vance, gave the following comment:
“Just like movies and TV shows, video games are created for a diverse audience of all ages, and not all of them are appropriate for children. That is why it is so important that parents remember to check the rating when purchasing games for their children, and why we continue to drive the message home to parents that there are tools, like ratings and parental controls, that can help them manage the games that their children play.
“We are very proud to have the support of Governor Gregoire in reaching out to Washington State’s parents about the resources at their disposal.
So, what do you think about the ESRB, PEGI, BBFC and so on? Do we need to be told what to think and do or should we be allowed to make our own choices? Is an informed choice better than an uninformed one? Thoughts in the forums