Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Joe Lieberman Join ESRB To Launch Nationwide Video Game Ratings TV PSA Campaign

December 7, 2006


(DECEMBER 7, 2006)

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) today joined Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) president Patricia Vance on Capitol Hill to launch a new nationwide television PSA campaign that encourages parents to use the video game ratings when buying games for their children. Best Buy president Brian Dunn and GameStop president Steve Morgan appear in the PSAs, affirming their respective company’s commitment to support the ESRB ratings and their store policy not to sell Mature rated games to children under 17 without their parents permission.

“We all share in the responsibility of making sure our children play age-appropriate video games, and I’m pleased that the ESRB and retailers are working together to educate parents about the video game ratings and make sure they are enforced,” said Senator Clinton. “As we enter the holiday shopping season, it is important that parents have the information they need to make informed choices that are right for their families.”

“I continue to be concerned about the impact on minors of playing violent video games intended for older players. Thus, I am very pleased that the ESRB and the retailers are taking these positive steps to reach out to parents to educate them about the rating system,” said Senator Lieberman. “I have long said that the ESRB ratings are the most comprehensive in the media industry. There are many age-appropriate games that are clever and entertaining. Parents should understand and use the ratings to help them decide which video games to buy for their families.”

The ads have been distributed to 800 stations across the country, and were timed to coincide with the busy Holiday shopping season when more than half of video games are sold each year. The ESRB is also distributing a radio PSA campaign along with its award winning “OK to Play? – Check the Ratings” print PSA campaign to media outlets nationwide.

“The ESRB ratings are a helpful guide for parents, and this PSA campaign is the latest of our efforts to educate parents about the rating system and why it is important for them to use it,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance. “We’re excited to have the support of Senators Clinton and Lieberman, Best Buy and GameStop in this significant initiative to help ensure that parents choose appropriate games for their children.”

The ESRB video game rating system was created in 1994 by the entertainment software industry in order to provide consumers, particularly parents, with information about the computer and video games they consider purchasing for their family. Virtually every game sold at retail carries an ESRB rating. Consumer research shows that 83% of American parents with children who play video games are aware of the ratings, and three in four use them regularly when choosing which games they deem appropriate for their children.

About Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)

The ESRB is a non-profit, self-regulatory body established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESRB independently assigns computer and video game content ratings, enforces advertising guidelines, and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry.