ESA is committed to helping parents make sure that children are safe online and playing video games their parents consider appropriate. Through the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the association has voluntarily established numerous tools and policies to help parents make educated entertainment choices and encourage retailers to sell age-appropriate games to youth.
A nonprofit, self-regulatory body, ESRB assigns age and content ratings to computer and video games, enforces industry-adopted advertising guidelines, and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices. ESRB ratings enable parents to make informed decisions about the computer and video games they choose for their families, based both on age-appropriateness and concise, impartial descriptions of content that may have triggered the rating or that may otherwise be of interest.
The entertainment software industry has universally adopted ESRB’s rating system; retailers support it; and family advocates, elected officials, and government agencies have described ESRB as the gold standard for rating systems. Independent surveys found that 85 percent of parents with children who play video games are aware of ESRB’s rating system, and 88 percent believe it is helpful in choosing games for their children. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission’s latest undercover shopper survey revealed that video game retailers are the strictest and most effective in enforcing age-rating policies: retailers prevented 87 percent of attempted purchases of Mature-rated games by children under the age of 17.
ESA also encourages parents to take advantage of the parental controls that are included on all new game platforms. For more information about setting up these controls visit http://www.esrb.org/about/resources.jsp.