Self-regulation backed in US

In the face of mounting pressure on the censorship and self-regulatory procedures of the video games industry in the US, the Federal Trade Commission has stated that it believes the Entertainment Software Association’s rating system is a “useful and important tool” to parents.

The FTC has found that 87 per cent of parents and 75 per cent of children were aware of the ESRB rating system, with 94 per cent of parents saying the ratings were easy to understand. It added that the system has been a major factor in retail’s successful drive to limit the sale of Mature-rated games to minors.

“We’re pleased that the FTC has acknowledged what we in the industry have long known: the best way to help parents are industry led, self-regulatory efforts that can provide the information they need,” ESA’s senior vice president Carolyn Rauch stated.

There had been calls in the US for a state-regulated rating system following the highly-publicised Hot Coffee scandal involving hidden content in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and subsequently user-modified additions to Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

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Tags: esa , esrb , ratings , ftc , censorship

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