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Modern Parents Use Video Game Content Ratings




By Margarita Nahapetyan

According to a recent survey conducted by The Harrison Group and funded by video game publisher Activision Blizzard, the majority of parents in the United States know what their children are playing and also use video game content ratings from the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

The Harrison Group survey involved more than 1,200 people with the ages between 6 and 44 years. It was revealed that 82 per cent of parents who like to play video games and 75 per cent of gamer children are familiar with the ESRB ratings system. The ESRB is the video game industry's self-regulating body which reviews and rates video games for their content.

The poll also found that 70 per cent of parents pay close attention to the ratings when buying a game for themselves or their kids and that 62 per cent of parents thoroughly research a game their child asked for before buying it. Researchers found out that video gaming is increasingly integrated into families: 76 per cent of parents reported that playing games became a part of their family life and that they feel quite comfortable with it. According to the poll results, 63 per cent of parents with gamer kids consider themselves gamers as well. And this figure grows up to 83 per cent for parents who are 35 years old or younger.

Other key survey findings include:

  • Game players devote 32 per cent of their leisure time to entertainment with video games accounting for the largest share - approximately 19 per cent.

  • Among parent gamers, 52 per cent of their video gaming playing time is spent with their children.

Mike Griffith, Chief Executive Officer of the Activision Publishing, said that "Parents rely on and value the ESRB ratings in helping them decide which games to allow their children to play." Therefore, the survey largely disproves the argument that most parents have no clue about the content of video games their children play. The new findings suggest that parents of today are much more likely to be players of video games themselves, and as a result they will be more aware of what is and is not suitable for their young kids to play when compared to previous generations who were not actively involved in gaming for themselves.

Activision Publishing participated in this survey as part of its "Ratings Are Not A Game" education initiative. This educational initiative concentrates its attention on educating consumers about the ESRB's rating system and helping parents make informed decisions about the video games they and their children play. The company recently started collaboration with Dr. Cheryl Olson, co-director for the Center for Mental Health and Media at Massachusetts General Hospital, in order to produce a series of videos that will help parents optimize children's experiences with video games. These videos as well as many other resources for parents are available at www.activision.com/RatingsAreNotAGame.



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