80% of parents reported to pay attention to ESRB ratings

Chicago (IL) - According to a new survey by video game publisher Activision, nearly 80% of parents with children who play video games pay "close attention" to the ESRB rating system, conquering the conventional thought that the ratings do not have an impact on most parents.

In fact, Activision's survey showed that parents were more aware of the system than children. Only 65% of gamers between the ages of 8 and 17 were aware of the system from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Conversely, 89% of parents of young children (8 - 12) say they pay close attention to the rating labels, which are posted on the front of most games available for sale in retail stores.

ESRB ratings, which include "E for everyone", "T for teen", and "M for mature", are similar to the movie ratings from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Like R-rated movies, some stores prevent the selling of games rated M or above to minors.

The ESRB has been at the forefront of the ongoing legal battle against the video game industry. Critics complain that the people who rate the games don't actually play it themselves. Rather, they rely on footage sent to them by the publisher that it claims is a depiction of the most graphic content in the game.

There has also been a complaint that parents just aren't aware of the nature and content in games they purchase for their children. This is becoming an outdated notion as parents become more familiar with the system, and because of the fact that a growing number of adults are themselves video game addicts.