ESA campaigns to boost gaming's public image

ESA campaigns to boost gaming's public image
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

March 12th 2013 at 6:59AM

Trade body plans to educate public on ESRB ratings and games for all ages

The ESA has launched a campaign aimed at changing the public's perception of the games industry.

With many pointing the finger at video game violence for the recent mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, the campaign is designed to raise awareness of ERSB ratings and the variety of family friendly games on the market.

The industry-wide campaign won't just take advantage of traditional channels. It's also going to reach the public through games.

“This campaign will connect with consumers in an immediate and sustained way in addition to the traditional mechanisms over TV outlets," said the Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher.

"By channeling our industry’s compelling and innovative medium, we will instantly provide proven, practical, and effective information to millions of consumers.”

The plan is to take advantage of the massive online audience of the games industry to get the public service announcement in front of as many eyes as possible.

The ESA will also coordinate with retailers to get the message out through physical and digital storefronts.

In addition, the trade association will work with policy makers to make the ERSB ratings system the standard for games on newer platforms like smartphones, tablets, and online games.

“No one knows better than parents when it comes to making decisions about which games their children should and should not play,” said US Senator John Thune.

“The video game industry makes games for people of all ages, but that doesn’t mean all games are appropriate for everyone. I commend the industry for raising awareness of the tools available to parents that can help them make informed decisions about the games their children play.”

Getting a positive image means more than just helping people make smart choices about what games their kids should be playing.

To make the change happen, the ESA will also be supporting non-profit groups that use games for education and other "pro-social" purposes.

“Our industry has a long-standing, high-quality track record of empowering parents,” said Gallagher.

“The Federal Trade Commission described the ESRB as having the strongest self-regulatory code with regard to its marketing guidelines and enforcement system. Today we will build on that success.”