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A New Rating System for Video Games based on Islamic Values Endorsed today in Dubai

Dubai– United Arab Emirates, November 29 th, 2010: Index Conferences and Exhibitions Organisation Est .– a member of INDEX Holding announced during a press conference held today at the Dubai World Game Expo, in cooperation with the Iran National Foundation of Computer Games; the launch of Entertainment Software Rating Association (ESRA).

The press conference was headed by Eng. Anas Al Madani, Vice President of Index Holding and Dr. Behrouz Minaei, the Managing Director at Iran National Foundation of Computer Games. The Press Conference was attended by representatives of game developing companies who are taking part at the expo in addition to local an international Media.

The Entertainment Software Rating Association (ESRA) was created by a research team at the National Foundation of Computer Game, in order to evaluate the games and rate them based on their content. The system illustrates the Islamic values and rates the content of the games based on parameters such as violence, promoting tobacco or drugs, sexual diversity or nudity, with the aim of maintaining the balance of children and player’s psychological behaviour. The system works as a monitor for the games content and makes sure that games should indicate education and entertainment at the same time.

Dr. Behrouz Minaei, the Managing Director at Iran National Foundation of Computer Games said:“The approach of Islam is based on Human being innateness“Al Fitra”, and the most important innate trends are truth, virtue, benevolence, excellence tendency, innovation and creativity. That’s why we made sure that ESRA team are proficient in these areas; Religion, Psychopathology,? Educational psychology, Social psychology, Sociology of the family, Family Sociology, Emotional Psychology,? Family therapy and? Educational technology.”

Dr. Minaei also mentioned that the process of compiling and searching for computer game rating organization went through the following levels; studying and analyzing the computer game rating organizations in other countries, considering the contents in those organizations and their usages, extracting the game contents, providing the contents in 7 main sectors, defining the age group and presenting the distinguishing points of each, considering the level and the kind of relation of each content with the age group, and finally designing the process of devoting and defining the computer game age rating. He finally mentioned that:“The rating system? is designed based on the culture, society and the special values of Islam”.

ESRA system is considered the first evaluating system which works according to the Islamic values, while giving the chance for parents to monitor the game content and understand its effect on their children’s behaviour especially from the social aspect, bearing in mind that the Islamic society is considered a conservative society.

Eng. Anas Al Madani, Vice President of Index Holding said:“we as organisers endorse this initiative which aims at evolving the Islamic values and maintain the conservative aspect within the children and the society in general. We are keen on encouraging game developers and publishers to use the ESRA system, as it enables publishers to understand the nature of the Islamic society and the different aspects that it emphasizes”.?

He also stated:“we so support the ESRA system and we would like to announce that there will be a communication approach between the developers of the ESRA system and game developers to use this system while promoting their games.”

“ESRA will work as an indicator for game companies in order to know whether the games approve with the Islamic values, and do not violate any of the Islamic traditions in Islamic countries.” Added Eng. Al Madani

Earlier today the Dubai World Game Expo got underway for the third consecutive year at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre with the participation of more than 200 local and international exhibitors.? The Dubai International Character Fair and MYCONTENT are also running in conjunction with Game Expo, and will last till the 1 st of December. The organising committee is expecting more than 10,000 visitors for the three days event.

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