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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 09, 2008
Attorney General McKenna reminds parents to view video game ratings

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today reminded parents of the importance of reading video game ratings to ensure that content is suitable for their children. The Attorney General’s Office has received a couple of recent complaints from consumers concerned about violent and sexually explicit content in popular video games.

“A Washington state law requires retailers to inform consumers about video game ratings,” McKenna said. “Parents need to be aware that some of the most popular games contain content that is potentially harmful for youth and may be deemed offensive. A rating of ‘M’ for mature can include intense violence and sexual scenes.”

An example of a controversial video game is “Grand Theft Auto IV,” which follows an immigrant-turned gangster on crime missions around a fictional city. Like its predecessors, the new version permits players to kill characters and is rated “M” for players 17 or older. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is protesting the game because of a drunk-driving sequence.

Video games are rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, a self-regulatory entity supported by the entertainment industry.

Video games are rated as follows:
  

http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_ec.gif

 EARLY CHILDHOOD
Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate.

http://www.esrb.org/images/deepyellow.gif

  

http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_e.gif

 EVERYONE
Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

http://www.esrb.org/images/deepyellow.gif

  

http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_e10.gif

 EVERYONE 10+
Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.

http://www.esrb.org/images/deepyellow.gif

  

http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_t.gif

 TEEN
Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

http://www.esrb.org/images/deepyellow.gif

  

http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_m.gif

 MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

http://www.esrb.org/images/deepyellow.gif

  

http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_ao.gif

 ADULTS ONLY
Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.

http://www.esrb.org/images/deepyellow.gif

  

http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_rp.gif

 RATING PENDING
Titles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.)


Additional information about the ratings is available from the Entertainment Software Rating Board at http://www.esrb.org.


Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager, Attorney General's Office, (206) 464-6432

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