Survey: Parents Look At ESRB Ratings

Survey: Parents Look At ESRB Ratings

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Parents are actually considering the ESRB ratings of the games they purchase, according to a survey organized by Activision.

The results of a survey conducted by Activision's Ratings Are Not A Game initiative reported that 70% of parents pay "close" attention to ratings of games they are buying for their kids. The survey was conducted online by The Harrison Group with 1,201 respondents, aged 6 to 44.

Other statistics generated by the survey were that 63.0% of all parents also consider themselves a gamer, and that number grows to 83% if the parents are 35 years of age or younger. 82% of all gamers said that they knew about ESRB ratings, and 75% of children responded that they were aware of them as well.

The information reported is encouraging for the gaming community, as it routinely fends off attacks of indecency by parenting groups. Activision would like to pat themselves on the back for a job well done, as Mike Griffith, Activision Publishing President and CEO, said:

Parents rely on and value the ESRB ratings in helping them decide which games to allow their children to play. Our 'Ratings Are Not A Game' education initiative underscores our commitment to helping parents better understand and utilize the ratings system as they select age appropriate games and determine the best way for the entire family to enjoy the gaming experience.

The survey drew criticism from some. "I see some significant problems with this survey," said Gamespolitics commenter, nighstalker160. "An "online survey" about videogames is likely to attract a sample bias, the parents who respond to such a survey are likely to be more tech/game/internet savvy than others and are therefore more likely to be the ones who know about the ESRB."

Source: Gamepolitics

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who exactly make up the rating, if its the same types who does it for movies (in the states) they may useless.

but incase they are valid, which i doubt, its nice that the majority of parents and kids are aware of them.

The end comment is a very good point. The fact it was done online really does bias the results slightly. I bet if you went into a city centre and questioned people there it would certainly give a different picture.

I have never met somebody who is a parent and a gamer. In RL, anyway.

I want to do the ["X% of the surveys in the world are made up]
But I can't

OT: I agree with the guy posting on the article
The one Greg posted in the end, that is

Ha! This was totally my idea, about getting more parents involved in the process of understanding what the ESRB does. Nice to see that they've taken the first steps to being actually efficient.

(No, really, this was my idea (or at least an idea I'd had before this came out)--from way back here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/6.149258.3482985 See! There's a bit of back and forth, but I was at least on the same track that Activision eventually got to.)

OptimusHagrid:
I have never met somebody who is a parent and a gamer. In RL, anyway.

My daddy is...

OT: I suppose that's a good thing. It's just the parents that DON'T pay attention to them that's ruining it for everyone. So good, 60% of parents pay attention to ratings. What about the other 40%?

The "I don't know about ESRB" excuse is only used by idiots anyways.

Honestly, it says it right there M then it says mature, and on the flipside of the box it says why. That box is in the same place as it is for movies as well as games.

If that box is the sole reason people attack games, then obviously anyone who attacks games saying "oh the children the children(who at that age already know about sex and swearing, don't deny it as that's pure BS if you think so. Unless you are heavily sheltered, in that case parents wouldn't let you near the evil glowing TV anyways.)" are frankly num nutters.

It's extremely obvious. No excuse. None at all. Unless your blind, I don't think those ratings come in brale (the bumps that blind people feel)

Well If the results are true, it means that the gaming population is now in the realm of parenthood, which is a sing that gaming in general it now more respected as a serious form of entertainment.

My parents certainly did, although it was the BBFC, not ESRB. I couldn't play an 18 game until my Dad (thankfully a gamer) had given it a spin. Therefore I couldn't play Grand Theft Auto: San Andrea until I was 15, although one of my earliest gmaing memories was playing Mafia at the age of 8 or so.

We should be thankful that people do seem to pay attention instead of giving their 7 year old a Grand Theft Auto or simialr 18 rated game then complain about the gratuitous violence to the press and get our wonderful pastime blamed for stuff.

From having worked in a gamestop and a bestbuy for a while, most parents either don't care or don't look, as long as the game is something like "Slaughter Fest 8: Extreme Porn Edition" they buy it for kids who whine. Hell I know that as a kid I asked my parents for X game (assuming I had earned its value in chores or grades) and they rarely questioned it. I'm wondering if its just a newer generation of parents that grew up with games that are changing the former trend.

My parents dont mind me getting 18 rated games though strangely they still ask if im sure when i put on a film like Saving Private Ryan, 28 Days Later, or The Rocky Horror Picture Show(one of my favourite "Doesn't have to be good to be AWESOME" films)

Well, since I'm 19 I can play whatever I want - even before then, though, my parents were never too strict about me playing violent video games. Probably the earliest game I remember playing which contained a considerable amount of violence would be Turok 2 - the cerebral bore was fantastic.

This survey is pretty badly biased. Firstly, as the article pointed out, it was done online. Secondly, this is kind of like surveying doctors to see how many of them wash their hands regularly. What people THINK they do and what the DO are often two completely different things. If anything, we should be surveying kids and asking them if their parents pay attention to the ESRB ratings. Or surveying video game store employees.

I've yet to meet a parent that actually cared about the ratings. The one's I've met are generally separated into two groups; parents who know of it but don't care, and parents who don't know about it and judge games based on traditional media and the cover art.

I think more parents should adopt my mother's stance on this. Her opinion is that since she doesn't play videogames, I am a better judge of what content is appropriate for me than she is.

Jaredin:
The end comment is a very good point. The fact it was done online really does bias the results slightly. I bet if you went into a city centre and questioned people there it would certainly give a different picture.

Yeah but questionnaires always have this problem; you say go to a city centre but there'd still be bias. You'd only be able to get an answer from people who have time free to do it (lessen the likelihood of getting parents), or people attracted to those types of shops nearby or in fact just bias due to the town your in. Ideally you'd need to randomly sample people through a country trying to get a wide range of race, gender, social "class" and education to get the full picture.

OT; I suppose this is kind of good news and could be used as an argument against that Australian guy if results can be applied to other countires and not just this small sample. Although he could just poke holes in it rather easily

The bias thing does make sense.

If people have gaming consoles/computers in their households, my common sense says that although maybe 10 years ago they could have been ignorant to the kinds of entertainment titles on those systems, this last decade has seen such issues sensationalised in most news media. So I think it is becoming less and less likely for anyone to not have a general idea of the issues. The survey - like any survey - will have a margin of error, but I think it can be taken as generally indicative.

I used to frequently drop into a EB games that was near my college. Good way to waste a bit of time in the used games bins once and a while. I remember a couple times like a 8 year old kid begging his father for starcraft and a few other games. He was humming and hawing over the ratings of the games and because no one was really helping him and I had played each game and I was tired of hearing his kid beg about it I went over them with the kids father. Took only a minute or two but the father was felt like he understood and ended up buying a couple of them.

I like the idea of the ratings system but they really should take up a bit more space and explain WHY it go that rating. They don't need to go pack of cigarettes size or anything but a sentence or two about the rating I think would really help uneducated parents.

OptimusHagrid:
I have never met somebody who is a parent and a gamer. In RL, anyway.

a couple of my friends are gamers and have kids

tho they are aware of the ratings on the games, they don't really pay much attention to them cause they teach the kids what is acceptable and what isn't in life, in other words they're good parents and don't let tv and video games raise their kids.

tho it's fun to watch my friend's kid beat him in a few games. he's getting pretty good at smack talk too.

Ignorance always has a louder voice than reason.

"70% of parents pay "close" attention to ratings of games they are buying for their kids."

Translation: Three parents in ten are ignorant fuckwits who can't be helped no matter how easy you try to make the process for them?

I'm re-reading this multiple times and It's confusing me.
This is supposed to be parents correct?

The survey was conducted online by The Harrison Group with 1,201 respondents, aged 6 to 44.

That's, from what I can tell, is saying the people that took the survey, AKA "The parents" were aged 6 to 44.

I'm still trying to figure this out. People can put in a random age sure, but they kept those as valid even though I've never heard of a 6 year old parent? I be confused.

Even if said parents are tech savvy, it goes to show that,yes, there are people who are actually smart and don't give their kids something that'll screw with their heads a bit like grand theft auto and manhunt.

I'd dance around with my hands up in the air, yelling "Yaaaaaaaaaay!" like Kermit the frog if I thought that the survey wasn't flawed (and overly optimistic).
Ah, I still might do so, anyway. Maybe parents don't all forget how to read when they have children, after all!
Parents who would rather tell other adults what they can or can't purchase so that their kids can't possibly get it deserve a spanking...in a way that neither party would enjoy, I mean!

They should do the survey in a retail environment where the ratings actually matter, as opposed to the internet where information flows like water.

Not only is it an online survey, but it also will attract the tech savvy, the people already interested in game culture, and even a few straight up liars. Add this to the fact that people will convince themselves to give the better, more responsible answer, and you have an almost meaningless survey.

But as baseless propaganda, it might do some good. It may be a giant lie, but lies can be useful.

Statistically irrelevant - voluntary response AND access bias? Dear god, no.

Toastngravy:
I'm re-reading this multiple times and It's confusing me.
This is supposed to be parents correct?

The survey was conducted online by The Harrison Group with 1,201 respondents, aged 6 to 44.

That's, from what I can tell, is saying the people that took the survey, AKA "The parents" were aged 6 to 44.

I'm still trying to figure this out. People can put in a random age sure, but they kept those as valid even though I've never heard of a 6 year old parent? I be confused.

later in the article it mentions how they asked kids if their parents paid attention to the ESRB.

What I can't stand is, at least in the US, movies get away with so much more than games. Look at Dragons Age/Mass Effect-slammed because the in-game sex meant a leg was flashed. Both Rated M games.
Then, you have PG-13 movies that have a little more than a leg flash from under the covers or a fade to black.
The same happens with violence and language-movies are given much more leniency then games.
Probably, more kids are likely to see a movie than play a violent game (price differences, arguably easier to see the bad parts of a movie than a bad part of a game, time invested),but you never hear about kids that saw 300 going out and killing people...but if a kid yells at a parent after seeing a WoW add...
/rant over
OT: The survey shows that 70% of tech savvy parents that have knowledge of gaming pay close (a relative term) attention to ESRB. While the information is good, it means nothing, and the media will ignore this in favor of the next kid that did a bad thing and had a REMOTE possibility of seeing a game in his/her life. If this sways some to start looking, others that are louder will ignore the survey, and the rating.

Cpt_Oblivious:
My parents certainly did, although it was the BBFC, not ESRB. I couldn't play an 18 game until my Dad (thankfully a gamer) had given it a spin. Therefore I couldn't play Grand Theft Auto: San Andrea until I was 15, although one of my earliest gmaing memories was playing Mafia at the age of 8 or so.

We should be thankful that people do seem to pay attention instead of giving their 7 year old a Grand Theft Auto or simialr 18 rated game then complain about the gratuitous violence to the press and get our wonderful pastime blamed for stuff.

agreed

 

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