While some in Congress seem to favor using the ESRB as a punching bag, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has officially stepped into the ring on the side of the video game industry ratings board.
Yesterday Shurtleff and ESRB President Patricia Vance launched a series of public service announcements (PSA's) which will air on Utah television stations in coming weeks. During the press conference, Vance spoke about the need to raise parental awareness of the industry's rating system.
"Just like movies and TV shows, video games are created for a diverse audience of all ages," she said. "That is why it is so important that parents remember to check the rating when purchasing games for their children. We are very proud to have the support of Attorney General Shurtleff in reaching out to Utah's parents and educating them about the ratings."
For his part, Shurtleff complimented the ESRB. "As a father," the A.G. said, "I know about the tough decisions parents face over what video games they will allow into their homes. It's important for parents to look closely at the ESRB ratings before letting their kids play any game... As a fan of video games myself, I'm proud to be helping educate Utah's parents about this important tool."
More details about the Utah ESRB initiative are available on the Utah A.G.'s website.
CM: Shurtleff is a bit of a maverick on this issue, a political figure who admits to enjoying video games (well, as much as you can enjoy games dressed in business attire - see pic) despite having misgivings about the content in some titles.
GP readers may recall that as recently as September, 2005 Shurtleff participated in a video game protest. Back then Shurtleff asked game publisher Eidos to cancel the release of the controversial (and badly designed) GTA clone 25 to Life due to its portrayals of violence against police officers. Eidos eventually delayed releasing the game until after the holiday season. When 25 to Life finally launched in January, Shurtleff publicly announced that he hoped no one would buy it.
-Trying to figure out how to TiVo those Utah PSA commercials from Canada, GP Correspondent Colin "Jabrwock" McInnes
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