MediaWise report slams US industry for over ratings

A new report into videogames from the US National Institute on Media and the Family has accused the industry of confusing parents with mixed messages over the importance of the ESRB ratings system.

The MediaWeise Video Game Report card, which is the ninth annual such report to be published into the practices of the industry with regard to the welfare of children and teenagers, also criticised the failure of the industry to use the "Adults Only (AO)" rating for particularly explicit games.

"Parents get a constant stream of mixed messages about video games," the report claims. "On the one hand they are told by the industry to pay attention to the ratings. On the other hand the industry denies that any of these games are harmful. So what parents hear is 'Pay attention to the ratings, but it really doesn't matter if you do.'"

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