Parents Often Ignore Game Ratings, Say Grand Theft Childhood Authors

Continuing to dig through Cheryl Olson and Lawrence Kutner’s excellent Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games, we note the authors’ finding that parents often ignore video game ratings:

While [parents] were aware of the ESRB rating system, they didn’t always pay attention to it… [Some parents] looked at the artwork on the packaging or spoke with a store clerk… Several had M and T ratings confused… Some relied on their children’s own judgment…

Most acknowledged that while they might have strict rules at home prohibiting certain types of games, their children might easily play those games at another child’s house… [Parents expressed] frustration that they weren’t able to get the information they wanted and valued from the ratings…

Almost all of the parents we spoke with agreed with the age categories of the ESRB ratings – but for other people’s children, not for their own. They tended to let their younger teenagers play M-rated games and their preteen children playT-rated games…

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