Mississippi A.G. Reminds Parents of ESRB Ratings for Holiday Shopping

With Black Friday and the traditional start of the holiday shopping season just around the corner, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (D) has reminded parents to follow ESRB rating guidelines when purchasing games for their kids.

As reported by the Madison County Herald, Hood said:

Every Christmas I review the ratings to determine what is appropriate for my children. I want other parents to know the ratings…

As GamePolitics reported, Hood issued a similar warning during the 2007 holiday season.

GP: For handy reference, GamePolitics features the ESRB’s rating widget in our right sidebar.

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  1. 0
    Conejo says:

    good for him.  i fully support every politician saying "know your ratings" and promoting USE of the ESRB along with actual parenting.

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  2. 0
    Thomas McKenna says:

    Damn it, GP.  Because of this article, and mostly the picture that came with it, I almost busted up into a fit of laughter in the middle of a lab.

    Anyone have a link for a higher res quality version of that picture?  It just begs to have the obvious shout bubbles shopped onto it.

  3. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Gotta link it, dummy. 


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  4. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    The following is something I wrote for a local PTA newsletter.  It wasn’t added to Oct.’s newsletter because of length limitations.  They say they will include it in the next one.  I’m sending it the othe National PTA site in hopes they will do an article similar, if not the actual article.  I’m not interested in the credit, just that it is done.

    Note that this is on topic, just a bit broader as to the media:


     Here they come!  The holidays of giving are almost upon us.  No!  Not Halloween!  Christmas!  What?  Didn’t you notice that jolly red dressed elf sitting across the aisle from the Witch costume???  Yes, only a few short months.  And considering how expensive many of the entertainment items are these days, you either need long term layaway or a small home loan to cover your Christmas present bills.

     But, equally important, is the ability of individuals and Parents to make informed choices on their purchases.  This is, in fact, true any time of the year.  We do all we can to make informed choices about other aspects of our lives.  We research the jobs we wish to apply for.  We research the foods we eat and serve.  We research the insurance we buy to cover our family and property.  So why shouldn’t we have the resources to do proper research on the media we and our children are exposed to?  We do, in fact, already have resources available to us.  So why would we let other individuals, organizations, and/or government entities make those decisions for us?

     With this in mind, below you will find some helpful resources for various forms of media.  Not all available resources are listed.  And some forms don’t have significant resources that I’m familiar with.  This doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  Merely that you have more research to do initially.  I don’t claim to be an expert.  Nor do I claim that what I offer here is optimal for every individual or Parent.  Once you’ve done the legwork and chosen the resources best for you, all future research will be a breeze.

    Industry Rating Systems:
    ESRB – http://www.esrb.org – The industry rating system for video/computer games.  Uses Flashcard lettering system as well as content descriptors.
    MPAA – http://www.mpaa.org – The industry rating system for movies.  Uses Flashcard lettering system as well as content descriptors.
    TV Parental Guidelines – http://www.tvguidelines.org – The industry rating system used for TV shows.  Uses Flashcard lettering system as well as content descriptors.
    For Music, there is no real industry rating system.  Labels stating Parental Advisory are stuck on products that contain “Explicit Lyrics”, but that’s it.
    To my knowledge, other forms of media do not have official industry rating systems.  This includes, but not limited to:  books, magazines, radio, and newspapers.

     Other private rating systems exist.  Many of these are specifically designed for Parents, or individuals of various religious beliefs.  Not everyone chooses a private system, but it is important to give each individual the option to choose what information they feel will best represent their needs and beliefs.  A few of the private rating systems include:

    The PTC – http://www.parentstv.org – Offers movie, TV show, and some video/computer game ratings and reviews.
    The CSM – http://www.commonsensemedia.org – Offers ratings and reviews on movies, TV shows, music, books, and video/computer games.
    Gamer-/Movie-Dad – http://www.gamingwithchildren.com and http://www.movieswithchildren.com – Offers ratings and reviews from the general Parent standpoint of video/computer games and movies, respectively.

     Another set of resources are the review sites, especially ones that not only offer professional reviews, but allow consumers to review products and even communicate with one another, even in limited fashion.  Below are a few sites to look over and consider.

    Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com – An all-you-can-eat buffet of information for products from all forms of media, including books, music, TV on DVD, movies, and much, much more. 
    IMDB – http://www.imdb.com – A large database resource for TV show and movie information.
    TV.com – http://www.tv.com – A large database resource for old and current TV shows.
    Gamespot – http://www.gamespot.com – A large database resource for video/computer games.  Weak on games that are over 15 years old, but still an excellent rsource.
    LOC – http://www.loc.gov and http://www.loc.gov/nls – The Library of Congress, especially the NLS section, has a large database of books and, in some cases, even offer content descriptors.  It’s also recommended that you check with your local public library to see if they have a web site that you can access from your home.

     There are a great many resources out there for you to use.  Hopefully, the editor will know of a few more to add to this article.  In addition, you, dear reader, may know of others and I very much encourage you to pass this information on to others.  Giving individuals and Parents the power of informed choice is a powerful weapon.  Remember, even if you aren’t a Parent but intend to give gifts to other adults or other people’s children, make certain that you know what they find appropriate for themselves or their children.  Just because you find something appropriate doesn’t mean they will.  Nor is it a bad thing for someone else to have different ideals or beliefs.  Be respectful in your gift giving. 

     And as a last few words…  “But Maaaaa!”  “But Daaaaaaad!”  I highly recommend the book “The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind theExploits of Hackers, Intruders & Deceivers” by Kevin D. Mitnick and William L. Simon.  Don’t think it sounds like a Parent’s guide?  Chapter 10 is “Social Engineering”.  Trust me.  You want this book. 


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  5. 0
    Benjamin_Snow says:

    Yeah, a parent, A politiction telling parents to check the ratings and making SENSE?!

    Hang on a second (goes outside)

    Hmm . . . no Horsemen, I don’t see Jesus taking His people home with Him.


    Yeah, the world ain’t ending.


    "We may be human, but we’re still animals" -Steve Vai (World’s greatest guitarist!)

  6. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    A polirician talking sense?


    *sniff* Do I smell brimstone?

    Seriosuly though, a reminder shoulder be all that’s needed


    And his pose, nah, it is way too easy.

  7. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    HOLD IT!

    Does anyone else think that pic had him doing the "OBJECTION!" finger-point?


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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