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ESA Condemns 'Unethical' Research On Game Regulation

ESA Condemns 'Unethical' Research On Game Regulation

December 5, 2007 | By Staff

December 5, 2007 | By Staff
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The Entertainment Software Association has responded vehemently to the newly released Hill & Knowlton research on game regulation, revealing it was part of a proposal to the ESA and claiming that the "unprofessional and unethical" release only selectively quotes the full findings.

The official statement from the ESA on the announcement is as follows:

"Today, Hill & Knowlton released the findings of research it conducted on the American public's views about the computer and video game industry. According to the agency's findings, a majority of respondents believe that the government should regulate the sale of mature content video games.

We understand that parents have concerns about mature content getting into the hands of children and we are working to help make sure that does not happen. To achieve this important goal, the ESA strongly supports a variety of efforts aimed at educating parents and retailers and allowing them to control mature content.

We support the ESRB, which is the nation's leading rating system working to educate and empower parents with game information. We have also worked within the industry to ensure that password protected, robust parental controls are included in all new video game consoles sold. In addition, we work with retailers to encourage the enforcement of policies that prohibit the sale of mature games to minors.

The research released today was conducted by Hill & Knowlton for a proposal the agency made to the ESA this summer, but only a portion of it was released publicly now. Hill & Knowlton's decision to release these findings was both unprofessional and unethical and its timing is questionable. The research was done this summer and only performed in an effort to help Hill & Knowlton win our business.

In addition, the release of only part of the findings paints an inaccurate picture of the entertainment software industry. The other research conducted by agency but not released showed:

- More than two-thirds of 18-34 year olds currently play video games;

- Less than 1 in 5 Americans think playing video games is a negative way to spend time with friends and family;

- More than half of families think that video games are a positive way to spend time together;

- Educational video games are perceived to provide more learning than TV or DVDs."

In fact, to help bolster its claim, the ESA has released the full PowerPoint of Hill & Knowlton's pitch to the trade association, revealing much of the extra information portraying the game industry in a more positive light.

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