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Friday, September 24, 2004

Check out those game ratings!

Do you have gamers in your family who are already hinting around about a video
game or two on a holiday wish list they'd started compiling last spring? There's help for gamers' parents. Which is good, because - on the advice of Patricia Vance, president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board - we need to check out the ratings on every video game box
- front and back - before buying anything.

"Some parents who may not have played games before are not aware that there are
games made for adults too," Pat told me in a phone interview. Very much for
adults. An online game called Sociolotron includes virtual rape (see my 7/2
). For off-the-shelf video games, the ratings include the "AO" one (for Adults Only) for games that "contain content suitable only for adults" which "may include graphic depictions of sex and/or violence" and "not intended for persons under the age of 18," as explained on the ESRB's Web guide to the rating system
. Even if your child says "everybody
has it," that may be because other parents did check the game's rating and
aren't around when the game's being played. For parents' tips and links to top game-review sites, please click to my main feature this week.


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