The video gaming industry, including the influential Entertainment Software Association (ESA), has widely applauded the voluntary decision by the three major console manufacturers to design parental controls into their new products. These controls, already featured in Microsoft’s XBox 360 and Sony’s PSP, will allow parents to restrict content based on the ESRB ratings of games. The technology is similar to the V-chip used in TV sets, which is considered a success story of industry self-regulation over government-imposed rules.
This news comes at a time when the video gaming industry is under heavy attack from parent and religious groups and the government for violent and sexual themes in games. ESRB ratings were one step toward the industry’s self-regulation, and the widespread availability of parental controls is expected to stave off much criticism.
?The ESA is extremely pleased that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony Computer Entertainment America have voluntarily stepped up to take concrete steps to put the power to regulate the games kids play where it belongs ? in the hands of parents, not government, retailers, or anyone else,? said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the ESA.