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CERTA Starts Website for Ratings Awareness Month

The Coalition of Entertainment Retail Trade Associations has set up a special website devoted to its month-long push for ratings awareness.
The Coalition of Entertainment Retail Trade Associations has set up a special website devoted to its month-long push for ratings awareness. Erlam.org, named for the Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month of June 2005, is now active, and a new public service announcement will coincide with the website as part of the program. The PSA will air on in-store monitors in over 5,000 member stores of the respective trade associations, which includes the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association. The IEMA is the videogame-related organization of the family, and will be advocating the use of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board rating system to help parents choose appropriate games for their children. The ESRB is an organization whose effectiveness has recently been called into question by lawmakers such as California's Leland Yee. Yee's bill restricting the sale of violent games, currently under review in the California assembly awaiting a vote, uses methods other than the ESRB rating to determine a game's violent content. Yee's legislation is based on both his concerns that the ESRB is too lenient on in-game violence, and the fact that the organization isn't backed by legislation. The IEMA and ESRB, on the other hand, contend that retailer-led voluntary rating enforcement is working well, without recourse to piecemeal, state-specific punitive legislation, and that the ESRB is well respected: a Hart Research independent study found that parents in the U.S. overwhelmingly approve of the ESRB ratings. "Entertainment retailers understand that they have a role to play in educating parents about the tools available for making informed decisions and in helping them make appropriate decisions," said a CERTA spokesman. "We believe these resources will empower parents to control their families’ entertainment choices."

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