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ESA: Universal Ratings Would 'Confuse Consumers'

The Federal Communications Commission is set to explore the issue of universal ratings for entertainment content including games, as the ESA calls the concept "a solution in search of a problem," according to media reports.
The Federal Communications Commission is looking into a new universal ratings system for content on television, mobile devices and video games, primarily considering revisions to existing laws to protect children from adult content. The FCC will reportedly begin an inquiry after an August 31 report to Congress on media blocking and rating methods, reports Bloomberg. The report won't contain specific recommendations to the government; rather, it will trigger the FCC's fact-finding as a preliminary step. But the Entertainment Software Association opposes a universal ratings system; game industry trade bodies worldwide believe that the most appropriate ratings system for video games is one specific to game content. In the UK, the industry fought a long battle to adopt game-specific PEGI ratings, used across Europe, instead of the British Board of Film Classification's movie ratings system for video games. "The ESA appreciates the FCC and its important role," ESA senior communications VP Rich Taylor said in a statement to consumer weblog Kotaku. "However, the ESRB rating system is considered by parents, family advocates, the Federal Trade Commission, and elected officials as the gold standard in providing caregivers with the information they need to make the right choices for their families." "Universal ratings will, in the end, only serve to confuse consumers, violate the Constitution's first amendment, and are a solution in search of a problem."

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