Through its Get Game Smart initiative, Microsoft held an Xbox 360 video game night for members of Congress and the Greater Washington Boys & Girls Club this week, in an attempt to bring awareness to family-friendly gaming and share tips for managing digital media consumption.
The program was sponsored by a bipartisan group of four Congressional representatives: Mike Rogers (R-MI), Bobby Scott (D-VA), John Shimkus (R-IL) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). Some 150 representatives, staff, and family members attended, along with Boys & Girls Club members and their parents.
Congresswoman Wasserman Shultz said video games and the internet encompass a wide range of experiences, and parents must learn how to effectively shape their children's usage.
"There is no greater mission than protecting our kids," she said in a statement released after the event. "By working together with groups like Get Game Smart, we can ensure that our children experience these new technologies in a way that is safe, healthy and most of all fun."
Microsoft provided all-ages Xbox 360 games like The Beatles: Rock Band
, Lips: Number One Hits
, and Forza Motorsport 3
, as well as the Xbox 360 and PC "visual programming" creation took Kodu
. Also featured were demonstrations on using Xbox 360 parental controls and timers, as well as explanations of Entertainment Software Rating Board ratings.
"Bringing parental involvement and industry together is vital in order to help protect children from inappropriate graphic violence and sexual situations," said Congressman Shimkus. "Games have moved well beyond Pong
and Atari from my youth, and we must ensure that all the necessary information is being provided to help parents and their children enjoy appropriate entertainment."