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Most parents agree with ESRB ratings, says new survey

The vast majority of parents in North America agree with the ratings assigned to videogames by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, according to a new study.

The vast majority of parents in North America agree with the ratings assigned to videogames by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, according to a new study commissioned by the board itself.

The study carried out by Peter D. Hart Research Associates at the behest of the ESRB, and more than 400 randomly selected parents took part. They were shown video footage of eight games from a random selection of 80, all of which were given ESRB ratings within the last year.

Each participant was asked to award the game with an appropriate rating, before being told what rating the ESRB had decided on. Participants then had to state whether they thought the ESRB's rating was "about right", "too strict" or "too lenient."

The survey showed that respondents agreed with the ESRB's decisions 82 per cent of the time - and that 5 per cent of the time, they thought the board had been "too strict". The figure for the number of times "too lenient" was offered as a response was not disclosed.

"As the ratings body for the video game industry, the ESRB's effectiveness depends largely on how accurately its ratings reflect the attitudes of American parents," said ESRB president Patricia Vance.

"We are extremely pleased that, year after year, independent research shows such a high level of agreement with ESRB ratings among parents."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.