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US parents want universal ratings says study

Current certification system for games and media confusing and inaccurate

A new study to be published in the July issue of Pediatrics magazine suggests US parents want a new universal rating system for all media.

"Our studies revealed that parents not only want changes to the ratings, but that they would support the creation of a universal system," reports the paper Parents' Evaluation of Media Ratings a Decade After Television Ratings Were Introduced.

"Given that we are well on the way to digital 'convergence,' where one can watch movies, television shows, or video games all on the same device, it seems that the time may be right to begin seriously considering taking this next step to improve media ratings." It also suggested one of the reasons for the demands was that parents find current systems inaccurate and confusing.

The research was the work of Douglas A. Gentile, Julia A. Maier, Mary Rice Hasson, and Beatriz Lopez de Bonetti, and collated the opinions of over 2,300 adults.

The study is somewhat contradictory to findings published by the Entertainment Software Association earlier this month, which reported that 98 per cent of US parents were confident that the ESRB ratings were "accurate".

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.