Last week we informed you that the FCC was planning to recommend a possible unified rating system for gaming, television and cell phones. This system was being looked into after a report was to be given on Aug. 31. It's now past that date and the report has been given, but it comes out a bit differently than one might have assumed. It seems the FCC digs the current ESRB game rating system.
In the report they state that the ESRB's rating system is "in many ways the most sophisticated, descriptive, and effective ratings system devised by any major media sector in America." Way to go gaming! They don't stop there however, highlighting the fact that 58 percent of parents find game ratings helpful (a relatively high percentage) and that the amount of kids buying M-rated games has dropped dramatically between 2006 and 2008, according to the FTC. Looks like parents are starting to pay attention to what their kids are buying.
And that universal rating system that had some of us worried? It doesn't even apply to gaming. The report states that, "video game players and video games are not the focus of the Child Safe Viewing Act ... Video game players are not included among the devices specifically identified in Section 2(b)(2) of the Act, and video games are not mentioned in the Senate Report and were not discussed in the Senate hearing on the Act." This doesn't mean that the FCC isn't concerned about gaming because of its popularity with youth, but it does mean that a universal rating system for gaming is right out the window for the moment.
If you like reading government reports, you may download the .pdf here.