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Press Release

January 16, 2008

Video Game Industry Seeks to Buy Influence in Congress

PTC Warns Congress to Put Families First, Not Industry’s Interests


LOS ANGELES (January 16, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ denounced the video game industry for establishing a Political Action Committee (PAC), as reported in the New York Times.


“The video game industry continues to fight meaningful accountability for selling inappropriate material to children.  The industry has been exposed repeatedly for its reprehensible behavior and now they are looking for ways to buy friends in the government,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“Let me be clear of our intentions: Any public servant who cashes a check from the video game industry will be exposed by the PTC as taking a stand against families, and his or her actions will be communicated to constituents in his or her congressional district.


“The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has offered little to prevent companies like Rockstar Games from subjecting millions of children to sexually graphic material as they did with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.  More recently, when it was revealed that Manhunt 2 still contained horrific violence that was thought to have been completely removed, the ESRB was missing in action.  Congress has asked for accountability and Sen. Brownback’s ‘Truth in Video Game Rating Act’ would require the ESRB to actually play the games they are rating, yet the industry appears threatened by this and is looking to procure votes in Congress to keep it from becoming accountable.


Under current laws, retailers are not obligated to impose restrictions on the sale of video games to minors, but the PTC’s own secret shopper campaigns have demonstrated that a majority of children under age 17 can still purchase mature-rated video games without their parents.  The industry’s effort to self-regulate this matter is laughable.  And every state measure intended to codify the game industry’s own procedures have been killed by the industry lawyers.  Such a measure will allow adults to continue to produce, sell and purchase mature games while preventing children from purchasing them without an adult present at the transaction.


“We will continue to fight for fair and commonsensical solutions to ensure that video game retailers do not sell or rent ‘M-rated’ or ‘AO-rated’ video games to minors.”


To schedule an interview with a PTC representative, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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