The PTA, the ESRB & GamerDad: Working Together

Here’s the good news in a nutshell: The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) have teamed up and hired GAMERDAD to publish an online safety booklet –Available Online (PDF)– But that’s not all! I’m jetting off to New York City tomorrow to participate in an Online Seminar/Webinar, a helpful video for parents, and participate in an online Q&A. On Wednesday at 7pm EST you can see both the GamerDad, a representative of the PTA, and Patricia Vance, President of the ESRB, will be having a web based chat. Joining us for the first part will be National PTA President Jan Harp Domene and hosting the whole shebang is the WGN Radio’s Technology Tailor.

Needless to say I’m honored. I wrote a couple pages and edited a couple more in their booklet (.PDF) and you’ll probably find it at your local library, Daycares, and such. Anyway, it was a real honor and I’m looking forward to helping parents with Ms. Patricia Vance of the ESRB and the PTA at Wednesday’s broadcast and text chat. Look here tomorrow for more information on how you can tune in!

Here’s the press release now:

Scroll Down to Read – or – Download the .PDF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 21, 2008

ESRB AND PTA LAUNCH NEW NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE PARENTS
ABOUT GAME RATINGS, PARENTAL CONTROLS AND
ONLINE VIDEO GAME SAFETY

Booklets Distributed to PTAs and Available Online;
Free Educational Webcast Scheduled for April 23

NEW YORK – Furthering their shared commitment to informing parents, Entertainment
Software Rating Board (ESRB) and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) have launched a
nationwide education campaign through which a new booklet, “A Parents Guide to Video
Games, Parental Controls and Online Safety,” is being distributed to all 26,000 PTAs. The
campaign enables and encourages PTAs to educate their community’s parents about the
ESRB rating system and parental control technology available on the various game
systems, as well as the concerns that exist when games are played over an Internet
connection and what parents can do to mitigate those concerns. The booklets, which offer
a step-by-step guide to setting up parental controls as well as an article about online safety
from Andrew S. Bub of GamerDad.com, are available for free download in English and
Spanish through both the PTA and ESRB websites.
In addition to the booklet, a free webcast featuring PTA national president Jan Harp
Domene, ESRB president Patricia Vance, and Andrew S. Bub will take place at 7:00 PM
EST on April 23, 2008. The webcast will explain the ESRB rating system, offer information
on setting up parental controls for the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3 and
PSP, and Windows Vista, and include a discussion about online video game safety. It will
conclude with a live text Q&A session with the experts.

“Video games continue to be a popular source of learning and entertainment for children,
but today’s games provide players with new abilities to interact with one another via online
play. Just as with the Internet, that kind of interaction carries with it some risks,” said
Domene. “Using the ESRB ratings and setting up parental controls are important, proactive
steps that parents can take to make sure their kids are playing games they deem
appropriate. And being aware of the risks posed by online-enabled games and what can
be done to keep their kids safe when playing online is crucial information for parents.
We’re very pleased to be offering them this guidance with the help of ESRB.”

“Three in four parents use the ESRB ratings regularly when selecting games for their
children1, and the parental control features available in all the newest game systems giveparents more control over the games their children play than ever before,” said Vance.
“But it’s important for parents to fully appreciate what the experience of playing games
today encompasses. Many online-enabled games allow players to interact in new ways,
including online competitions or chatting with one another via text, audio or video. Parents
should understand what type of content their child might be exposed to when playing
games online, and what steps they can take to shield their children from content they deem
inappropriate.”

“Online-enabled games have opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Playing games
online with others, whether they be friends or strangers, allows players to compete or
cooperate with one another in new and exciting ways, and that enriches their experience
with those games,” said Bub, also known as GamerDad. “But with that ability to interact
comes the ability to introduce content into a game that might not be appropriate for all
players. Making sure parents are aware of the tools they can use to protect their kids is a
central part of the GamerDad mission, and I’m delighted to have been able to take part in
this initiative to arm parents with this information.”

The ESRB engages in several ratings education initiatives that involve print, television and
radio Public Service Announcements (PSAs) among other vehicles. Most recently, the
ESRB launched a new ratings search “widget,” which allows parents to search for ESRB
ratings from a portable mini application that can be placed on their desktops, embedded in
social networking pages or other web sites, and even shared with friends via email. It is
available for free download at www.esrb.org/widget.

While many of ESRB’s initiatives focus primarily on raising awareness and use of the
ratings, the partnership with PTA also provides parents with valuable guidance and
resources about computer and video games, parental controls and online safety, and is
among the most extensive to date in terms of ground level support for communities
nationwide.

PTAs nationwide will begin receiving the booklets in the coming days, and are encouraged
to share them with PTA member parents through their PTA unit programs and events. The
booklet is also be available online to all concerned parents through PTA.org.

About Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

PTA comprises over 5 million parents and other concerned adults devoted to the educational

success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501

c)(3) nonprofit organization that prides itself on being a powerful voice for children, a relevant

resource for parents, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to

anyone who is concerned with the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

About Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a non-profit, self-regulatory body established in

1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESRB independently assigns ratings,

enforces advertising guidelines, and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the

interactive entertainment software industry.

About Andrew S. Bub and GamerDad.com

You’re soaking in it.

20 Responses to “The PTA, the ESRB & GamerDad: Working Together”

  1. That brochure is great. It’s a comprehensive, unbiased guide for the unintiated parent, well done.

  2. It’s just an insane honor. GamerDad is all about reaching as many parents as possible. It doesn’t get much better than this.

  3. Congrats, Bub! You’re becoming a household name!

  4. Congratulations, Andrew. This is really great.

  5. Hi-
    Sharing this information nationally with parents is a great idea! I am very interested in learning more. The one huge flaw is that most parents west of the EST zone start time at 7 PM will not be available to watch the webcast. At 4 PM PST– parents are either at work or supervising their childrens’ after school activities. For instance, I will be assisting at a Girl Scout meeting. Please consider making this webcast subsequently available as a Podcast for parents to view as their time permits. Or rerun it at a later time for Central, Mountain and PST parents. This is really too important a topic for so many parents to miss out on.
    Thank you.

  6. Bravo. The PTA and ESRB will benefit from having such bright and reasoned participant.

  7. How did this go? I wasn’t able to get the feed working on OSX 🙁

  8. Is it archived somewhere? I was at baseball practice last night …

  9. There’s a post above with the details and a link to the webcast.

  10. Yep – I noticed that had gone up after I posted the question

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  18. Problems with the PDF. The PDF needs photo credits.

    Their is no such thing as cyber-bullying only jerks who either abuse the law and cause harm as with ( the domino effect of racism and borrowing money without paying back ).

    Cyber-bullying came to be a term ( as with other fictional lawful terms) after two fat-ugly-disgusting women ( no really they are that ugly ) verbal abuse an young woman pretending to be an dude and then dumping her via their online relationship where she committed suicide afterwards. Another case is when two veterans got into an argument and the younger naive vet went to the other veterans house and burnt it down. Another case is when an internet obsessed professor in woman’s studies was biased against one student and caused an federal investigation that resulted in the slaying of innocent children. Another case is an kid who played an giants vs troll game and he executed himself after his character died. Another case an Veteran reported somebody to authorities which resulted in the slaying of people. Another case an person who spent too much time on the internet reported somebody for fowl comments which resulted in the slaying of innocent lives.

    The point is cyber bullying is from the idea that CHILDREN DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS REAL FROM WHAT IS NOT REAL and they stay that way all the way into adult hood being intimidated by the smallest verbal abusive comment. Basically we went from THE SIX YEAR OLD ON AOL to the THIRTY SIX YEAR OLD WHO CAN’T TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REAL AND NOT REAL. They do not learn how to ignore, move-on, and keep moving forward. They ( the internet users ) do not learn HOW TO BE MATURE.

    To make things even more worst with the idea of SECURITY ( “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither”. AKA Patriot Act ). Which means you lock somebody up who is innocent by their privacy you have created an even worst person who was otherwise harmless to you. You break into somebodies house and violate their home you have declared war and genocide upon and in return they will do the same to you ( this is reason why we have the term “home-grown” ). We create DNA testing to get people out of prison who was guilty; while we abuse DNA testing and cause people to do vile things in order to cover up their tracks; while abusing DNA testing itself. That is why people get rid of bodies apparently because chances are that persons life was violated already and they have crossed that line out of fear with no regard for god.

    We are all connected an we all should respect each other. Not the childish idea of every man for himself.

    …….

    I really like the part about how you explain all the parental lock-outs on these game systems. Another reason why I do not invest in this technology. Makes me think about Otomo from “Robocop 4: The Prime Directives”, as well as the one from “Dirty Pair”.

    ……….

    In my opinion but better my FACT; the ESRB are completely useless and should just be dissolved into the movie rating system via the the CARA. I have seen games from years ago that have useless ratings. Back then before the internet we would just go to the persons house/mansion/apartment etc that have the games that our parents did not want to get.
    ………..

    Personally my best advice is that you do not want your kids to be exposed to violence or sexual imagery would just be not to purchase the new consoles. It will not help them get better grades, or help them move out of the house faster. All it will do is keep them in one spot while they are being giving all kinds of pointless information. It will not help them learn how to drive, get an 100 dollar per hour job, or become more educated. All videogames will do is steal there time and keep them inside when they could be exploring the world. It will not even help them be more social-able or economic standing.

    Almost every single video-game will be small enough to fit on an chip that is smaller then your finger nail. Your kids do not need to worry about this stuff until they leave you with happiness or they grow to the point where they have more grey hairs then you.

    I love video games a lot. It was something fun to do on rainy days and before that we had board games but that is what video games where for. Rainy day activities. What happens now is that children, young adults, and continuing adults all purchase games for various reasons that takes over their lives.

    That is my thoughts and ideas upon reading the PDF. Personally again the PTA should organize against people ( their children and the future rights ) and not give into fear. I do not understand parents nowadays. When i was an kid my parent would just turn off the electricity ( juice/power ) to where my game system was and lock up the power box. To make things worst parents nowadays have kids with wireless phones, so they can’t even remove internet access without disconnecting through the phone service. Otherwise parents worry too much when we have young adults who are less then twelve bearing arms and sixteen year olds policing in other nations.

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