Blackhawks for (and against) ESRB ratings...

by: Ben Berry -
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It's interesting when you have individuals who are shown as the public face of an organization. Anything they say and do can be said to reflect on their organization, though they are clearly not "on the clock" 24/7. Often, organizations will come out with statements underscoring when someone is officially representing them, and when they are not. 

Such was the case recently, when Patrick Sharp and Brian Campbell of the current Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks teamed up with the ESRB to promote the purchase of age-appropriate games through use of the ESRB's video game rating system. Calling the program "A Ratings Check for Parents", the PSA's will be shown all around the Chicago-land area, including on the Jumbotron during Blackhawks games.

While it's a good cause and one that helps provide guidance to less involved or in-the-know parents, one member of the team who opposes such limitations is forward Patrick Kane, who when he isn't beating up taxi cab drivers over $1.20, believes in letting it all hang out. 

Ads Featuring Stanley Cup Champions Brian Campbell and Patrick Sharp Encourage Parents to Use ESRB Ratings When Buying Games

CHICAGO, IL – With the NHL season underway and the holiday shopping season in full swing, Chicago Blackhawks’ Defenseman Brian Campbell (#51) and Left Wing Patrick Sharp (#10) have teamed up with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) – which assigns the official age and content ratings for computer and video games – for a new PSA campaign explaining the ESRB rating system and encouraging parents to use it when buying games for their families. The new PSA is viewable via Blackhawks TV on YouTube.

“Not every video game is meant for kids,” says Campbell. “It’s up to a parent to make the call about which ones are right for their children, and that’s why the ESRB ratings are important.”

“The ESRB ratings give parents the guidance they need to make sure their kids are playing video games that are right for their age,” added Sharp. “Brian and I are proud to be a part of this campaign to help educate Chicago’s parents about the ratings, and encouraging that they use them when buying games.”

In addition to being distributed to TV and radio stations throughout the Chicagoland area, the ads will also appear on the video display boards in the United Center during each Blackhawks home game this season. Ratings education brochures are also being distributed through GameStop and other retailers.

“There is no denying that video games are popular gift items for kids. And the choices for parents can be overwhelming, especially during the holidays,” says ESRB president Patricia Vance. “ESRB is committed to educating parents on using ratings information when shopping for video games. The more we can inform parents through programs such as these public service announcements and the incredible support of individuals like Patrick and Brian, the better able they will be to ensure that the games they bring home are OK for their children to play.”

The ESRB video game ratings consist of two parts. Rating symbols on the front of every game package sold at retail provide an age recommendation. On the back, next to the rating, are content descriptors that provide information about what’s in the game that may have triggered the rating or may be of interest or concern to parents.  
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