Study: US Parents want more consistent media ratings

Tuesday, 21 June 2011 05:50 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Research suggests US parents want a universal media rating system, across games, TV, film, websites and music.

According to WebMD, the research, published in the July issue of Pediatrics, found that parents prefer a ratings system that provides detailed content advisories, like the ESRB does for games, in addition to age brackets.

The research concluded that universal age brackets would be “impossible” to apply cross-media, but universal content descriptions could be put into place.

“Our studies revealed that parents not only want changes to the ratings, but that they would support the creation of a universal system.

“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,” the researchers wrote.

The study also took exception to variation between ratings systems as applied to different forms of media – in which content may be deemed inacceptable in one form but not another. The gradual evolution of ratings over time was found to lead to inconsistencies, and content advisories were found to be misapplied, with 79 percent of TV shows failing to achieve a V warning despite containing violence.

Thanks, GamePolitics.