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ELSPA launches new website

To teach parents about ratings.

ELSPA has launched a new website designed to help parents understand the age ratings system for videogames and make more informed choices when buying games for children.

According to ELSPA, the idea for Askaboutgames.com was put forward after recent research found that many consumers were confused about the ratings system. There has also been controversy in the media recently over violent and sexual content in games, with titles such as Rockstar's Bully coming under scrutiny.

Askaboutgames.com is said to offer clear, detailed explanations of game ratings and symbols, and information about why ratings are important. Parents can also read about how to ensure their children play safely.

In addition, the website gives information about careers in the games industry, and courses that are available to school leavers.

The Government has welcomed the new initiative, with media minister James Purnell commenting: "Our penalties are among the toughest in Europe. But too often parents unwittingly allow their children to play unsuitable games."

"I am pleased that the industry is taking further steps to educate parents about video game content. It's particularly important at this time of year. I'd like to remind parents to look carefully at the games they are putting in their children's stockings this Christmas."

ELSPA director general Roger Bennett added: "We believe that through the askaboutgames.com website parents will see that the games industry is as well regulated as all other entertainment mediums."

"Armed with the facts on game ratings, parents will be able to buy games for their children for Christmas and throughout the year with the assurance that their children are not being exposed to content unsuitable for their age."