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"Respect Ratings" - Gamestop

Retailer aims to educate parents.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

US retailer Gamestop has taken out a full-page advert in USA Today to highlight its ongoing commitment to stopping minors buying games about slaughtering hookers and that.

"We Gamestop, as well as other retailers, have already stepped up with ESRB to regulate ourselves," spokesperson Clive Olivera told Eurogamer this afternoon.

"That's what this is all about. We wanted to bump it up and let the public know, especially consumers, that it is something we actually take quite seriously."

The advert features Gamestop president Steve Morgan peering strangely out from under a gigantic "Respect The Ratings" slogan, which is joined on the page by cubes with ominous ESRB ratings stamped on them.

Hello slightly weird Steve Morgan.

Unlike the BBFC ratings in the UK, which are enforced by law, the ESRB system is used primarily as a guideline to highlight the content of a game; it isn't actually against the law to sell a Mature 17+ game to a minor in America.

"I think we can always do better," Olivera continued. "One mature-rated game sold to a minor is one too many. It's our goal to provide as much education as we can, not only to our employees but to consumers in general."

And hence was born, to help parents get a grip on the crazy world of videogames. Instead of, you know, shouting at them and being completely insane, like certain specific opponents to violent videogames.

"There is an audience for every game, just like there is a system for every consumer out there," Olivera added. "Gamestop is looking at providing as much information as possible so people can make an informed choice."

Which leaves only one question, really: what on earth is happening with Steve Morgan's face?

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