US School Safety Commission says more game age rating education is needed to help reduce school shootings

US School Safety Commission says more game age rating education is needed to help reduce school shootings

A report from the Federal Commission on School Safety has let video games off the hook.

This body was established in the wake of the Marjorly Stoneham Douglas High School shooting in February of this year, with the aim of looking into how to make schools safer.

Mr Trump blamed video games and other violent entertainment for the rise in gun crimes, saying that games needed age ratings, something they have had since 1994 in America, thanks to the ESRB. He also invited reps from the video games industry to discuss gun violence via US video games trade body The Entertainment Software Association except... they weren't invited, initially. Reps from Take-Two and ZeniMax eventually spoke with Trump and co, though nothing really happened and what was billed as something of a showdown.

Anyways, back to the report.

The Federal Commission on School Safety produced three recommendations as to how to deal with entertainment media and reduce school shootings. Just one pertains to video games and that is to make age ratings for easier to understand and ensure that they are enforced at retail.

The report cites a 2016 study, which says that 86 per cent of US parents know about the ESRB rating system, with 73 per cent saying they check said ratings before buying it for their kids. Anecdotally, in the UK a study showed that more than 50 per cent of parents let their children pay 18-rated games when they aren't old enough.

While believes that more education is required when it comes to video games age ratings - something we have spoken about at length before - the above stats seem rather promising in this regard. Oh, and if you want to reduce gun violence then there's certainly one way that you can do that. But America won't do that, will it? 

A rep for US video games trade body The Entertainment Software Association told "We support the School Safety Commission's mission to make schools safer for students, and we're pleased that they were open to learn more about our industry, including the many initiatives that we undertake to empower and inform consumers. It bears noting that the same video games are played all over the world by 2.6 billion gamers, yet the United States stands alone in its rate of gun violence. As we shared with the Commission, study after study has shown no causal link between video games and real-world violence."

Photo credit: Evan El-Amin /

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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